a year ago
Admissions Advice

How do I "grade" my classes accordingly to the U.S classes?

I am an international student from Brazil trying to apply with Common App.

The problem is: while applying, the site asks for "Course level" (something that I don't know how to put my classes in.) What happens is that in Brazil, we don't have what seems to be "AP classes" or "IB classes".

I study in a sort of "high level" public school, where we have to take tests to be accepted and we end up our four years long high school (99,999% of high schools here last only 3 years), but at the end, we receive the technician diploma (in my case, in electro electronics).

Some examples of classes I take/took: Are electric Circuits 1 and 2, Digital Eletrônics 1 and 2, Technical Drawing, Electric Measurements, Pratics in Electroeletronics, and normal high school classes: Portuguese, biology, math, physics, etc.

The thing is, I don't know how to classify my classes... are they standard? Do my technic classes count as an advanced or something type of class? Can the level of the usual classes be considered higher because of it difficulty of the school?

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Accepted Answer
a year ago

AP and IB coursework are specific classes offered by the International Baccalaureate Program and the College Board of America administers the course-work for Advanced Placement courses and exams. Therefore, you can not state on your Common App application that you took any AP or IBs.

Although your particular high school doesn't offer such courses, I should clarify that AP and IB courses are available at many PRIVATE Brazilian high schools. And this is the case around the world. Many wealthy families send their kids to Private day or boarding schools where these sorts of classes are more common than you think.

In your Common Application, I would not worry about re-classifying your coursework because most college admissions application readers are comparing you to other Brazilians applying to the same colleges from your school or nearby State schools. They are not comparing your application to say someone from Chile or Argentina. But if you live in Rio or SP, they are comparing your application to other Cariocas or Paulistas, if that makes any sense. So it's best to leave your transcript alone and ask your school counselor to make sure they submit a school profile so the application readers understand the grading scale and the kinds of courses offered by your school.

In general, most classes that high schools take are standard. If you take Linear Algebra, Multi-variable Calculus, Physics C (Magnetism), Real Analysis, or Discrete Math, that is usually a college-level topic.

If you are applying to technical colleges or engineering colleges in the US, they will know what your technical classes are so I wouldn't worry about re-classifying them

Good luck.

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