“Should I go with the easy class where I know I’ll get an ‘A’, or should I take the more challenging class and risk possibly getting a ‘B’?” This is a question that students find themselves asking over and over again when thinking about classes for next year. There are a few things to do and consider when making these decisions:
#1. Grades do matter to colleges.
This is not to say that grades are necessarily the most important piece of your college application, but having decent grades will give you greater chances of admission and scholarships (when seen as part of the whole “package” that is YOU.)
#2. For most colleges, getting a “B” in an AP class) is better than getting an “A” in The Fundamentals of Frisbee.
Colleges want to see that you challenged yourself, that you didn’t just take the easy route. Admissions counselors will obviously look at your overall GPA, but they will also look at your class schedules to determine how much effort you put into your academics.
#3. Think about what classes will benefit your college goals.
If you have your sights set on studying engineering at MIT, you probably shouldn’t sign up to take 3 art classes next year. Colleges do like to see well-rounded students, but if you have specific college goals, be sure to take classes in high school that will help prepare you for your desired major.
#4. What classes should you take if you haven’t decided what your college major is going to be?
Anything that will challenge you academically. One of the reasons colleges admit the students they do is because those students’ experiences showed academic success and promise for the future.
#5. Challenge yourself with your class schedule, but don’t take it too far.
You know your limits – you know what you can handle and what is too much. It is important to push yourself a bit outside of your comfort zone and sign up for that class that has a reputation for being hard, but don’t sign up for 6 classes like that – you will burn yourself out on school before you even get to college.