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Shoud I take 4 years of a language in highschool or will 3 years in middle school be enough?


I took French for 3 years in middle school and am planning on taking Spanish for 2 years in highschool. Would that look good on applications?


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Accepted answer

The best transcript has 4 years of 1 language on it so if you are taking Spanish in HS, take Spanish 1,2,3,4 or AP Spanish. Or just take French 4 and AP French and be done with it. Having 3 and 2 is not the same 4 of 1 language and possibly taking the AP in that Language IMO.

This is what a college like Harvard would like to see.

Then the next best would be to take 3 years of 1 language. This is what most Ivys and Elite college would like to see. (so you are on track for that).

If you are applying primarily to Top 50 - 100 schools or Large public universities like UC Schools, then 2 years of a language is acceptable, 3 preferred.

When you are planning out the rest of your curriculum remember that you are striving for (5) 4s which is 4 English, 4 Math, 4 Science, 4 History, 4 Language (if Harvard is your goal).

Hope that is helpful and good luck with the rest of your high school career.

(The suggestions in the comments are all valid)

Even with the UCs, for colleges like Berkeley and UCLA, its best to follow the 3 year recommendation.
Honestly I doubt that the 5 4s is a good idea. I’d say absolutely that 4 years of math and English are good idea but as a STEM major you really only need 2-3 years of social studies and besides Harvard no other American school recommends 4 years of language while if you are applying as a History Major more History is better you can sacrifice one science for example so it’s kinda major specific but for elite schools I’d say the best is 4 Math 4 English 3-4 Lab science ie non social science 3 SS
And 3 language. Hope this helps.
There’s nothing wrong with 5 4s but it isn’t needed and you also need HS grad requirements and interest based classes too. Hope this helps and please comment if you need clarification as I’d be happy to help clarify!