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Duke University
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Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
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Understanding Classes in High School

Hey there, folks! It's an incredible journey we're all on, isn't it? I've been really thinking about my class schedule lately. Could anyone shed some light on how to select beneficial classes for my senior year? Any recommendation for electives to add a competitive edge to my college application?

22 days ago

Absolutely, you're right at a crucial juncture in your journey!

Let's start with the main subjects. Colleges generally expect you to have taken four years of English, four years of math (up to calculus, if possible), three to four years of laboratory science (like biology, chemistry, physics), two to three years of social studies (like history, economics), and at least two years of a foreign language.

For the senior year, it's important to continue to challenge yourself acadically (while keeping a manageable workload) with rigorous courses such as AP, IB, or dual-credit courses if they are available in your school and align with your interests and strengths. But bear in mind, the most important thing is to maintain strong grades rather than filled with unmanageable courses.

Apart from the main subjects, choosing electives can be a great way to illustrate your interests and demonstrate a 'spike' in your application. For instance, if you're interested in the medical field, you might take advanced biology, or a specific elective such as anatomy. If you're into computer science, an elective in coding or advanced mathematics can be a good idea.

Additionally, electives that hone important skills—all while supporting your prospective major—can provide that competitive edge. For example, public speaking or debate electives can be useful for future law or business majors, whereas art or music electives can be helpful for those planning on going into the arts.

Keep in mind, these elective courses should ideally be part of a consistent theme in your overall academic and extracurricular profile. For instance, if you are President of the Computer Science Club, taking an advanced coding class would be consistent with this theme. This helps you create a cohesive narrative about your passions and interests.

Remember, the senior year course rigor is an important aspect of your academic index, which colleges use to assess your academic achievements.

Remember though, the real competitive edge will come from how you perform in whatever classes you choose rather than the classes themselves. Quality over quantity is what appeals to admission councils. So choose classes that you are likely to thrive in, rather than just because you think they'll look impressive.

22 days ago

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