High school students experience a tremendous amount of pressure, especially when they are about to reach their senior year. This is the time when they either enter a good university or settle for a junior college to prepare them for more difficult course work. The classes a student takes may make or break their chances of getting into the program they want. This is also when you have to decide on boosting your GPA or challenging yourself by entering an honors or AP class.
Grades or Advanced Classes?
If you think that straight A’s will automatically vault you into a top-tier university or program, think again. You may cruise through standard level classes, but some college admission officers will put this into context compared to other students who got A’s or B’s in harder course work and load. Some challenge themselves by taking college-level classes, just to get a competitive advantage. Colleges look at this and may seriously consider that application compared to yours with a high GPA in regular classes.
However, this perception shouldn’t deter you from doing excellently in your current classes. You must also think about your own skill level in the honors or AP class you want to take. Seeing a C or D in these will not help your cause, even if you show a willingness to take on more load or if you have a strong work ethic. Online high school courses may help you get ready for the difficulty of certain programs.
The Rigor Factor
Colleges want to see students push themselves, but it doesn’t mean that you should overload with classes. What this means is that you must aim for balance, taking classes that challenge your abilities, but also display good judgment by not doing too much beyond your skills.
This is when your teachers can help you choose which classes are within your range. Ask for advice on whether you can take on more work load or an honors or AP class based on your objectives.