The myOptions Team
One of the biggest decisions you’ll make each year is which classes to take the following year.
Course selection can have a major impact on your GPA, your ability to graduate, and most importantly on your happiness.
First and foremost, you want to know the graduation requirements at your specific school. For example, do you have to take one semester of health or two? Do you have a computer requirement? How many years of English are you required to take?
All these requirements vary both by state and by the type of school you attend, so as early as possible, find out the classes you need to take in order to graduate and make sure you create a plan to take all required classes before you graduate.
Second, you should know what type of classes (and how many of each) you’ll need to complete in order to get accepted to most US universities.
Most schools will require: 4 years of English, 4 years of Math, 4 years of a foreign language, 2 years of laboratory science, and at least 2 years of history.
However, if you’ve started making your list, you should check with the individual schools. Also, if you’re planning on Engineering or another specialized major, you’ll probably have specific requirements like Calculus and Physics and Chemistry for Engineering and other creative courses for Arts & Music programs.
Next you’ll want to understand whether your school uses a weighted or unweighted GPA because a B+ in an Honors class might actually be a better outcome than an A- in a Regular level class.
You always want to make sure that you are taking the most challenging courses possible, as long as they won’t be completely detrimental to your GPA, and weighted GPAs are definitely your friend if you’re thinking of most challenging courses.
Lastly, you’ll probably have room in your schedule for a few elective courses. Make sure to pick out your classes early to ensure that you can get into the elective you want so you’re not taking a Photography class when you have absolutely no interest in photography.
When you have the option to decide, always take classes that you’re interested in, because you’ll be more likely to get a better grade.
For example, if you have no interest in Physics, you might opt for Environmental Science instead.
Always opt for 1) classes you’ll enjoy 2) that will give you the best opportunity to get the highest grades possible 3) that put you on the right track for graduating and 4) meet your college’s requirements