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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
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800

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What courses should I focus on for being competitive at Ivy league schools?

I’ve been stressing a bit about my course load. As a high school junior aspiring to apply to Ivies, what type of courses should I be focusing on to be a competitive applicant? Do they expect more AP/IB courses or will a mix of honors courses also work?

7 months ago

It’s completely normal to feel a bit anxious about your courses when you're aiming high, but it's also important to take a deep breath and not overburden yourself. Ivy League schools do expect to see a rigorous course load, showing that you've challenged yourself throughout high school.

Typically, this means taking the most challenging courses available to you, which often are AP or IB classes. However, the context of your school's offerings is crucial—if you've taken all the AP/IB courses available in your core subjects, that is looked upon favorably. A mix of honors courses can also be beneficial, especially in subjects that you're particularly interested in or that align with your intended major. Balancing your schedule with both AP/IB and honors courses can demonstrate both rigor and a breadth of interests.

Remember to keep a focus on your overall well-being; maintaining a high GPA in these courses is also important, and overloading yourself can backfire if it leads to burnout or dipping grades.

Finally, try to align your course choices with your academic interests as this shows genuine passion and intellectual curiosity—which is exactly what Ivies love to see in their applicants!

7 months ago

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