a month ago
Admissions Advice

AP advice for an upcoming sophomore

hello! i’m currently a freshman, but I’m building my schedule and trying to decide what I want to do for sophomore year, here’s my academic/ extracurricular plan. please let me know if you would consider this an average or above average class selection/ extracurriculars, and if I would be on track to get into a good college. I’m not entirely sure what I want to study yet, but I just want to do well in high school, so I’m pretty much wondering if what i want to do would look good in the eyes of a college admissions officer.


AP Lang

AP Environmental Sciences

Algebra II Honors

World History Honors

Student Gov.


Automotive Tech


Highschool Volleyball (J.V)

Club Volleyball

YMCA lifeguard

Student gov representative

National Honors Society (not sure about this one)

For reference these are my current classes and i also play club volleyball.

current classes as a freshman:

AP Human Geo

Chemistry Honors

Geometry H

English 10 H

Student gov

Spanish I

Freshman Studies/health

Any help is appreciated! thank you!

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@skellybriannaa month ago

Ah so youre a genius. Nice

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a month ago[edited]

If you're aiming for a top college (think T20/Ivy League) try to have around 3-4 if you think you can properly balance it.

For context, I'm currently a junior at a competitive high school and this is what I've taken so far:

- Freshman Year: Pre-AP English 1, Pre-AP Biology, Pre-AP Geometry, Pre-AP World History, Spanish 2 honors and a bunch of one semester electives such as hula (I live in hawai'i) beginning drawing, design, etc.

- Sophomore Year: AP World History, AP Seminar, Pre-AP Algebra 2, Pre-AP English 2, Pre-AP Chemistry, Spanish 3 honors, and other one semester electives.

- Junior Year: AP Language, AP Biology, AP US Government, AP Microeconomics, AP Research, Precalculus

- Senior Year (plan): AP Psychology, AP Physics, Biotechnology, Anatomy and Phys, AP Literature, AP Calculus AB and college classes

Extracurriculars (note: everything below unless written otherwise, I've been doing for at least 2 years)

- American Red Cross Club (President)

- Air Riflery (Captain)

- Tennis (Team Manager)

- Theater Tech (Mentor/Head)

- National Honor Society member - (Vice President)

- HOSA (Vice President)

- Best Buddies (President)

- Art with Heart (Head of Tech) (Director)

- Fundraising Committee (Chairperson, next yr.)

- Volunteer at ARC, Peer Tutoring biweekly, Theatrical Theater, Summer camp for special needs kids (2 summers), Hospital weekly weekend voluntering, Special Olympics (total of 500+ community service hours)

- Paid Medical Internship (this summer, 6 weeks)

- 2x Summer teaching assistant at my school's summer camp

- Currently hoping to get my AP research paper published

- Barns n Nobles part time bookseller (next yr.)

- Year-Round internship (next yr.)

My dream uni is currently Vanderbilt for pre-health :)

To quote the Vanderbilt Admissions Blog: "The well-rounded student vs. the well-angled student. Which does Vanderbilt prefer? Both! We need generalists and specialists in our class of 1,600. What really matters to us is that you love what you’re doing. Passion is hard to fake. If you’re just choosing activities to fill a resume, it shows. Stop worrying about what each admissions counselor personally likes; what do you love to do? You don’t have to be an all-star in the activity either. Being a happy participant is fine with us." and my favorite: "Depth over breadth. When we say that we like our students to be actively involved, that does not mean that we expect you to sign up for every single club and organization at your school for the sake of beefing up your resume. We would much rather see a genuine commitment to one or a few activities than a student who has spread himself so thinly that he cannot significantly contribute to anything at all."

I recommend doing something similar with extracurriculars that are unique. (YMCA lifeguard sounds awesome! Congrats!!). I would also try to incorporate community service activities too, but make sure it's something that you're super passionate about and that you wouldn't mind continuing even after you submit college apps. Commitment is a big thing too, if you have been doing an activity for awhile it looks great. According to the seniors at my school, they say that paid jobs look really good too, especially if it's related to your intended major (summer jobs count too!). Towards sophomore year I would work to get leadership positions in clubs (good job with student gov!). One of the harvard-bound seniors at my school is an ambassador for preserving native culture, and a dartmouth-bound senior has had a native agriculture internship for two years. Honestly, even if you don't know what you want to do yet, just try out something that sounds pretty fun. My partner just realized this year that he wants to go into architecture, so he's been volunteering with Habitat for Humanity but his other extracurriculars are just things that he was interested in (vars. tennis, vars. riflery, vars. paddling, etc) and plans to apply for an internship this summer. On that note, look for summer internships (paid ones look amazing!)

Honestly, you got this. Keep finding things that peak your interest. Remember that top colleges look at your course selection within the context of your high school (ex. if hs A offers 12 ap's and a student takes 6 is looked at differently than a student from hs B that offers 6 and took 6, even if student b took less ap classes).

Please let me know if you have any questions!! I'll be happy to answer. :)

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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