A short guide to selecting the courses that are right for you!
The courses you select are extremely important and can have a huge impact on your ability to get into a good school. It’s important for you to select courses that are challenging- however, it’s just as (if not more) important that you can do well in the courses you select. Taking six AP classes when you can’t handle them just because they are AP classes will not benefit you. On the contrary, you’ll be stressed and stretched too thin. Your grades and GPA will suffer and you won’t have enough time to devote to extracurricular activities and downtime. So, when you’re about to select your courses for the new year, take a few things into consideration:
Do you actually like the class? If you hate physics, don’t take AP physics just to get another AP on your schedule! You’ll be devoting many hours of your time to each AP class you take- make sure studying won’t be torture for you!
Can you handle the rigor of the class? Don’t feel like you have to take tons of honors and AP classes if you can’t handle them. Instead, select honors and AP options for classes you typically do well in. Acing a standard or honors class is far better than failing an AP class.
How busy are you? If you play sports, are in clubs, have a job, or are very busy in general, taking many honors or AP classes may not be a viable option for you. Spending three hours on homework for a challenging class after getting home at 8 PM is exhausting and unsustainable. Sacrificing your well-being to take harder classes isn’t worth it!
What will this course add to (or take away from) your high school experience? If you’re already taking several challenging classes and are busy outside of school, taking one more difficult class may not be worth your time. Instead, consider whether you want to take a less challenging course, like film studies or an art class. Courses that serve as a break in the day can offer you an opportunity to relax and clear your head for a bit.
For every class you select, ask yourself these four questions. Consider the impact each course will have on your daily life. Being methodical during the course selection process will benefit you throughout each school year and will help you become as successful as possible!