Choosing Classes Your Junior Year of High School
Your junior year of high school is an important one — colleges will look at your class load and grades when evaluating your college application. Because of the importance of your junior year in the college admissions process, here are some tips for choosing classes that will impress colleges.
Take Advanced Placement (AP) classes. Colleges will want to see that you can handle college-level courses. Taking more challenging classes will impress them. Most students take two to four AP classes during the junior year in high school. Depending on what your high school offers, choose subjects you think will look good to the colleges you want to attend. It’s also not a bad idea to take a look at the AP policies of the colleges you want to attend to make sure you can earn credit for your hard work.
Make sure to have a mix of courses. Colleges want students who are well rounded. Chances are your high school requires you to take a variety of courses across math, science, social studies and English, so you should be covered. If you have completed most of your core classes, this is the time to load up on classes that you’ve always wanted to try. Some high schools offer things like British literature, creative writing, advanced art or other specialty courses that can help you stand out.
Don’t overdo it. Even though it’s beneficial to take a challenging course load, don’t push yourself too far. If you only can handle three AP classes on top of your normal school work, limit yourself to that. Stretching yourself too thin is a recipe for disaster and could lead to bad grades, hurting your chances of admission. It’s better to have good grades and a mix of classes than low grades and all AP classes.
Think about your desired college major. Now is the time to start testing the waters of what you’d like to study in college. If you take chemistry and hate it, perhaps becoming a premedical major isn’t for you. Also, taking classes that align with a field you’d like to study will impress colleges. It shows you’re preparing for your college studies in high school.