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High School Courses

high school courses

Preparing for a college education needs a lot of time, dedication, effort, and careful planning by you and your parents. The types of academic classes you choose and the scores from your high school courses play an important role in the college admission process. These high school courses are regarded as the blueprint of your education and are considered the source of a solid foundation of learning for college.

It is important that your choice of classes are beneficial to your goals of pursuing your higher education. Since the requirements of high school courses vary from college to college, you can ask your guidance counselor for advice or you can seek the requirements of the colleges you are interested in.

The admission officers consider the classes taken by you during high school while selecting the students for their colleges. What is your choice for high school courses- are you taking advanced classes or honors sections, or you are doing just enough to get by? The high school courses you take give an idea about what kind of goals you set for yourself, what are your capabilities, and are you ready to handle the rigors of the college or not. Following are some points to consider while choosing your high school classes:

  • Start with the basic classes and then move to the advanced or difficult courses. With the basic courses you can have a firm grasp on the fundamentals or the basics of the subject. Having cleared all the basics, you won’t find it difficult to understand the advanced material.
  • Students should challenge themselves by taking difficult classes. Admission officers will prefer the students who have taken challenging courses, such as AP or honors classes, and have received respectable grades than the students who earned outstanding grades in easy courses.
  • While deciding which high school classes to sign up for, try to keep a balance so you can do well over all. Don’t take all difficult courses if you cannot handle the commitment it takes to achieve good grades, but take both easy and hard courses. Difficult courses require a lot of reading and extra study time, which can put a lot of pressure on you, and this will definitely affect your grades.
  • Challenge yourself by signing up for classes that require different types of work. Classes in different subjects will give you variety in your daily schedule along with developing skills and techniques which will prepare you for college course work. For example, math and science courses teach problem solving sets, computer courses will teach programming and operating software, while English literature will not only help you learn to analyze literature but will help you develop sound writing skills.

AP Classes in High School Courses

High school course requirements differ from institution to institution. Check the recommendation or requirements of the colleges you’re interested in before selecting courses. The following sites provide recommendations for a general framework to follow for all colleges:

http://www.actstudent.org/college/courses.html
http://www.collegeboard.com/student/plan/high-school/33.html

Along with other classes mentioned in the above sites, Advanced Placement Program (AP) courses offer students a chance to take one or more college-level courses while still in the supportive environment of a high school. Taking the AP Exam helps students gain an edge over other fellow students in the highly competitive setting of admissions into the best US colleges. The examinations have 5 as the highest marks attainable and research consistently has shown that the students who achieve a 4 or 5 are usually allowed to skip the corresponding course as a freshman in college. This great program trains students for the rigors of college, helps in improving writing skills, teaches problem-solving techniques, and helps in developing good study skills.

Taking and clearing the AP Exam sends an influential message to colleges and universities admission officers that the student is ready for the college and can help you to gain admission, financial aid, and placement into advanced courses.

So choose the competitive courses, put in best of your efforts, and score well.

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