The Importance of Challenging Yourself With High School Courses
One of the components that college admissions officers look at is a high school student’s course load.
According to Senior Associate Director of Admissions Chris Teare, colleges ask, “Did the student take the most challenging program that is available and appropriate for his or her abilities and interests?”
Teare suggests that students are evaluated in the context of their schools. If your school offers Advanced Placement (AP)courses, International Baccalaureate (IB) courses, or Honors sections, it is important that you take the classes that are most appropriate to your abilities and interests.
In regards to a student’s interests, if you have a passion for humanities, take the most challenging English, history, and foreign language courses your school offers.
If math and/or science is your love, make sure you take AP, Honors, or IB classes in that discipline.
Teare says that colleges commonly look to be sure you have taken English, math, history, science, and foreign language. And if you do those five for four years, and take the ones you are truly passionate about at the highest level, you will impress most colleges.
Another thing to remember is that colleges want to see you challenge yourself as it is the only way it can be sure you can do demanding work. If you can earn a B+ in a challenging program and show the college that you have other valuable qualities outside the classroom, you will make yourself highly marketable.
Teare also explains that you should not take these difficult classes just to impress colleges, friends, teachers, employers, or parents, but take these classes to learn the most you can. He also suggests that if you actually want an education, you will have an interest in where you can learn a lot.
Enforcing the fact that you are willing to learn to a college and that you are curious about advancing your education to its fullest will also impress the admissions’ officials.
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