2 years ago
Admissions Advice

My school doesn't offer AP/IB/Honors classes; how will this affect me in the long run?

I study outside the USA. I'm finishing my 11th Grade. My school itself is very advanced in that it's a specialized science high school---all of its classes are more advanced than a "regular" high school. Students from my institution (apparently) usually breeze through college because we've already tackled the topics before.

I have no idea if my classes count as honors classes or whatever. Allegedly, our classes are supposed to ALL be International Baccalaureate standard but we just aren't registered with IB, so we can't write it off like that. We have no AP classes at all. (I can, however, take an AP exam in the institution where I studied for elementary [1st-6th Grade over here] since their high school campus offers AP classes like Biology and English. Unfortunately, I hear AP exams are expensive. I can't afford to spend like a hundred USD for AP exams. Our country is already a third-world country as it is.)

For the most part, we can't pick our classes, either. Everyone in one year level (from 7th to 10th Grade) takes the same classes. For 11th and 12th Grade, we pick a science to focus on (Physics, Chemistry, Biology; we can pick Level 1 or Level 2 for it, except for Biology, which is Level 2 by default), an elective to take (the aforementioned sciences, Computer Science, Agriculture, Technology, Engineering; the latter subjects do not have levels), and a level of math (Level 1 or Level 2) to study. For 11th and 12th Grade as well, aside from those STEM classes, we have to take classes for our national language, English classes, Social Science classes, and Research classes.

(I apologize for the very detailed description of my classes; I believe I just need to provide as much context as possible to make my background clear.)

I've also heard from alumni/12th graders at my school that unis look at our applications as if they were from a regular high school, so they don't recognize that all of our classes are already more "accelerated" or "intensive" in itself. How will this affect my applications to unis in the USA? Thanks in advance :)

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3 answers

Accepted Answer
2 years ago

This should not affect you too much, since colleges will receive a school report from your guidance counselor that will explain the rigor of your school's academics. Universities will also have experience in evaluating applicants from your country.

Still, there is a chance that your guidance counselor's report will not fully communicate the extent of your academic rigor. I recommend doing two things to prevent this: explaining how your course load is comparable to an AP/IB curriculum in the Additional Information section and taking the SAT/ACT. Hope this helps!

2 years ago

heyyy so colleges will definetly take a look at what classes are offered in your school. if you have an abundance of honors/ap classes at your school but you choose not to take them, that will definitely hurt you. but if you do not have any ap/honors at your school then it wont count against you. colleges receive the classes that you could have chosen from.

2 years ago

If you are planning to apply with the common app, the counselor recommendation form allows them to make comments on your academic course rigor in comparison to other students. So if you haven't done any advanced classes and your school doesn't offer them, then it shouldn't affect you too much.

If you are applying to top US universities, your chances may be lowered because you'll be dealing with students who take IB/AP exams and are in programs better understood by US universities. If you get a high score on the SAT/ACT, you should submit it even if the college is 'test-optional.' This will add some of your credibility in terms of the US system.

Just do your best in what your school offers, and make sure you have a strong extracurricular profile. Good luck!

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


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

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