2 years ago
Admissions Advice

Should I take challenging classes in senior year or take it easier on myself?

Hi! I am a current junior, and we have started scheduling for senior year classes at my school. My dream school is UMich, and I want to major in a pre-med (science or psychology) major. I also want to apply early. I have two alternate plans for the classes I want to take next year, but I'm not sure what to do, and which one will look better to colleges.

The first option is to take challenging classes: AP Lit, AP Psych, APES, AP Calc AB, regular physics, and an elective (I've narrowed it down to human physiology, advanced philosophy, and criminal law).

The second option is to take it easier on myself and take AP Lit, AP Psych, APES, one trimester of math (intro to calc or statistics), regular physics, Spanish 4 and an elective (consisting of those above).

Should I take the more challenging classes, or should I take it a little easier on myself, considering it is my senior year? Thanks in advance, and I hope you have a wonderful day!


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3 answers

Accepted Answer
2 years ago[edited]

From a senior:

Seeing what you consider easier on yourself, take the easier option (which is the second one). In that option there are already 3 AP classes, I think that's enough for your senior year. From my research and what teachers have told me, colleges would not like to see you just completely go for fewer courses / easier courses in your senior year, so you are planning on the right track! If you think that you can handle the workload and keep your grades up, go ahead with the second option! And I strongly believe that it would not look bad to colleges at all.

I hope you have a great rest of your junior year and an amazing senior year! Good luck with everything! (and tip: try to start some college stuff like your essay before senior year starts- it will help you out so much!)

2 years ago

From a current senior:

As you plan to major in pre-med, I definitely definitely recommend taking AP Psych and AP Calc AB, as both will come in handy for your major and possibly give you valuable college credits. I also suggest taking either human physiology or advanced philosophy as your elective, as both will give you insight into your future track. Physics is also obviously a great experience.

In regards to AP Lit, I personally enjoy the class, but I believe that AP Lang would be a better class for a pre-med major (unless you are currently taking it). AP Lit does not cover the writing style needed for reports, meaning that it will not necessarily help you in your future. Instead, I recommend taking a college composition class if your school offers that. In terms of APES, I do not know the curriculum, so I recommend you do it if you're passionate about it!

But honestly, do what you know you'll be able to handle next year. Don't overexert yourself, remember you have college applications to do during the beginning of the year.

2 years ago

As the only difference between the schedules is the level of math, it depends on how confident you are in your math skills. If you're looking to go on a pre-med track, I would recommend taking Calc AB, simply because a lot of colleges look for that course in STEM majors. You already have two relatively easy APs in AP Psych and APES, so I don't think it would be too stressful. Also, Calc AB is paced relatively nicely, with a semester of college work spaced out across an entire school year. Ultimately, it's up to what you feel comfortable with. I wish you the best of luck!

Also, it is so cool that your school offers those three electives—I would have a hard time choosing between them (I'd probably go with the advanced philosophy)!

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


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