This time of year, many students are selecting their high school classes for the Fall. Here are three things to consider when picking classes.
(1) Be aware that the preferred high school curriculum for applicants of selective colleges include:
· 4 years English
· 3 or 4 years Math
· 3 or 4 years of a lab Science including Chemistry or Physics
· 3 or 4 years Social Studies
· 3 or 4 years Foreign Language.
(2) Take the most challenging classes (e.g., honors, AP, IB) your high school offers that you can handle without harming your grades, extracurricular involvement or your health. I believe a “B” in an AP class is better than an “A” in a standard class. If you don’t think you can get more than a “C” in the more challenging class, I would advise against it. Look at the difficulty of your entire schedule and be sure to consider how many challenging classes you can handle at one time.
(3) Different classes expose you to possible college majors and careers. Think about whether you enjoy the class material, whether you excel in the subject and whether you want to learn more about the subject in high school and beyond. If you have an idea of your future college major or career, let that impact the classes you choose. For example, if you are planning to study math, science or engineering, I would recommend that you take at least four years of Math and Science, including Calculus if your school offers it.