a year ago
Admissions Advice

Do I have good classes/should I take more?

I go to a school of about 450-500 students in a rural town in Iowa (4,000 ish people). The AP classes that my school offers are AP English Lit, AP Spanish Lit, AP Stats, AP Calc, AP Psych, AP Art History, AP Computer Science Principles, and AP Bio. My school district goes by trimesters, and the way the math courses work here is like this: Math 1 (freshman), Math 2 (sophomore or freshman), Math 3 (junior or sophomore), College Algebra (junior or senior), Trig (junior or senior), AP Stats (junior or senior), and AP Calc (senior). You either start freshman year with Math 1 or 2 depending on how well you did in math in middle school. I started at Math 2, but the way my classes were set up, I had Math 2 part A my first tri and part B my second tri, and I started Math 3 part A in my third tri, and my friend also did this with me. This put us ahead of all our other freshman classmates. We both finished Math 3, College Algebra, and Trig all in our sophomore year. We both signed up for AP Calc for our junior year, but I was really bad so I dropped out and got it taken off my transcript. I'm going to be an English major and maybe go into Law, so I decided to use my new free period for college classes. I took Composition I and II online through a community college and got As in both. This fall, I'm going to take Speech online through this college as well. My freshman year me and another student tested out of Freshman English and started at Sophomore English. The next year we took Junior English, and this year we would have both taken AP English, but I wasn't able to. Our school district has a Dual Language program bc we have a majority hispanic pop. and I've been taking Spanish since Kindergarten. I took Concurrent Enrollment Spanish 5 this year and it was during the period that AP English was. I chose to keep going with Spanish rather than drop it to take English. Next year I'm taking AP English, AP Spanish, and AP Art History (only AP classes I'm taking in High School), as well as Economics. My freshman and sophomore year I took some required classes like regular bio, integrated science, and chemistry. I've taken 4 Concurrent Enrollment classes so far (all this year, one Spanish, one US Govt, one Western Civ, and the last American History part 1), and I'm taking one other next year. Since we go by trimesters and we take 6 classes per tri, we have 18 final grades per year. I've gotten As in every class except like maybe 3 or 4 total where I got B+s or Bs. I'm currently planning on applying to a few prestigious/elite schools and I was wondering if you think I a decent mix of classes in terms of subjects and rigor based on what my school offers? Any advice on taking more classes or anything?


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3 answers

a year ago

Your courses seem good, but make sure to think about these things:

1. Course rigor is different for every applicant and every school. It’s good you’re taking some APs, but if other students take a lot more at your school, that would look bad.

2. Secondly, make sure to keep your gpa high. Don’t overload your courses and let your gpa suffer. But, at the same time, don’t take super easy classes for a perfect gpa.

3. Make sure to take classes that interest you. Focus on those, and find things you enjoy and excel at.

Hope this helps!

a year ago[edited]

It sounds like you've taken a good mix of courses and maintained a rigorous enough schedule that you can reasonably apply to some elite schools (though maybe a few less AP classes than would be optimal). It also seems like you've oriented your schedule towards what you want to study—which is also good. I wouldn't worry too much about the fewer AP classes because you are taking the ones that immediately apply to your areas of interest.

As a piece of advice beyond this though, if you're proficient/fluent in Spanish and want to be an English major, I might consider making your bilingualism a substantial part of your application (or even consider Comparative Literature as a major as well). Being able to read complex literature in another language is a really valued skill by English programs (e.g. most English PhD students are required to be able to read at least 2 other languages before receiving their degree), and that kind of framing could give you a bit of a more rarefied niche for very competitive schools.

a year ago

So for classes only I think you are in good shape but ivies are ivies but elite schools like U Wisconsin will likely admit you and other elite schools like U Chicago and Northwestern you probably have a better than normal chance and elite schools will disregard a B if other parts are up to snuff. Your rigor is phenomenal just make sure the credit transfers and you should be good of course only with GPA


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