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Should I take ICS4U?

A photo of BChun BChun
Okay so here is a bit of a background outline of my situation:
- I did alright in grade 11 computer science... could have done better (86)
- I enjoyed the class
- We learned some basic variables (String, int, double, boolean), if statements, for loops and while loops, methods, File IO, and arrays

I am debating whether or not I should take Grade 12 Computer Science. It is supposed to be significantly more difficult next year. What I know for now is that the course is composed of concepts revolving around Object-Oriented programming, and GUIs. The programming tests are supposed to be programming full games (ex. Connect Four), and I'm not sure how I will do with programming fast while fulfilling all the requirements. The thing is I am not 100% certain I am going to pursue a career in the field of computer science, I'm deciding between business and computer science. I don't want to jeopardize my marks next year by taking a course that will in a sense get in the way of focusing my efforts on other courses(ex. Advanced Functions & Calculus), and mess up my chances of getting into a good business school. There is also the factor that the course isn't mandatory for most programs, just suggested. Anyways, are there any good tutorials or something that might help me prepare for next year, or any input on the course, or any other helpful advice? Please and thank you :)
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A photo of iliketurtles iliketurtles
If you have the time, take it. You don't HAVE to do well in it if you do well in another course to roudn out your top six (for engineering). It's just good experience to have imo, and can give you a decent head start in university compared to someone with 0 programming experience. :)
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A photo of immaculatedx immaculatedx
While the grade 11 course is a good preparation for University level CS on its own, I would still recommend you take ICS4U.

I was in kind of a similar situation. I wanted to take ICS4U and the mark didn't matter since I had fasttracked and had I done bad, I had a bunch of other courses I could use in my top 6. However, there was only one ICS4U class that year and it was in 1st semester but it just so happened it was the same period as the only 1st semester Calc class. I really wanted to finish Calc and in the process finish my top 6 and my prereqs for University so chose to take Calc instead.

I actually chose the Math/CA program at UW, which I guess is more on the business path. After a term at UW though, I decided I had made the wrong choice and am now in CS.

Anyways, I really wish I had taken the CS course. I mean, the content would have been a little useful for school and for the co-op search but really I just wish I had more exposure to the subject - perhaps I would have made a better choice for my university program had I done so.

So take ICS4U. In the worst case, you find out you don't like CS but can still probably muster up a decent mark regardless. Just my opinion.
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A photo of WaterfallOfDestiny WaterfallOfDestiny
Taking ICS4U in high school was one of the best decisions I made in high school. You'll learn way beyond the basics of programming in your first semester of university, so it's much better to get a head start on the concepts in Grade 12. That way, you'll get more time to focus on your other university courses.

You shouldn't drop a course just because it's "hard." In the end, the learning experience of thinking through the logic is invaluable. And seeing as computer programming skills are in such high demand, the course gives you a good background even if you pursue business.
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A photo of aimango aimango

@WaterfallOfDestiny wrote
Taking ICS4U in high school was one of the best decisions I made in high school. You'll learn way beyond the basics of programming in your first semester of university, so it's much better to get a head start on the concepts in Grade 12. That way, you'll get more time to focus on your other university courses.

You shouldn't drop a course just because it's "hard." In the end, the learning experience of thinking through the logic is invaluable. And seeing as computer programming skills are in such high demand, the course gives you a good background even if you pursue business.


Lol really?

It think it comes down to how good your teacher is, though.
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A photo of BChun BChun
All those points seem valid so I guess I should take it. On another note, what Universities would I be looking at if I did choose to pursue a degree in Computer Science if I had a grade range from low-mid 80s? It may be higher if I do end up doing better than expected in Calculus?
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A photo of plato plato
Your admission candidacy would be more favorable if you performed better in the required courses, rather than lowering your overall average by inserting a CS course.

If there is a chance that a CS course will lower your required marks, I would recommend against it. Take a course that you know you will do well in, and concentrate on getting the best possible marks in your required courses.
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A photo of WaterfallOfDestiny WaterfallOfDestiny
As iliketurtles said, universities are only going to look at your top 6 marks. If OP is taking more than 6 courses, doing poorly in ICS4U shouldn't be a problem. It's much better to learn the material and get it wrong in high school, than flounder in university because you didn't have enough background in computer programming.

And yes, I suppose I did have a great compsci teacher in high school. The way he taught ICS4U (come to think of it, it was ICS4M back in my day...) was broad enough for me to breeze through my algorithms & data structures course in first year.
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