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

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Is it better to take challenging courses and get lower grades or easier courses and get higher grades?

Hi everyone, I'm a high school junior, and I'm trying to decide which courses to take next year. Is it better to take challenging courses and potentially get lower grades or take easier courses and get higher grades? How do colleges view this? Thanks for your advice!

11 months ago

Hey there! It's great that you're thinking about your course selection and how it might impact your college admissions. The answer to your question actually depends on the colleges you're interested in and your own academic goals. Generally speaking, colleges appreciate when students challenge themselves with a rigorous course load. They want to see that you're willing to push your boundaries and take on more difficult subjects, as it demonstrates curiosity and a strong work ethic. However, it's also important to maintain a reasonable balance between challenging courses and your overall GPA. If you feel that taking a more challenging course might significantly impact your grades, it could be more strategic to opt for an easier course, especially if your GPA needs improvement. Keep in mind that college admissions officers consider multiple factors when reviewing applications, such as your extracurricular activities, standardized test scores, essays, and letters of recommendation. So while your course selection and GPA are important, they're not the only aspects that colleges will evaluate. In summary, try to strike a balance between challenging yourself and maintaining a strong GPA. If you're unsure about what's best for you, consider speaking with your school counselor or a teacher who knows your academic strengths and can provide personalized guidance. Good luck with your course selection, and I hope this helps!

11 months ago

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