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Duke University
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Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
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Do colleges care a lot about honors and AP coursework?

Hi, I'm a junior, and I was just wondering how much weight colleges put on honors and AP classes. I took some APs this year but didn't do many honors. How does that look on my application?

9 months ago

Hi there! Colleges do indeed pay attention to honors and AP coursework, especially the more selective schools. These courses are a good way to demonstrate that you enjoy pushing yourself academically, and that you're prepared for more demanding college coursework.

In terms of whether AP or honors courses matter more, that depends on the offerings at your particular high school. Colleges will receive a school report that explains the comparative difficulty of the courses offered, so if honors classes are more difficult than APs, they will carry more weight, and vice versa.

However, you don't want to just take those classes. It's also important to perform well in them, as low grades won't do anything to prove your readiness for college-level work, no matter whether the course is advanced or not. The key is to strike a balance between your course load and your ability to excel in those classes—colleges would prefer to see you do well in fewer advanced courses instead of struggling through many.

Remember that standardized test scores also factor into a school's assessment of your academic readiness, so if you want to give yourself a boost, spending some time studying for the SAT or ACT could be a good idea, even if the schools you're considering are mainly test-optional. Just make sure that your study time doesn't eat into your ability to do well in your classes, whether they're AP, honors, or regular.

9 months ago

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