What Science Class Should You Take?

By Hadi Rahim

To graduate from Apex High, a student must take three science classes: Biology, Earth/ Environmental as well as either Chemistry, Physical Science, or Physics. This gives students a lot of options in picking classes. Apex also offers many AP science classes such as AP Chemistry, AP Physics, AP Environmental Science, and AP Biology.

With class registration now open, many students might be split on what science classes to take. This article will provide an overview of each science class and some factors to consider. 

Biology is a required course that teaches about living organisms and their processes. According to the science pathways list for Apex High, AP Biology is recommended for people who want to go to med school.

Earth/Environmental Science is a required course that teaches students about earth systems and factors that affect the environment. AP Environmental Science is generally considered the easiest AP science. It is generally recommended for people who just want to take an AP science course and/or are really interested in Environmental Science. 

“Should I take Chemistry or Physics?” 

Chemistry and Physics are generally more challenging than Biology and Earth/Environmental Science. Chemistry requires current or prior enrollment in Math 3.

Ms. Adams, who teaches both subjects, gave a rundown of both classes:

“The workload will be about the same for both classes. The content is different. Physics focuses on how things move and why that happens whereas Chemistry focuses on atoms and their interactions. Physics is more math based than chemistry but both have math prerequisites.”

She also discussed future career opportunities for people enrolled in the courses: 

“Chemistry and physics are similar in what you can do with them in regard to careers. For a few years, law schools had more physics degrees than political science degrees. The physical sciences teach you logical thinking so you aren’t limited to a science career. Students interested in engineering typically take physics. If you want to go into the medical field,  chemistry is where you should start but you will probably still have to take a physics class in university.”

AP Chemistry requires an honors chemistry credit. AP Physics I and II  is an algebra-based course that does not require a credit in a lower-level physics course. The classes are usually taken together in one year with each class being taken each semester. 

 AP Chemistry and AP Physics have some of the lowest pass rates of any of the AP exams. Physics I has the lowest pass rate with 51.6%. AP Chemistry has a slightly higher pass rate of 56%. 

There are two other AP Physics courses, Physics C Mechanics, and Physics C Electricity and Magnetism. Both classes require previous or current enrollment in AP Calculus. 

All science courses have something useful to offer. If you don’t want to go into STEM, take something that isn’t super challenging and that you’ll enjoy. If you do want to go into STEM, think about what fields you want to go into and research the subjects you’ll use the most. Ultimately, you know yourself best. Good luck registering for classes!

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