2 years ago

Picking classes you enjoy vs. The most rigorous classes available

As I started to plan my classes for senior year, I realized that I am torn between taking 1) AP Literature versus Creative writing and 2) AP Biology vs. Honors Anatomy.

Creative writing, although it is weighted as a normal class at the school I’m moving to, is a class I can actually see myself enjoying as I have written multiple short stories for my classes and received praise from my teachers, etc. However, AP literature is more “rigorous” than this. Would colleges be like “oh she didn’t take the hardest class available so nope not gonna accept her”?

Same thing with anatomy, I have taken multiple art classes in Highschool so honors anatomy would line up more with that versus AP Biology, which is a) technically related to the major I want (biopsychology/cognitive science) and b) “more rigorous”

Should a student take a bunch of “rigorous” classes they don’t care about in order to raise their GPA and look prepared for college or should they do what they want even if their GPA would be lower?

I am specifically worried about this because I’m applying to Duke, vandie, etc and I don’t think my profile would be competitive enough Bc my old school didn’t offer honors and the ap classes were crap

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2 years ago

I am somewhat in your position.

My school offers some amazing courses I would love to take but I have crammed my schedule full of AP classes and have no more room.

I have found a solution that may help:

I decided to take the most rigorous selection of classes my school offers; however, this means I had to sacrifice some classes I am interested in.

I now study these topics independently and write essays/articles on philosophy and have my own literature podcast. These are both two very interesting extracurriculars that demonstrate my interests without sacrificing my academic rigor. This also can display to the schools you are applying to that your interests in academics are more than just basic school curriculum. I would highly suggest this as it looks great for colleges and is a fun little hobby!

-Barrett Feagin

National Merit Scholar

Top 0.8% of ACT 2022

Top 3% of SAT 2021

Top 1% of PSAT 2021

Varsity Dive Captian

3-time 5AAAAA State Diving Champion

🎤2 years ago

Yea that makes sense. I’ve done some creative writing type stuff in my free time (I drew/wrote a short manga) so I might stick to AP Literature for next year. Since I took AP Lang this year, it would look weird if I took an easier class in my final year.


2 years ago

It really depends on what you want to do.

AP courses are more vigorous and make a good impression to colleges. It shows you're willing and able to do the hard work. Also AP classes can get you college credit, so there's less work you have to do when you're actually in college.

On the other hand, if there are classes you would enjoy better, maybe do those. It might not look quite as good as AP, but as they say with jobs, it's better if you enjoy the job than if you get a big paycheck.

It's really up to you. You could compromise and take one AP class and take the other class you want to take. At least then you could try AP and maybe find it's okay. Or you could take both APs or both classes you want to take. It's okay if it takes a bit to reach a decision. Just trust yourself to make the right choice for you in the end.

🎤2 years ago

Makes sense, I might take AP literature and then take Honors Anatomy instead of AP Biology.


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Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
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