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In general, if you are struggling for getting a low grade in an honors or AP class, it is better to move down. That way you will get a better grade in the class and have more time for other classes, standardized test preparation, and extracurriculars. Thus moving down will generally improve your college chances. Honors math classes are generally particularly difficult, and are more difficult in wealthier areas. Honors math classes at decent private schools are at a whole different level. If you do well in them, you may have a reasonable application to MIT. The regular math classes at those schools are generally at the level of honors math at public schools. I did a lesson with a student in honors precalculus at a school like that. She was totally lost and appeared upset. She told me that she got a 500 on her math SAT. I told her father that she definitely should not be in that class with that score. There was another situation in which a student... read more

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