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Wooda, Cooda, Shooda: Wood Tech Class in 10th Grade Vs. AP Physics?

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If I have a wood business that is based in my school's wood shop, would it look better to take Wood Tech -- a class offered only at my school for the whole district -- or take AP Physics 1 as a sophomore? I plan to apply to college as a STEM major. FYI, I only have one elective but plan to do Running Start during junior-senior years.

Your wood business can help you stand out from the crowd at admission-decision time, but — at many colleges (especially the highly selective ones) — it will be viewed more as an extracurricular endeavor than as an academic one. In order to be a strong applicant to STEM programs, you should take at least one physics class (for less selective programs) or no fewer than two (for the pickier places) depending on what is offered at your high school and at the college where you will take your dual-enrollment (Running Start) courses. To be contender at the hyper-competitive colleges (e.g., MIT, CalTech, Ivies, Stanford and their ilk), you should submit AP exam scores and/or Subject Test scores in physics ... even where not required.

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