AP classes?

Hi! I have a tough question! I am a junior. I just took the PSAT and made a 1480 (221 in National Merit), so I will qualify to be a NM semifinalist. I am a homeschooled student and have done: biology in 9th grade, chemistry in 10th, and am currently doing physics. To qualify for National Merit Finalist, I have heard that they want you to have AP courses or dual credit. I haven't done either, (due to being homeschooled and the fact that dual credit is very expensive where I live) although I have done lots of high-quality math courses (algebra I and II, geometry, and currently Precalculus with trigonometry) I am strongest in math and science, and I carry a 4.0 GPA. (Unweighted) In addition, I know I can write a powerful essay for the NMSC application, as I write very well. I can also retake my SAT and probably increase it, if necessary. I am just trying to find out if I need to take an AP test this May. If so, math and science are my strongest subjects. In addition, I am also a musician, and have taken piano since I was 5. I have not seriously studied music theory, although I know the basics. However, my teacher is a theory professor at a university and would teach me if I asked, so I might have a chance with AP music theory. Also, I heard about SAT subject tests and was wondering if those might also work as a way to show my abilities.

Thank you for your help, and sorry if all that is a little convoluted!

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I am also homeschooled, so I hear you about the inability to participate in AP.
In all honesty, I don't know if you need AP credit to be a NMS Finalist. But I think that, with PSAT scores and an academic record like you have, you should be clear. I mean, your score is insane and your course-load is seriously impressive. If you think that if you could take an AP test and score fairly high with little trouble, than I see no reason not to. It can only help you, in the end.
I think that it's up to you and your career interests to decide whether you should take AP Math or Music Theory. Personally, I would go Math, because you can get anywhere with a good Math background. If you plan on majoring in the Arts, then go Music Theory. Also, I think Subject tests would be to your advantage, but, again - not necessary. Lemme know what you think, and if there's something else I can try to help with!
Best of luck to you! It always makes me so proud when fellow homeschoolers do well:)

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Thank you so much! After thinking about it, I finally decided to not pursue AP classes, as it would be a lot of trouble and I don't have much time at this point. I decided to focus more on my basic core subjects and extracurricular activities. I will find out more about my National Merit status next year (2018) so I will let you happens then. Once again, thanks so much for your help and encouragement, I was really reassured by your response!

No problem! That sounds like a good plan - AP is really a lot to take on, or so I hear. I hope you make it as a National Merit Scholar! I'll be excited to hear what happens. Good luck, and so glad I could help:)

Hi! I just found out that I am a National Merit Finalist for this year! Thank you for your help! :)