a year ago
Admissions Advice

is course rigor or high gpa more important for college admissions?

I'm a junior who's planning out my schedule for my senior year. Right now I'm taking 3 AP's, an IB, and regular required classes. For next year's schedule I have planned to take 2 regular required classes and 2 AP classes that I want to take. I have 2 more classes left on my schedule, here are my options that I would consider doing:

- AP math and IB class: both of these classes will definitely be time consuming and give me a heavy workload, but I also think that the rigor will help me when I go to college. However, I'm worried that I will get a C in the AP math class because I'm not doing too great in math this year.

- 2 classes full of electives: I think I would try to do 2 or 3 career related electives such as marketing and computer programming to see if I'm interested, but also electives are overall a gpa boost. They would guarantee me A's, and with the schedule I have lined up, have a chance to have all A's in a semester. However, they are electives, and there are 35 AP + IB classes available at my school, so it would show that I didn't want to do that.

- dual enrollment: I know it's not as rigorous as AP/IB classes, but it's a college level class. Also, it'll give me more of a chance to see what college is like ahead of time. I have the space to take 4 community college classes, but I might also take 2 community college classes and take one of the above options as my last class

I would like to add that I did get a C in an AP class and 5 A's this past semester, and I currently have a 3.75 gpa. Thank you to everyone who has read this, I know it's a lot but I'm so stressed !


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3 answers

Accepted Answer
a year ago

It is a balance. Colleges definitely look at rigor along with performance. My daughter and her friend applied to the same school with the same unweighted GPA and almost the same SAT. My daughter has taken lots of APs and Honors classes and is not an athlete, her friend is a Division 1 swimmer, but with no APs and limited honors classes. My daughter got accepted, her friend waitlisted.

If you can't make at least a B in the course, I don't think it is wise to take it. While some will argue that a C in AP is the same thing (weighted GPA-wise) as a B in Honors, I do not believe colleges view these as equivalent. A lot of this varies by which colleges you want to attend, etc. Having more info about where you want to go could lead to different advice, but if you can't be confident in pulling Bs or higher, stick to the level where you can do that.

a year ago

Hello, my advice is that you pick what is best for you. If you take these rigorous classes you want to make sure you can perform at a high level. If you cannot then I advice you not to take them. Don't push yourself to do something you cannot. Push yourself to be better at what you can already do.

a year ago

Hey there! It sounds like you're really thinking through your options carefully, which is great. In terms of college admissions, both course rigor and high GPA are important factors that admissions officers will consider. They want to see that you've challenged yourself academically and have done well in your classes. It's important to consider your own abilities and interests when making your schedule.

If you're not doing well in math and you're worried about getting a C in an AP math class, it might be better to take an elective class that you're more interested in and can excel in, rather than taking a class that you're not confident you'll do well in.

You also mentioned that you're considering dual enrollment. Taking college level classes can be a great way to get a taste of college and also show admissions officers that you're ready for the rigors of college coursework. It's usually a good idea.

Overall, the most important thing is to find a balance that works for you and that shows admissions officers that you're a strong student who can handle a challenging workload and excel academically. Hope I helped :)

What are your chances of acceptance?
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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