3 years ago
Admissions Advice

What is a coursework exactly?

Hi! I'm an international student from Turkey. When I'm filling my CommonApp I saw a section about Coursework. However, I'm not sure if there is an equivalent version. Thus, I wish to know what is coursework exactly? Thank you.

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2 answers

Accepted Answer
3 years ago[edited]

Yes, within the Common App is a section under Education called "Current or most recent courses"

Besides having your HS counselor send in your most recent transcript containing your classes, grades, and GPA from 9th, 10th, and 11th grade, the Common app wants you to list out the courses you are registering for 12th grade or your final year of HS. If you are already attending 12th grade or your final year, then list out the classes you are currently taking.

This section allows the person reading your Common Application to assess your course rigor for your final year of HS and make sure you are taking all the requisite HS requirements their school may have. For example, if you are applying to an Ivy League school like Harvard, their HS course requirements are 4 years of math, 4 years of English, 4 years of Foreign Languages, 3 years of History (including Euro History and US History), and 4 years of Science (with one advance course such as AP Physics or IB HL Physics).

Therefore, if you list out your final year of high school courses, the admissions officer at Harvard would be able to see if you have met the threshold requirements to be considered as a viable applicant. They are not asking for grades here. If they didn't do this, then millions of students would be applying without letting their admissions officers know what 25% of the HS course are. The final year's classes would be a guessing game for those reading the common app file.

Here in the US, some 12th graders feel that they deserve to take it easy during senior year and that phenomenon is called "Senior Slump" or "Senioritis". What this translates into is many seniors take fewer classes and easier classes because they feel that only their 9th through 11th-grade efforts count. While this might be true in practice, some colleges fully expect you to give it your all during your final year of high school.

Although only your 1st or Fall Semester grades and coursework will count in the official admissions process, if an applicant wants to end strong or show their Admissions Officer that they are challenging themselves with the hardest available classes they can take, that may help their chances of getting into a school versus someone who has taken their "foot off the gas" and decided to "coast into graduation". By providing you with some context, I hope you can now have a better appreciation for why this is asked of HS students who are using the Common App to apply to many colleges at once.

3 years ago

Hi @Zerpil

Most likely the Coursework refers to the classes you took in High school from 9-12th as well as if you took any college classes through high school. Good Luck!!!

Enter the following about each class:

Type: Choose from the drop-down list, the type that best represents this particular class, e.g. an honors class, AP or IB. The listed types are possible descriptions your school might use. If you're unsure of the type, select "regular". You can also select "Other" to manually enter the class type, if it's not included in the drop-down list.

Subject area: Choose from the drop-down list to subject area that best describes the class. If you need help figuring out the subject area, see Subject Area Examples.

Class/Class Name on Transcript: Enter the official class name from your transcript so that admissions offices can match the course you are reporting here with your transcript.

College credit? Check the box if you took this class at a college or received college credit for it. Select the college from the list (of colleges you already entered in the College Information section), or add a new college if necessary.

Select a grading scale: Choose from the options (such as letter grade, number grade).

Select how it was reported on your transcript: one final grade or multiple grades.

Enter your final grade: The options reflect what type of grades you specified (letter, number, and so on)

Block scheduling? Select the checkbox for "uses block scheduling" if this high school offers certain classes on different days of the week (for example, some classes meet Mon/Wed/Fri and other classes meet Tue/Thu).

When class occurred: Select if the class was during the regular school year or summer.

Your Grade when taking class: Select the grade you were in when you took the class. If you took the class before high school (such as in middle school) select "9th or earlier."

Once you have added all the information, either save and add another class, or save and close.

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