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Taking high school physics won’t help you get into college, especially if you don’t get perfect grades.
Colleges want to see that students have challenged themselves. Taking physics in high school demonstrates that you’re well rounded, willing to take on challenges in the future, and actually prepares you for college/post-high school success.
Getting a B in physics is often better than an A in a less challenging course. Physics teaches problem-solving and an understanding of the way the real world works, which is relevant to most college degree paths & jobs pursued with a technical/associate degree. Examples include working as a technician in the alternative energy sector or in patent law.
Additionally, physics underpins almost every other science. Anyone thinking of studying biology, engineering, chemistry, geology, or astronomy will need a strong background in physics. Research shows that students who have taken high school physics do better in college physics courses, which are required for a large number of degree paths [citation].
"College admissions is never just about the GPA. We are interested in seeing that students have maintained an excellent college prep curriculum. A transcript with physics is better than one without it."
Vikki Otero, Senior Assistant Director of Admissions
University of Colorado at Boulder
APS and the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) have created a shareable “5 Myths” brochure for teachers, counselors, and students to download. Check it out!