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Articles / Applying to College / Schedule Suggestions for High School Junior

Oct. 9, 2013

Schedule Suggestions for High School Junior

Question: Which courses look better to colleges to have taken: Chemistry, pre-calculus and AP English or Physics, pre-calculus and regular English? I am in 11th grade.

It’s irresponsible to evaluate your course options in a vacuum … that is, without knowing more about you, the other classes you’ve taken, and your college and career goals.

But, with that disclaimer in place, here’s “The Dean’s” advice: The AP English is definitely “better” (in terms of how college admission officials will view it) than regular English. As far as chemistry and physics go, it doesn’t matter. Take the one you want or that best fits your schedule. (Note, however, that the majority of the applicants to the most selective colleges take both by the time they finish high school … and commonly at the AP level, if offered.)


 

Written by

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone knows the competitive and often convoluted college admission process inside out: From the first time the topic of college comes up at the dinner table until the last duffel bag is unloaded on a dorm room floor. She is the co-author of Panicked Parents' Guide to College Admissions; The Transfer Student's Guide to Changing Colleges and The International Student's Guide to Going to College in America. Sally has appeared on NBC's Today program and has been quoted in countless publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Weekend, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report, Newsweek, People and Seventeen. Sally has viewed the admissions world from many angles: As a Smith College admission counselor for 15 years, an independent college counselor serving students from a wide range of backgrounds and the author of College Confidential's "Ask the Dean" column. She also taught language arts, social studies, study skills and test preparation in 10 schools, including American international schools in London, Paris, Geneva, Athens and Tel Aviv. As senior advisor to College Confidential since 2002, Sally has helped hundreds of students and parents navigate the college admissions maze. In 2008, she co-founded College Karma, a private college consulting firm, with her College Confidential colleague Dave Berry, and she continues to serve as a College Confidential advisor. Sally and her husband, Chris Petrides, became first-time parents in 1997 at the ripe-old age of 45. So Sally was nearly an official senior citizen when her son Jack began the college selection process, and when she was finally able to practice what she had preached for more than three decades.

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