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Clarification on common app course level definitions?

Hey guys, I'm filling out my common app and I've come across 'course level definitions'. I'm not exactly sure about the terms (e.g. honors, AP, etc.). Can someone explain these to me? Thanks a lot!

7 months ago

Certainly! The Common App asks you to classify the courses you've taken during high school based on their level of rigor. Here's a brief explanation of the most common terms you'll come across when filling out the course level definitions:

1. Regular: A standard academic high school course that does not provide any additional challenge or advanced material. This is the baseline level for courses.

2. Honors: These courses are a step above regular courses in terms of rigor. They usually cover more advanced material, go deeper into the subject matter, and require more effort from students. These courses may or may not be weighted more heavily in your GPA.

3. Advanced Placement (AP): AP classes are college-level courses taught in high school, culminating in a standardized AP exam at the end of the school year. They're designed to be challenging and cover more sophisticated content than honors or regular courses. If you obtain a certain score on the AP exam (typically a 3, 4, or 5), you may be eligible for college credit or advanced standing in some colleges.

4. International Baccalaureate (IB): Similar to AP courses, IB classes are part of an internationally recognized curriculum designed for students who seek a rigorous and well-rounded education. IB diploma programs generally span two years and involve taking a set number of higher (HL) and standard level (SL) courses. Students must also complete additional components such as an Extended Essay, Theory of Knowledge (ToK) course, and Creativity, Activity, and Service (CAS) projects.

5. Dual Enrollment: These are courses in which you earn both high school and college credit simultaneously. Dual enrollment courses are typically taken at a local community college or university and enable high school students to gain exposure to college-level coursework.

6. College Preparatory: A term used to describe courses designed to prepare students for higher education. College preparatory courses typically involve the development of academic and/or study skills needed for success in a college setting.

These terms serve as general guidelines for ranking the rigor of your coursework on the Common App. Make sure to reach out to your school's guidance counselor, or to your teachers directly, if you're still confused about anything, though, as different schools may have different hierarchies of course difficulty and you want to make sure you accurately categorize each of your courses - colleges use this information to assess the difficulty of your academic schedule and your willingness to challenge yourself while considering your application, so don't accidentally sell yourself short!

Good luck with your college application process!

7 months ago

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