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Duke University
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Unweighted GPA: 3.7
1.0
4.0
SAT: 720 math
200
800
| 800 verbal
200
800

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How important is it to take all your high school science classes in a specific order?

Hello everyone! I'm planning out my remaining high school science classes and I'm a bit stressed out. Is it crucial to take them in a certain order, like Biology, then Chemistry, then Physics, or is there some flexibility with this if I'm aiming for a top-tier college?

7 months ago

The order in which you take your high school science classes can influence your readiness for future courses, as well as your performance on standardized tests like the SAT Subject Tests if you choose to take them. However, top-tier colleges typically look for students who have not just taken the foundational sciences, but who have also excelled in them and taken advanced courses when available, such as AP or IB classes.

Most schools generally recommend taking Biology, Chemistry, and then Physics because each subsequent course tends to build on knowledge from the previous one. However, if you have a strong foundation, there can be some flexibility. For instance, if the opportunity to take an advanced course in Biology presents itself before Chemistry, and you are prepared for it, you could consider that path. The key is to ensure that you won't be at a disadvantage in understanding the material due to an unconventional sequence.

Importantly, ensure that by the time you apply, you're able to show a rigorous course load and have taken a balance of science classes. This can demonstrate both a breadth and depth of knowledge, which is attractive to top colleges. Make sure to also consult with your high school counselor who can provide guidance based on your individual school’s course offerings and any prerequisite requirements that might affect sequencing of science classes.

7 months ago

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