# Should seniors take calculus, statistics, or both?

The first half of senior year can be just as important to your college applications as the last half of junior year. In the spring of junior year your school will recommend classes for next year, and that is the best time to consider alternatives for course selection.

If you did well in honors pre-calculus you can choose between two flavors of AP calculus: AP calculus AB covers two semesters of college level calculus, whereas AP calculus BC covers the first two semesters plus a third semester of college calculus. If you elect AP calculus BC, make sure that you can handle the extra time needed to keep up in that class.

If you struggled in honors pre-calculus or did well in regular pre-calculus, you probably would take AP calculus AB.

If you struggled in regular pre-calculus and have an academic interest that might benefit from some exposure to calculus while in high school (STEM, business, etc.), you can take a calculus class that is not AP. It would be called “Introduction to Calculus” or something along those lines. Your school may have more than one course of this type.

If you struggled in regular pre-calculus and have an academic interest that would not benefit from some exposure to calculus while in high school (humanities, social sciences, etc.), you probably would take statistics. Usually high schools offer AP statistics and another statistics course something along the lines of an “Introduction to Statistics.”

If you did not take pre-calculus you would probably take something along the lines of an “Introduction to Statistics” or you might choose to take no math at all senior year (make sure to discuss this with your guidance office before deciding on this path).

**What about taking both?** Let’s not forget that seniors have electives in their schedules! It is not unusual for seniors to take calculus plus an elective in statistics. This is a very good choice for STEM majors and business majors. Statistics is very useful for social science majors (psychology, sociology, etc.).