Do you need honor classes every year to get into a good college?
Hi! I'm going to be a sophomore in high school and I've been pretty upset with my classes. 9th grade I didn't have any honor classes, and 10th grade I only have a couple honor classes which are classes like art honors. I feel like art honors isn't very important and I feel like its not really a honor class at all. I also have geometry honors and Science Research, but that's really it. I feel super upset because I feel like i could have done better freshmen year in order to get more honor classes. I plan on working super hard sophomore year and getting all honor and ap classes for junior and senior year. I'm not sure if that would be enough to get into a competitive good college like john hopkins or ucla. Do you really need all your classes to be honors and AP every year of high school in order to get into a good college? I know classes arent the only thing that are looked at, but they are dang important. Please let me know.
So by good college I mean you are talking about selective schools who need to be a competitive applicant for. University of Kansas and University of Kentucky are both very good school and they have >90% admit rate. So selective doesn’t equal good just wanted to make sure you know this.
Also for 9th and 10th grade rigorous classes such as IB AP Honors are are recommended for selective school and the more selective it is the more recommended it is. For your question constant rigorous classes are not needed but a significant portion is.*
Another frequent forum visited @crsgo said 2/3 of all available AP classes should be taken. If you are studying Spanish as a foriegn language no body expect you to take the French AP class for example. And if you are going into STEM AP Art and music are totally unnecessary. Also graduation requirements take priority over rigor and my school requires a gym class but there’s no gym AP class so it’s fine if you sacrifice some APs for graduation requirements you just need to challenge yourself. So as for taking all honors and AP junior and senior year that’s impressive but totally unnecessary I’d recommend upwards of 5 classes be Honors AP or IB using my 7 period schedule. In junior and senior year and try to have 3 Honors AP IB in your first 2 years and you should be in a very good spot rigor wise.
* If your schools offers 7 AP classes and you took 5 you are in good shape but if your schools offers 20+ and you take 5 that makes it very very difficult to get into ultra selective schools like JHU and UCLA.
the way that course rigor works is that the classes you took are evaluated against what you could have taken. if your school doesn’t offer many honors classes for freshman and sophomores then you taking most regular classes is not as bad. that being said, if you could have taken ap/honors courses in your first or second year of hs and didn’t, then it will reflect badly on you. for T20 colleges like JHU and UCLA you need to be top of your game with rigor, which is as many ap and honors classes as possible, however many that is depends on your school’s curriculum. context is very important here. so if science research and art/geometry honors are the only honors classes sophomores could take, the you would be fine, but if there were other classes like english or social studies honors, or music honors, language honors, whatever, that you didn’t take… then you’d be in trouble since your course load rigor would be weak.
Well, it depends. So yes it is important to take honors and APs, the more the better. That being said, another factor that’s very important is context. So let’s say you take double the amount of honors anyone else at your school takes. But you still only take a few. This will still look really good because you are challenging yourself more than others at your school.
For instance, at my school almost no one takes any honors or APs. They are open to anyone, but most choose not to. When I graduate I will have taken every honors and AP class at my school. Way more than anyone else. But that’s only about 2/3 of my classes. The rest are not offered in honors.
That brings me to my second point. If your school doesn’t offer many honors, then you won’t be expected to do more than that.
Finally, gpa is also crucial. So if you take only a few honors and APs but get all As, that will still look excellent. So, while the more the better, it won’t kill your chances if you don’t have a ton.