16 days ago
Admissions Advice

Should I really take these hard classes senior year?

A few days ago I met with my counselor for finalize my senior year classes and I signed up for easier classes and more classes that I'm actually interested because it's my last year. She said that she was concerned in my class choices because she doesn't want colleges to look at the fact that I'm taking a lot less rigorous classes and think I've decided to take a lazy senior year. For background info, outside of automatic CP electives and gym, I've taken all honors classes. This year I went a step higher and took 2 AP classes. The thing is, one of them was AP psych, which is something I'm interested in doing in college which is why I took it. I got a B in that and APUSH last semester along with a few other classes so my unweighted GPA went down from 3.62 to 3.58. Of course my weighted went up.

The issue is I kind of wanted to take easier classes next year to help bring my unweighted GPA back up. To help, I was going to take CP precalc because math is already my worst subject, but I took honors math all my other years, so I could see her concern there. I would have changed my mind to take honors but she said they got rid of honors because they were teaching the exact same thing in AP, so I agreed to sign up for it. She also recommended I take AP Lang instead of honors English because I intend to major in psychology in college as well as to increase my course rigor. I hear that's a really hard class though, so I'm scared but I agreed to change to that. I'm taming honors microbio as well, but I wanted to take band considering I haven't been able to do it all my other years because of other classes. I agreed because we said I can level change down next year if I decide I really can't take it, but I'm really unsure. Would it be right to risk my GPA over the class rigor? I let her talk me into taking these hard classes but I'm not sure if I really should keep it this way. I have until next week to talk to her again and change it before next year.

@Jael_S23816 days ago

Before I answer, can you please tell me what colleges you are interested in?

[🎤 AUTHOR]@Marihi16 days ago

Sure. My top choice is UIUC because I'm in state, so I could afford it. Other than that, some UC schools, UW Madison, Loyola, and DePaul. Other than those, some less competitive Illinois schools that I could pay for. There's a few more selective schools that I'm looking at, but only if I get the scholarship connected to them. The scholarship is less centered on grades and more on character. I want some selective schools but I'm not expecting to get in because my grades and GPA aren't the best.

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Accepted Answer
16 days ago

I've been there before with having to choose between course rigor and my interest in certain subjects. Here's my experience so far:

I talked to my counselor about starting a personalized pathway during my Junior year. This would allow me to waive art and gym credits, so that I can pursue subjects that I'm passionate about/see myself getting into. My counselor told me the same thing about seeing the concern in taking easier courses, but here's the truth: how much can you take?

Being a senior this year, I would've taken both College English and College Calculus, but dropped CC to pursue Environmental Education on top of taking Environmental Science 2. This class wasn't as difficult as math, but provided its own challenges. The reason why I changed it was because 1) I enjoy environmental studies, 2) I love this teacher, and 3) it makes a great recommendation letter + essay when you choose your interests over your academics.

Other than that, I think it's awesome that you already see yourself being in Psychology! Say that you complete courses recommended as prerequisite to psychology, share more about your passions towards psychology with your English teacher, and talk to your counselor more about your goals in the future. There are also great benefits to choosing courses with lighter workloads - say that you participate in academic competitions, leadership positions, or join clubs afterschool. There's so much freedom in choosing easier classes and there's nothing wrong with that. If you're driven to pursue psychology, take what you got. Unless you still need to fulfill precalc as a prereq to graduating on time.

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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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