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Duke University
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Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

How many honors classes should I take in high school?

Super stressed junior here! Trying to balance a good GPA with a challenging courseload – does anyone have advice on how many honors classes I should aim to take in high school to be competitive for top colleges? What's the 'sweet spot'?

8 months ago

Hello there! It’s great that you’re thinking strategically about your course load. The 'sweet spot' for honors classes varies, since each student’s capabilities and the rigor of their school's honors courses are different. Guidance on course selection also depends on which colleges you're applying to. While every college wants to see that you are challenging yourself relative to what’s available at your school, the top schools with the most rigorous academic environments want to be sure that you're prepared to handle their workload.

However, this doesn’t mean you should overload yourself to the point of compromising your GPA or well-being. It's all about balance. If your school offers five honors classes and you can handle three or four while maintaining good grades and staying involved in extracurricular activities, that could be seen as a strong course load. But remember, the quality of your performance is crucial. If taking fewer honors classes means you can achieve better grades and more meaningful engagement in your extracurriculars, that could be more beneficial for your application. Getting a C in five honors classes won't impress any admissions officers.

Finally, keep in mind that while junior year grades play a significant role in the college process, schools will receive your full transcript, and calculate your cumulative GPA, so your performance earlier on in high school will also be considered. Overall, aim for a balance that will allow you to put forth your best effort, and don’t forget to make time for self-care!

8 months ago

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