Higher GPA or Harder Courses?

The question that parents and students most often ask me is, “which is better: getting a higher GPA or harder courses?”

The humorous, accurate, but not always helpful response is: “Take the hardest course you can and get an ‘A’ in it.”

Here’s the scoop: this is not an easy question to answer categorically. In truth, it all depends on the student. Every student should take the most challenging courses he or she can perform well in. Colleges seek students who push themselves. They want students to delve into their intellectual interests and who love to learn. Honors courses are an indicator of intellectual drive and curiosity.

But it does no good to take a slew of AP courses and get a “C” or “D” in each. Further, anyone who takes an AP course should set his or her sights on taking the AP exam. You need to pass the exam–not the teacher’s tests–to get the true credit for taking a high-quality AP course.

Parents also ask about how GPAs are then calculated for honors, AP, and IB courses. Generally, grades are weighted to give “extra credit” in the GPA for these tougher courses. But that does not mean that a “B” in an honors course is the equivalent of an “A” in a regular college prep course. (For more on weighted vs. unweighted GPAs, see my post here). The fact is that an “A” is an “A” and indicates exemplary work, while a “B” is a “B” and indicates good wook.

Which is Better?

So how to answer question? It depends on your child. If he or she is capable of honors-level work, by all means, enroll in those courses.

The worst thing a student can do, however, is to be enrolled in honors courses through sophomore or junior year, and then take easier courses in order to boost a GPA. This always backfires, as admissions officers want to see upward trends in both the GPA and the rigor of the academic program.

The fact is, you cannot hoodwink an admissions officer into seeing only a higher GPA. Admissions professionals are well-trained to identify the story behind the transcript.  To that end, you might like to hear how a director of admissions handles the question of “harder courses or higher GPA.”

Mark Montgomery
Montgomery Educational Consulting

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Published by Mark Montgomery

Mark is a leading educational consultant. His experience as a professor, college administrator, and youth mentor help him guide students from around the country and around the world.

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103 Comments

  1. Hello, Savan.
    I’m not sure what you’re asking. In most AP courses, students receive a grade (expressed as a percentage or on a 4.0 scale, or some other scale), and then also take an exam that is graded on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the best. As with everything in this business, we have to compare oranges to oranges.
    Thanks for visiting.

  2. The college admissions process is by no means easy and formulaic. As a teen and prospective applicant to a number of competitive schools, I know that my transcript will be an essential component of my overall application.

    The blog I contribute to, Radical Parenting, has some advice for college applicants and the admissions process.

  3. I’m a high school junior who is about to become a senior. I’m looking at a variety of colleges, New York, Boston University, Boston College, Dartmouth, Villanova, UCSD, Cornell, Brown, John Hopkins, ect.
    My grades from my sophmore year to my junior year have all been A’s and B’s, I’ve taken 2 Ap Classes ( Apush and Psych) in my Junior year, and have been an Honors English Student since the seventh grade. However, my GPA is a measley 3.3 so far. My SAT score was somewhat high, a 2130 along with a 780 in mandarin subject test and a 760 in U.S History. I plan to take 3 Aps course my senior year and to take the Math 2 Subject test. I’m also a Varsity Basketball player and piano player for the past 12 years.
    Do you think the colleges that I have listed are reasonable? Do you think that I am more than just my GPA?

  4. Hello, Louis, and thanks for your question. Of course you are more than just your GPA! It sounds like you have a lot going for you. That said, you are considering applying to some very competitive colleges. The fact that you play basketball is great; however, if you are not being recruited for the Division 1 teams you have listed, then your sport will mean less in the admissions process than it will for those who are recruited. Your test scores are excellent. And your musical abilities will be taken into account. But it is also a fact that the transcript is the single-most important factor in the admissions process. Colleges will be looking at the rigor of your curriculum: you will have 5 AP classes total, while some of your competitors will have eight or ten or more. Your performance will also be considered; while a 3.3 is respectable and probably not an indicator of your abilities, it is not as high as what many of your competitors will have.

    I do not want to get into the business of prognosticating your personal chances of being admitted, as there is much I do not know about you. Other factors will come into play, including where you live, your family background, financial considerations, your ethnicity, the sort of school you attend, and more. If you were my client, I would want to learn much more about you before I could help you determine whether the colleges on your list made sense.

    Give me a holler if you’d like me to take a look at your entire picture and help you build a list of colleges that you’d find challenging and fun and that would likely be thrilled to have you in their applicant pool.

    Best of luck!

  5. There is a “fast track” in math which enables a student to take Calculus 2 in his or her senior year of high school. If looking for a high ranked college to attend (not necessarily top 10), which is recommended, an A in Honors and AP math classes ending at Cal 1 in the senior year or a B/B+ throughout this faster math track ending with AP Cal 2 in the senior year? Of course, I do realize that all other grades and classes are important factor, but if we’re looking at the math track alone, what guidance do you have?

  6. Hello. I think your question is a great one, but it’s not one I can really answer without plenty more information. One thought, however, is that math is not a race. My sons have repeatedly been asked to push forward in math because their grades are good enough to qualify them for a faster track. But my boys do not really love math, and they tend to do better at a somewhat slower pace. Some parents (and certain teachers) have been surprised that I have “held them back.” But I would prefer that they be successful and that they enjoy math, rather than push them hard to the point where they feel they are not succeeding. So that’s what my own family’s calculation has been. But your son or daughter may look at math in a completely different light. I don’t think the answer to your question is found in thinking about college admissions. Rather, it is in the consideration of who your kid is and whether they really prefer to push ahead as fast and hard as possible, or whether they would prefer to continue at a slower pace. It’s a preference, not a strategy.
    Hope that helps.

  7. I am getting a B- in a honors math course, and it has really pulled my GPA down. I get A’s in all other courses, all APs. However, the date has passed to drop the class, and if I do drop, there will be a big “W” on my college transcript for “withdrawal” which might not look good. On the other hand, if I were to transfer to the regular class, I could most likely get an A+ in math. In other words, staying on will drop my GPA from around 4.0 to 3.7. What should I do?

  8. Hello Mr. Montgomery,
    I realize that colleges will look at unweighted GPA as much as weighted (possible more); however, I was wondering how much weight they would give to a B (minus, to be exact) in an AP European History course if I earned an A first semester, as well as one in AP US History, and whether my higher grades in other semesters will give me some more leeway than if I had showed continual trouble in history.

    Thanks!
    Erica

  9. Hi, Erica. Colleges will look at your overall performance. They will also look at other aspects of your life beyond the classroom. Will a B- kill you? Not by itself. In order to put that B- in context, I’d need to know much more about you and your accomplishments. And that is what the applications are for; to give admissions people plenty of information about you so that they can look at the overall picture. How far that B- sticks out depends on everything else that surrounds it.
    Hope this is helpful. Good luck!

  10. Enyu,
    I cannot really advise you, as I don’t understand the full context of your decision. A “Big W” on your transcript may or may not make a difference. In fact, in some cases, a W might actually make you look better. But I can’t say that with any certainty in your specific case. Every decision has to be taken within its greater context. If you’d like to chat about it, connect with me at http://greatcollegeadvice.com/contact.
    Best regards!

  11. Mr. Montgomery, I am currently a high scholl junior with a weighted GPA of 4.1 and an un weighted of 3.73. I have only taken the ACT once with a score of 29. So far, i have taken a total of 7 AP classes (APUSH, AP American Gov, Comp Cov, AP Lang, AP Spanish Lang, AP Bio, and AP World) Although I have taken hard classes, and plan on five more next year, scholarship requirements make these classes feel pointless. Most scholarships at the schools I am looking at reqire at least a 3.75. Part of me really feels as if i need to either take easy classes next year to pull it off or beg the admission reps to overlook the .2 difference. What would you suggest?

    Thank you, Brittanie

  12. Brittanie,
    Don’t take the easier classes. Maybe you need to look at different schools? We can help you find a great education at a price you can afford. The more rigorous your courses and the better your performance, the more likely you will be to get good money for college. We helped students get tens of thousands of dollars in scholarship support this year. Perhaps we can help you. Give is a call if you like.
    Best regards.

  13. Hi,
    I am a sophomore in high school. I have always been in private school so there weren’t choices on whether to take regular or advanced. I always had above Bs, then in 8th grade I went into public school and have taken all the pre ap classes ever since. My lowest average I have gotten is an 80. This year I have 6 PreAP/AP classes. 2 of them are easy art and architecture and construction so you can say I just have 4. I just dropped out of AP history after a lot of thinking, will that affect me too much??

  14. Marijose,
    The answer to your question depends on the direction you are taking. Dropping a class or having an 80 average are not, in and of themselves, going to determine your future. They may have a bearing on which schools will consider you for admission: some will not. But that may not matter–I don’t know where you are thinking about going, what you are interested in studying, and what your potential professional trajectory might be. So I’d need to learn more about you before I could really answer the question. If you feel you’d like to get some professional advice as you go through this process, do give us a shout. We work with a lot of private school students, as well as public school students. Best of luck!

  15. Hello Mr. Montgomery.

    I am currently a junior in high school and I am able to get a 4.8 GPA this year if I have straight A’s, which I believe I will. However, the classes I’d like to take for Senior year will only get me a 4.6. I’m wondering if colleges prefer a higher GPA in junior year or senior year? Unless when we graduate, the GPA would be a cumulative of all my 4 years in high school and that’s the GPA colleges look at? I’m still quite unsure and I was hoping you’d be able to answer it. Thank you very much and have a nice day!

  16. Hi mark my gpa is a 2.92 almost a 3.0 and I am a senior I have taken 2 ap classes and I didnt to well in them but I passed. I also took spanish 2 and failed but I made it up in summer school. I was wondering will this left a negative effect for college admission offices and sway them away from me. Please Help!!!

  17. CJ,
    All depends on which colleges you are looking at. You have not mentioned your scores on the ACT or SAT–and those will be important for you. A low GPA is not a death sentence, but it is a measure of your high school performance. I can’t really say whether colleges will accept you or bypass you. But if you want a college education, you should be able to get one. You cannot ignore your academic record, and colleges won’t, either. But you don’t need to give up on your idea of getting a Bachelors degree. The path you choose from here on out will matter most. If you need help mapping out that plan, let us know; perhaps we can help.
    Good luck.

  18. i did miserable in freshman year i had overall gpa 3.2 i did ap bio this year
    sophomore year my gpa was 3.45
    in junior year i did ap chem and ap calc my overal gpa was 3.85
    now my senior year 1st marking period i am targeting staright A my sat score is 2000 my subject sat is math2 660 bio 660 math 1 800

    what kind of schools should i target i am concerned that with my low gpa even though a decent sat score i might be waisting my time applying to schools like villanova, carnegie mellon, bu, which had been my first choices i am also concerned that even northeastern might not be a reach please advise

  19. My 10th grade daughter is earning all A’s (Algebra 2, Honors English, Spanish 2, Chemistry) except for a D in her AP Euro History class. Should she drop at the semester? Will this one course hurt her college choices later?

  20. Hello. I think the answer to the question lies partly with the teacher: will your daughter face a D for the semester? Any D on transcript has the potential to “hurt her college choices” in one way or another. But it is not really the particular grade that I would be worried about. Rather, I’d want to know more about the reasons for her difficulties, and if this were a signal that other AP classes will be a stretch for her. Before I can really make a ruling on how this one grade would affect her future decisions, I’d need more information about the entire educational context in order to be helpful. We sometimes do hourly consultations on such issues, if you might be interested in assisting in making decisions about how to move forward. Thanks, and best wishes.

  21. Hello,

    Thank you for you inquiry. It is difficult for us to assess your chances for admission without viewing your entire profile. Colleges tend to look at everything, transcript, test scores, activities, recommendations, essays; however you transcript is going to be the most important factor. You should try to diversify the list of schools that you are applying to. Make sure you have a good number of safety and obtainable schools, along with two or three reach schools.

    Good luck!

    Katherine Price
    Educational Consultant

  22. Hi Camille,

    Colleges will mostly focus on your grades through your junior year. Your senior year grades may not be available to colleges when you apply, though some will ask for first quarter or mid-year grades, just to make sure you don’t have any severe changes in your grades.

    Hope that helps!

    Katherine Price
    Senior Associate
    Montgomery Educational Consulting

  23. What is the average age of college admission officers? I’m worry that there might be some generation disconnection between me and them

  24. Hello! The age of admissions officers can really vary. There are some admissions officers that are straight out of college and some that have been in the profession for twenty+ years. You will typically find that the “admission counselors” are entry level employees so typically a little younger whereas the deans or directors are seasoned professionals who have been in the field a long time. Hope that helps!-Cara

  25. I am in Honors English right now, but next year they are getting rid of it for 11th graders. It is either AP English or regular and I was wondering if it would look bad if I dropped down to regular. I am in AP US History now and getting an A easily but in English Honors I cannot get the A only B+. Also, I have a 4.3 GPA right now with all my honors and AP classes, but when I refigure it, it drops down to a 3.7. I was wondering if that is a bad GPA to have or if I should retake classes that I got a B in over the summer online to get the A?

  26. Hi! I am seriously stressing over my daughters academic career. She is a sophomore in a college preparatory charter high school. All of her classes are honors and on every report card she has made As & Bs and 1 C. She works hard to maintain those grades and when she talks to her friends at the public high school we live near they tell her she has too much homework and works too hard and they sometimes make better grades that she does with much less work. My question is.. is an honors class in this charter school equal to an honors class from a traditional public high school in the eyes of an admissions office? Will they care that she attended a college prep high school that is more rigorous than your standard high school?
    Thanks,
    Amy

  27. Hi, Amy.
    I understand your stress. However, the answer to your question is yes. Your daughter will receive more consideration for the rigor of her school and the rigor of the courses she has chosen. That said, she will be judged within her educational context. So if there are kids receiving A grades in the classes in which she is receiving a C, well, then she is going to be compared to her peers in some way. But she will not be compared head to head with friends at a different school.
    Hope that helps reduce the stress level a bit.

  28. Hello,
    I am a freshmen enrolled in one of the most prestigious Jesuit Highschools in the state. With that being said, I am not doing as well as I could be doing in all my classes. My 1st Semester grades were horrible, but 2nd semester I should be ending with only 1 or 2 C’s. i know that sounds really bad, seeing how competitive other prospective students are. I am not enrolled in any AP of Honors classes as of yet, but I am a Varisty Football player, I am in the Improv club, an ethnic club, play the trumpet, and drums and really wish to attend UCLA come fall 2016! Is there any advice you can give to a Freshmen already planning for college?

  29. My son’s high school doesn’t offer minus and plus grades. an A is 93-100 and a B is 85-92. He is receiving all As, but does it matter if his “A” is a “97” or a “93?” Will a college ever see the actual percentage he received and will they care?

  30. Hi Melissa,

    More than likely, your son’s high school will send out a High School Profile with his transcript. The profile should outline the details of the grading scale at the school. So, yes they will see it and hopefully they will care!

    Sincerely,
    Katherine Price
    Senior Associate
    Great College Advice

  31. Hi DeRon,

    It sounds like you are on the right track. Colleges will consider your grades, GPA, class rank, challenge of your curriculum and how challenging your high school is. I would say the most important college preparation that freshmen can do is to focus on your grades. They will be the most important part of your application.

    Good luck!

    Katherine Price
    Senior Associate

  32. I am currently a sophomore in high school right now. I have taken all honors and AP classes and track and field since freshman year. I am currently enrolled in Honors Algebra 2 and last semester I got an A. But this semester I have a B in that class. Math has never been my strong subject. I am thinking about taking regular Pre-Calc next year, not Honors Pre-cal. The rest of my schedule for junior year will be all Honors and AP, plus track. I was on the Honors path for math since freshman year. The colleges I wish to go to are highly selective (Columbia, UCLA, NYU). Will it look bad to colleges if I quit the Honors course for math? Is it better to get an A in regular math than a B in Honors math?

  33. I didnt take time to read all the comments, but personal experience has taught me that it depends more on whet college you go to. assuming you’re well above average and not looking at the extremely exclusive schools- If you’re looking for a privet school, go with tougher classes. They will look at that more. public school? try for a higher GPA. It will help more on scholarships.

  34. Hi!

    Next year will be my senior year of high school and so far my classes have been pretty rigorous; and I’m having a hard time deciding whether or not to take AP Spanish next year or give myself a break and stick to two AP classes and have a total of 4 by the end of high school.

    The only problem with that is, almost everybody in my classes will have taken at least 5 or 6 APs by that time, and I know that AP classes count for more than a normal course and I don’t want my ranking to decrease in my class.

    I had the opportunity to skip into AP Spanish this year, and I’m kind of kicking myself for not doing it, but I felt that AP Spanish along with AP U.S History and AP English would have been too much for me to handle, I figured out now that I could have handled it, but its far too late for that.

    I’m a straight A student and I haven’t gotten anything below a 90 in my years at high school. i just don’t know if taking AP Spanish is the right move for me, considering I don’t plan on studying Spanish any longer after High School (I plan on studying Japanese)

    My question is, if I DO drop it, will it drop my ranking and will I look like I didn’t do enough my senior year to colleges?

  35. Hello —

    My son is a junior at a Jesuit college preparatory school and has always taken at least 3-4 honors and ap classes. He has a 3.56 GPA. Upon registering for classes for his senior year, he did not get any of his first choices for classes but was able to secure at least 2 AP courses out of the 4 he requested. However, because of scheduling conflicts he has to choose between taking Percussion 4 and Spanish 5 Honors which is a difficult decision as he enjoys both so much. He already took AP Spanish this year and is getting an A and is awaiting his scores on the AP Spanish test. My questions are as follows:

    1. Does it make sense and do colleges look more positively to see 4 years of a language even though he already achieved the AP Spanish level class as a junior? Many folks are telling me because he already took AP Spanish that it counts as if he has 4 years of language (he took Honors Spanish 2 freshman year and Honors Spanish 3 sophomore year and just finished AP Spanish his junior year).

    2. Does it look better for him to have a 4th year of music and be able to be in a leadership role of drum line captain and forgo taking Spanish 5 Honors? Or does it look better to have the Spanish 5 honors class?

    Any advice is much appreciated.

    Thanks

  36. Hi Nolan,
    Even the public schools will consider the “rigor” of a student’s curriculum. Meaning, that you should take the hardest courses that you can handle. The University of California system weights the grades – so a student taking AP courses will have a higher GPA. So while I agree with you that you should try for the highest GPA possible, that also might mean you have to take some AP courses.

  37. Hello,

    Thank you so much for your question. It is obvious that you son was put in a predicament. Basically, I don’t think that either direction will make or break his college applications. You may want to call some of his first choice colleges and see what their opinions are on taking another year of Spanish after completing AP, but more than likely he will get credit for 4 years of Spanish, even if one of those years was completed in Jr. High. It also sounds drum line is a passion for him and colleges do want to see how students pursue their passions and achieve leadership positions. I also recommend that you son adds a paragraph in his applications explaining the scheduling conflicts that occurred which prevented from taking Spanish and the other AP courses.

    I hope that helps! If you need more guidance, please feel free to give us a call!

    Katherine Price
    Senior Associate

  38. Hi there,

    This is a difficult decision. Most colleges do want to see you take the most challenging curriculum available to you, but you need to also make sure that you will be academically successful. You also need to consider if you are applying to any colleges that recommend four years of a foreign language. You can find this information on college websites.

    If you wish to discuss the pros and cons of this decision further, please feel free to us a call: +1.720.279.7577

    Katherine Price
    Senior Associate

  39. Hi Jessica,

    We often say that the best course of action is go take the honors or AP class and get an A! Unfortunately, that is not always possible. It is best for you to choose a selection of courses that will give you a reasonable academic load. You want to be challenged, but you also want to make sure you have a life! If you want to talk further about the pros and cons of this decision, please feel free to give us a call at: +1.720.279.7577

    Katherine Price
    Senior Associate

  40. I am about to enter my senior year and I am concerned about getting into certain colleges like UCLA, UCSD, UC Berkeley, University of Rhode Island, Washington State University, and Boston University. My gpa unweighted is at a 3.31 and my weighted gpa is at a 4.2. The AP courses I took up to the end of my junior year were AP Eng Lang/Comp, AP Physics B, AP CS A, APUSH, and I plan on taking AP Calculus AB, AP US Government, AP Eng/Lit Comp, AP Chemistry, and AP Psychology. I have accumulated 100+ hours of community service at my school and have moderately been involved in certain clubs like NHS, Key Club, and performed tutoring for younger kids in the core subjects, including the violin which I have played for 7 years now, but not for senior year due to the focus of my core subjects. I have taken the ACT and got a 30, and took the SAT Subject Tests Math II and US History, pending my scores along with my AP scores. I only took two years of foreign language (Spanish), but I know some basic languages such as Russian, Hindi, and I dabble in ASL. I am wondering if these factors can get me into good colleges because my parents are highly concerned with my future education. I need some type of assurance that I am not wasting my time applying to the schools I typed here?

  41. John, thank you for your message. You sound like a very good student and are doing lots of wonderful things. The schools on your list are all competitive schools and are going to look at all the different aspects of your application including: grades, courses, GPA, test scores, essays, extracurriculars, recommendations, etc. Remember, it is important to have a good mix of schools on your list that includes schools you know are a good fit academically, socially, and admissions-wise. You also want to make sure you have at least one school on your list (that you love as much as your reach schools) that you know you are almost certain to be accepted to. I recommend looking at each individual college admissions website to see how you match up in terms of their requirements but remember, with holistic admissions you need a lot more than just to meet their averages. Without knowing more about you we can’t give you more specific information on your college search. However, if you are interested in seeking assistance with your college search and want to sign up for our services please contact us at +1.720.279.7577.

  42. Hello my son is going into this junior year, he has so fas taken 4 honor clasese and 3 ap clases one ap class he took in 9th grade and even though he got a B in the class he got a 2 on the ap exam. He has taken so far 3 ap classes and 4 honor classes his GPA is 3.9 and his PRE SAT score was 123. He is in the key club, dram club and is Red Belt in tae kwon do. He has only taken one year of language (AP spanish) and passed with a B, we haven’t received the exam score yet. However he was told by his counselor that he doesn’t need to take another year of spanish because he took the ap class and passed it. Is this correct and will colleges accept the 1 year of AP and credit him for 2 years of language.

  43. Hello,

    Colleges are looking for students who complete courses in the core subjects, including foreign language. I think it depends on the how competitive the colleges are that he wants to apply to. Many competitive schools want to see 4 years for a foreign language, some are fine with 2. I would call a few schools that he may be interested in order to learn more about their guidelines.

    Sincerely,
    Katherine Price
    Senior Associate

  44. Hello Courtney,

    Colleges do want to see that you have challenged yourself, but it is all about balance. If don’t feel you can successful in a course, then you should not take it, but a B+ is not an unsuccessful grade.

    Sincerely,
    Katherine Price
    Senior Asosciate

  45. Hi,
    I am a senior in high school and I just started taking an AP class last year (my junior year) . My AP class last year was AP Lang. I’m enrolled in AP Lit. now, but I’m considering leaving because I feel like I won’t do as good as last year and I don’t want to risk it since it’s my senior year. My question is will colleges not like that by just looking at my transcript, or will it not be that detrimental?

  46. Hi Shelisa, thanks for message. Colleges like to see that you are taking a challenging course load, even during your senior year. So, a lot of it depends on the rest of your course load. Unfortunately, without knowing what the rest of your schedule looks like this year, in conjunction with the rest of your high school transcript, I can’t tell you one way or another how it will look to a college. If you are interested in learning more about our services please feel free to give us a call at +1.720.279.7577.

  47. Hello… My freshman and sophomore year I took honors science English and history and now in my junior year I am taking no honors. My gpa is a 3.3 and I was wondering if that would have boosted it and colleges would have looked more at my gpa then the difficulty of my classes. My act is a 29 and my sat is a 1960 I was wondering if I could get into colleges such as Florida , fsu, Ohio , Michigan … Thanks

  48. Hi. I am going to be a senior in high school. I am a recent immigrant from China, so I came to here in late 2008. I have a 3.3 GPA, but all my class are AP and Honor. I took 6 AP classes for far. I got 3 in AP chemistry, 5 in AP chinese, 3 in AP art, 4 in AP English Language, 4 in AP US history and 3 in AP Biology. I am aiming for colleges like U of Michigan, U of Chicago, Boston U and Johns Hopkins. I have a 1850 in SAT, although my final goal score is about 2100. I play piano, guzheng (chinese instrument), I swim and I do art. I had won various competitions. Do you think I am competitive enough?

  49. Hello, Allison,
    It’s hard for me to gauge precisely whether you are competitive enough for the schools you list. They are, indeed, very competitive. You do not mention whether you need financial aid at any of those schools: do your parents have enough money to pay the full price of tuition at this school. If so, you are quite fortunate! We have something of a specialty in working with Chinese students, including recent Chinese immigrants (we have a sister company in China). I’d be happy to speak to you and your parents about how we might be able to help you get the best results in the admissions process. It is very complicated, and often even more so for Chinese and Chinese-Americans. Feel free to contact me through our contact page.
    Best regards,
    Mark

  50. Thank you for your reply. Yes. My parents do have money to pay for the tuition, so I don’t need to worry about financial aid. However, would financial aid affect my college admission? And is my GPA and grade enough to make me have a chance with those colleges?

  51. I am currently a sophmore in high school and I have a 4.0 unweighted and 4.7 weighted. I took APworld last year and passes with a 3. I am taking 4 AP classes this year. What else do I need to do to get a good GPA and score well on the SAT.

  52. Hey, I’m in 8th grade and I was wondering, would it look better if I took one year of advanced courses and get A’s B’s and maybe a couple of C’s or just stay regular and Get straight A’s maybe one or two b’s? Does it really impact what I do in 8th grade, in the future?

  53. Hello,

    Colleges will not see what you did in the 8th grade. The question is, which curriculum will help prepare your for success in high school?

    Sincerely,
    Katherine Price
    Senior Associate

  54. Hello,

    It sounds like you are going to have a challenging year ahead with 4AP classes. It also sounds like you already know what to do in order to obtain a good GPA. As for the SAT, the most important thing to do is practice. Figure out the best way for you to prepare. Do you need a tutor? Can you take practice tests on your own through a book or on-line? You should also plan on taking the test early, December or January. That way, you can receive your score and still have time to prepare in the areas you struggled with in order to take the test again in the spring. Finally, you should also consider SAT Subject tests. Many selective schools require SAT Subject Tests and you want to make sure you give yourself enough time to take them and the regular SAT.

    Katherine Price
    Senior Associate

  55. Hello Allison,

    It is difficult for us to assess your chances at any university without getting to know you and viewing your full profile: transcripts, essays, activities, etc. As Mark mentioned, we would be more than willing to discuss this with you. As for admissions and financial aid, your financial aid status only affects your admission status if you are applying to schools that are not need blind.

    Sincerely,
    Katherine Price
    Senior Associate

  56. Son took 5 AP classes, 4 AP tests and scored three 5s and one 4 in junior year. There was no AP test offered for AP Computer Science AB this year, so no test score, but he earned an A in the class. He also took honors Pre-Calculus and honors Physics. He got 87% in Pre Calculus and scored 750 on the SAT Math II subject test. He earned an A in Physics. So, it was a very rigorous junior year. 33 out of the 41 courses he has taken in high school are honors level or higher. Seven are AP. He has earned 50 high school credits at the end of junior year, when 52 are needed to graduate. He did this by taking 9 high school courses in middle school. He is also a National Merit Semifinalist.

    Unfortunately, what he does not have is a high class rank and GPA. Since middle school courses are not weighted as honors courses in his school district they bring down his rank from top 15% to top 25%. In addition, his high school tends to not give too many As. For instance although he has 5s on English Lang and Biology AP tests he got Bs for class grades. So, his unweighted GPA is only about 3.4. I was wondering how will this impact his chances of admission to colleges. Most people tell us that a GPA below 3.6 and rank below 10% will keep him from getting into good schools. Is this true?

  57. Hi Shaun,
    Colleges look at both your grades as well as the rigor of your courses when they assess you for admissions. They want to see you challenge yourself with courses but not at the expense of doing poorly in those more demanding classes. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to say whether or not you might get admitted into some of the schools that you mentioned as we’d need much more information about you. While test scores, GPA, and course load are important, they are far from the whole story.

  58. Congratulations to your son for his fine performance in high school! It sounds as if he has really challenged himself and done well. While GPA and class rank are very important criteria for admissions assessment, they are not the only ones. Schools try to look at students holistically, and this means that they will consider, among other things, the level of course rigor, the difficulty of the high school, awards the student has received, extra-curricular activities, strength of recommendations, and the personal qualities of the student that shine through on the college application. It is not strictly about GPA and rank.

    I suggest checking to see if your high school actually calculates the middle school grades into the GPA. Even though your son took high school level courses in middle school, many high schools will only note the grades on the transcript but will not make them part of the GPA equation. Most colleges are not that interested in the grades that a student got in junior high, anyway, as they recognize that in those early years, students may not display their academic potential.

    Best of luck to you and your son, and please give us a call if we can help guide you further in your son’s quest for college!

  59. Hey this is Jacob Jones,

    I am in 8th grade going to high school and I am told to choose 2 advanced classes because i want to participate in sports. This year I have made all As for every class and I can only choose between world history, biology, or calculous. I have an intrest in math and history but I know that to have an advanced science class would be a good thing because of the recent jobs avaliable. I am worried that I might be overwellmed with the advanced math. I would like your oppinian on what i should do.

  60. Hi Jacob,
    I always advise students to challenge themselves in the subjects that they most enjoy/in which they are strongest. Given your interests, I think the choices of math and history are good ones. As far as science, most of the jobs you’re referring to require a college degree, so unless you have a strong desire to study science in college, I’d stick with the subjects you’re more interseted in.

    I hope that helps.

  61. Hi,
    I’m a sophomore in high school right now and I’m taking AP World this year. However, for next year, I was thinking about taking honors for history instead of AP because I’m not really interested in history and I am taking two other AP classes (AP Chem and AP Lang). But I’m worried that taking only two APs for junior year is not enough and that dropping from AP to honors will look bad to colleges. I have also heard that AP US is a lot easier than AP World. What should I do?

  62. Hi Natasha,
    I can’t really advise you specifically on your situation, since I’d need to know much more about the courses that you have taken and your high school course offerings overall. What I can say is that everybody is different in what kind of course load they can handle, and if it seems as though 3 APs might be a little much for you, then you shouldn’t take the 3 APs. This is especially true if the subject matter doesn’t appeal to you. You definitely don’t want to compromise your performance in your other classes by over-extending yourself. On the other hand, if you think that you can manage the demands of 3 APs and will get something out of AP US History, then you may want to take the extra AP. Colleges do like to see you challenge yourself when it makes sense to do so. Good luck with your decision! If we can be of further assistance, please let us know.

    Andrea Aronson

  63. Hey,

    I am going to be a sophomore in high school very soon. In freshman year, I took 4 honors subjects, and did okay in them. My unweighted gpa for the year was 3.53 and my weighted was 3.73. I have been hearing that colleges do not value your weighted gpa. I was wondering since my weighted gpa is under a 4.0, will colleges still look at my unweighted gpa. This would be unfair as I have taken on the hardest courses in freshman year and the colleges are not going to look at the amount of hard work that I did. I am trying to get in to a medical school to major in cardiology. I would really like to know if the college will take my 3.53 gpa or 3.73 gpa into the factor for admissions.

    Thank You

  64. Hey to you!
    The fact is that your GPA of both types will be considered, but in different ways. The weighted GPA helps admissions offices to understand where you fit in the general pecking order within your school. By taking a harder courses, you get a little extra bump in your GPA, which also tells the admissions officer that you are challenging yourself academically. Admissions offices like students who challenge themselves.

    However, the unweighted GPA tells us that you do have a mix of A’s and B’s. There are students at your school, presumably, that are getting all A’s in all honors courses, and therefore will have a 4.0 unweighted and a 4.0+ weighted GPA.

    I realize that you think this is unfair. well, I hate to tell you, this admissions process not only is unfair, but it’s also quite subjective.

    The one good thing is that colleges take your precise GPA with a grain of salt. They will eyeball you and see that you are an A/B students taking rigorous courses. They will see that you are challenging yourself, but they will also see that there are students at your school who perform better than you. You are “hard work” is quite admirable, but grades reflect performance not the amount of sweat that went into that performance.

    I would advise you to stop worrying about whether colleges will look at your waiter unweighted GPA. The fact is, they will look at both. So you would be better off trying to raise both by getting more A’s next year and fewer B’s

    Thanks for writing in, and I hope you found this somewhat helpful – – even if a bit dissatisfying. Good luck!

    Mark

  65. Hey,
    I’m a high school freshman and I was wondering if CP classes weighed differently towards your GPA than regular classes.

    Thanks!

    Patience

  66. Hi, Patience,
    This depends entirely on the policies of your school. You should talk to your guidance department for an answer to that one.
    Thanks for writing in!
    Mark

  67. My child goes to a catholic school. The school has mandated religion as a compulsory elective for all the four years of high school. This would mean that compared to other secular schools, a student of the catholic school would have less chance to take electives that can demonstrate the child’s interest to the admissions officer.

    How will this impact the child’s chances in college admissions compared to students from other schools, since the interest of the child is to do college degree in an area related to science. The subject is part of the child’s overall GPA.

    How do non-religious colleges/universities that are secular, compare students from catholic schools and secular schools, for admissions ?

    Thanks

  68. Hi. Thanks for writing in. No one is excluded in the admissions process for having attended a religious school. There is no penalty for this choice. It is also nearly impossible to compare how schools fare, one against the other, because schools are not evaluated for admission: kids are. What matters is what your child does within the context in which he or she is educated. How does she or he use his time, both in and out of the classroom, to seek challenges and excel. With regard to the GPA, the religion courses will be evaluated with other nonacademic courses like gym and keyboarding, unless they are more substantive “religious studies” or comparative religions.
    I hope this is helpful.
    Cheers.
    Mark

  69. Hi I am a sophomore and I am taking H Physics H Pre Cal Ap Euro H English and Pe 10. I struggle in Honors Pre Cal because my teacher doent teach it well any tips to get a B or higher

  70. Hi. If you are struggling in pre-calculus, your best bet is to begin by talking to your teacher for tips. Even if your teacher is not all that great, he or she should be able to give you some ideas about how to improve your performance. If that doesn’t work, you might also talk to the chair of the math department at your school for more tips. And then you should consider getting a private tutor, if possible. There are also lots of online resources, perhaps the best of which is Khan Academy at http://khanacademy.org . Check out their offerings for pre-calc!
    Best,
    Mark

  71. Hello, I’m currently a juinor in high school. I am taking AP Physics, AP Lit, AP Human Geography, and AP Economics in my first semester. The problem with this is that AP Human Geo and AP Econ are a semester long. This means in my first semester I would have taken 4 AP classes while in my second semester I will only be taking two. Will this look really bad if I want to apply to good colleges? Originally most students take human geo one semester and econ the next semester, but since I’m taking a two hour block class -one that will make me able to become a CNA- it didn’t fit into my schedule. Should I drop the class and take another AP class and a regular class? There’s not much semester long AP classes at my school.

  72. Maxa,
    Stop sweating. You can’t change schools, and you can’t dictate the class schedule. You have selected courses that presumably interest you. The good thing is that you have two AP classes in the first semester, so you’ll have grades for those when you apply in the regular decision round. And because the classes are hard, admissions folks will look kindly upon your good work and rigorous schedule. If you are concerned that the second semester looks light, just add a sentence or two in the “other information” section of the Common App and explain that the imbalance is due to scheduling conflicts at your school. End of story.
    Now just focus doing well in the courses you are taking!
    Good luck,
    Mark

  73. Hi,
    I’m currently a sophmore in highschool and go to a very rigorous school that is in the top 60 schools in the nation. The competition is very tough, and I am taking the highest courses possible(skipping a year in math, science, and lang). I know I haven’t given you a lot of info to work with, but do you think college admissions officers consider the rigor of a school and the courseload. Btw…unweighted(3.9) and weighted(4.2). I am expecting this to go down dramatically ;P…

    Thank you

  74. Joseph, the rigor of your course load is important. However, if you are taking on more than you can accomplish, then you are going to ride off into a ditch. You need to choose courses at the level you can reasonably succeed. If you skipped ahead too far–leading to a precipitous drop in your GPA–then you may have may a leap too far. As you say, I can’t really tell from the info you have provided whether you, indeed, are in danger of landing in the ditch. But it’s definitely a risk that you should assess with the help of parents, counselors, and teachers.
    Good luck.
    Mark

  75. Greetings.

    I am currently a Freshman, at a High School ranked #330 Nationally in the Silicon Valley area of California.

    I am a very scholarly student, and I am willing to invest all of my potential into learning, so this is not a matter debating if I have the drive to take the following classes.

    However, I have 5 hours a day available for study and homework. if I took the day in which I have the most demanding extracurricular activities and superimposed it on the other days of the week. This assumes that I am able to go to bed at a maximum of 12:00 AM each night, which is a bare minimum in my regard. On other days, I may have more time to complete homework.

    The classes that I plan to take for my Sophomore year are:

    AP Composition of Literature
    AP Psychology
    AP Chemistry
    Honors Trigonometry/Mathematical Analysis
    AP Spanish IV
    AP Computer Science.

    Now, consider the following:
    I have carefully selected these classes in order to make my transcript appear stellar, to challenge me academically, and to have a manageable homework load. I have taken two Honors classes in my Freshman year, and I am extremely under challenged. I have a 3.9 non-weighted GPA, and a 4.1 weighted GPA.
    I have a large natural aptitude, or considerable previous experience with the subject if it is an AP/Honors class.

    With this in consideration, does this appear to you as a manageable balance, considering all factors provided?

  76. Dear Dedicated Student,
    The answer is that the top colleges do not just accept “stellar transcripts.” If you come out of your program with wonderful grades, but absolutely nothing else, then I’m afraid you will not be considered for the very top schools in the US (at least the Ivies…the public universities are somewhat different). The Ivies are looking for qualities that go beyond academics. The sad truth is that many kids without “stellar transcripts” are routinely accepted to the Ivies. They are doing other things while you are busy amassing a fantastic GPA. I have seen this time and time again.
    You are exactly the sort of ambitious student that may need to get some tailored advice about how to revise your daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly agenda in a way that will help you accomplish your goals…and get some sleep, too!
    Let me know if I can be helpful.
    Best,
    Mark

  77. I can infer from your response that you believe that I will end up with nothing other than a admirable transcript. This is not the case.

    When I said in the previous response that I would have 5 hours after extracurricular activities, I should have included what they comprise of:

    Robotics (1 year)
    Interaction and immersion with a foreign culture (lifetime)
    (Spanish is my second language, I am nearly fluent)
    Mexican folkloric dance (5 years)
    Choir (3 years)
    Spanish classical guitar (5 years)
    Competitive rock climbing (8 years)

    These are some qualities that many colleges would enjoy to see in my essay. In the cognizant mind of the college applicant reviewer, it would read as follows:

    foreign culture, extensive musical education, competitive sport, technology application.

    If I included that on my expository essay, and I had a remarkable transcript, I would be something to consider.

    However, I am not the expert here; you are. Let me know if I have any misconceptions, and I have no avulsion if you need to state it bluntly.

  78. Hello,
    I waswondering if colleges see your GPA is low then do they look farther into you courses? I have heard most look at your GPA and ACT/SAT scores and venteer hours and if that doesn’t intrest them the won’t look any further. Is that true?

  79. Hello,
    There is no clear-cut response to your question. Different colleges will respond differently. If we’re talking about Harvard and your GPA is a 2.0, then I don’t think they’ll be spending much time on your file in the Harvard admissions office. However, if you’re otherwise a strong student, and your recommendations are great, and your GPA is a bit lower than usually required by a given university, then they are likely to look further into your courses.
    Everything depends on a) which schools we’re talking about and b) how low the GPA really is in relationship to the general standard of that school.
    Thanks for writing in, and best of luck.
    Mark

  80. I am a freshman at a high school ranked in the top ten hardest schools in the country. I am currently in Pre-Calc, AP Physics, AP World History, and all Honors classes. I have an A in everything except Pre-Calc, I have a B. My school is known to give out few A’s and I am in the most challenging program at my school.
    I do plenty of extracurricular activities like: soccer, lacrosse, track, debate, and many more.
    The classes in the path of my program that I will need to take in the future are very challenging AP courses and I expect to get a B in some.
    I was wondering if colleges will see that I take difficult courses and go to a challenging school. This will help me decide if this is the right risk to take.

  81. I am in 8th grade, taking two level ahead math and Have a very strict teacher this year . I am scoring B’s. I am thinking of repeating my course next year so that I can get a A. Will the colleges know that I am repeating and does it come across bad?

  82. Hello,
    This upcoming school year I will be going into my sophomore year of high school.I am currently taking honors geo, which is a sophomore class but have been recomneded for regular algebra two next year (which is still a junior class, just not the honors version.) I will also be taking honors english, honors history, honors chem, and ap psychology. With my heavy work load, do you think it is a good idea to take regular algebra two (keep in mind, still a year higher class) or should i go against the rec. and take honors? Is it going to look bad on my college application if I don’t take all honors?

  83. I am currently in the eighth grade. I am taking two honor courses, Algebra-1 and Physical Science. I have good averages in both of the classes, but I also have some poor scores. I plan on majoring in music; I have even started looking into schools. I have no problem with band. I’m just worried that if they look into my grades and see those poor scores they won’t want to accept me. Especially, if I make mistakes in my highschool years also. I really just want to know if they see those poor scores will it blow my shot of getting into a good music school all together. Especially since it isn’t just based off of your GPA or musical skills.

  84. Does takinging honors precalculus as a junior as a pass/fail class look bad on transcripts? Contemplating doing this to keep up my GPS.

  85. hi, i have the same question, well no, i want to know what u think when u see my transcript. my freshman year was horrible messed up my average like crazy but here: i think im on track for the upward trends in both the GPA and the rigor of the academic program. let me show u.
    so freshman year went like this: CP english 9 / World Geography / Geometry /Biology /Spanish 1 / Team Sports / Computer art ; i did horrible and u notice that i had no honors or aps my pa was a 2.643
    sophomore year went like this: English 10 honors/ Contemporary World History/ Government/ Algebra 2/ Chemistry honors/ Spanish 2/ Computer applications/ Dance / Health / Business Law : here you notice i took it up a notch with 2 honor classes, i did well, my gpa was a 3.2 unweighted and 3.46 weighted
    Junior year goes like this : Ap Lang/ AP US history/ Physics/ Spanish 3/ Gymnastics/ Principles of health science: you see here i added some aps to the mix and i got a higher gpa than last time :)) junior year first semester currently my gpa is a 3.42 unweighted and 3.714 weighted. second semester i plan on 3.8+ unweighted and 4.0 weighted
    here are my classes for senior year
    ap psychology/ ap stats/ ap literature/ advanced health science/ avid= here i decided sincr im comfortable witlh AP’s i’d bring em on, i hopefully will work for a 4.0 senior year. but so far, do you see that rise in gpa + rise in course type?

  86. Hi! I am currently a junior in high school. I would also like to know what you think of my transcripts if possible. My freshman year I took Gifted/Talented core classes, a computer based course, JROTC, and French 2. I got all A’s. Then sophomore year messed me up. I took Gifted classes, then withdrew to an online high school and took Honors. I got all A’s except for Algebra 2, for which I got a D in Honors and then a C in academic, respectively. I took French 3, Physical Science, and finished my health and PE courses.Now, in junior year, I am in Theatre, with an average of 98, APUSH with an average of 83, AP Euro History with a 95 last semester, AP Lang. with 83, Pre-AP PreCal. getting a 76, trying to score an 80 this semester, Academic Physics with a 91, and AP French with a 96 average. For extracurriculars, I did varsity swimming for 2 years, now I’m dancing at a ballet school. I obtained 2nd place nationally in French II, and then obtained the French Award twice. I have been in National French Honor Society, and I am currently in the National English Honors Society, Philosophy Club and the school’s theatre company. I served in PT Team and Drill Team in JROTC. I know I had a glitch in my sophomore year, but I am trying to raise my grades in the most challenging math class. Do you think I still have time to better grades so as to get accepted in a good school, say Tulane? Should I look for different extracurriculars and/or find one that loads on community service? I am at 26% of my class with an unweighted GPA of 3.6. Is this good, will it still matter if I raise it by the end of my senior year?

  87. Hello,
    I’m a junior in high school with a big dilemma on AP courses. I had taken two AP classes this year (AP Sanish Literature and AP US History) but I have been having a very very hard time keeping my grades up in my AP U.S. history class. I passed my second semester with a C. I feel this class is giving me a very hard time this new semester (second) because right now I have an F. Yes I know it is aweful. I have been constantly struggling with this class and am very scared that I will not pass the AP exam or the class by the end of May and June. I honestly don’t know what to do anymore. This class is also creating low self esteem issues. I am very very scardd that i will not be accepted or even considered by any Universities or Colleges. Would it be best to drop the course or continue taking it with a very low grade and a low probability of passing the AP exam. Please help I don’t know what to do!

  88. Hi I’m going into a high school of technology next year as a freshman (which you have to apply for) and I’ve already signed up for my courses but can change if I chose soon. I’m taking Math 1 now (a hs course) and will be taking math 2 next year, honors English, honors history, and freshman Science. Should I change my courses, will it be an overload or too easy? I’m taking honors English now and my middle school doesn’t offer honors science or history. Thank you!

  89. My grades have been really good but this semester I got behind because of illness, in colleges will they see my 8th grade GPA if so is it possible to re-do a course just to get an A? Thank you.

  90. Hello. I am currently in 9th grade, and am in honor classes. I have a weighted gpa of 3.5 and a unweighted of 3.6. I usually get a average of 2 bs and the rest as on my report card… I currently have no extracular activities because most of my time goes into my grades, however in the summer I’m planning on doing some voulenteer work. If I have a good gpa, and good amounts of voulenteer hours will I be accepted to a college? Even if its not a prestigous college.. Just something with 4 years, and offers me something so I can fullfill my dreams into becomming a occuptional thearipst? I mean.. My dream in life is to help people for I know what it feels like to be stranded. Will I get accepted into a college? Or will they look at my gpa, with no afterschool activities and turn me down? Please offer support.. Thanks.

  91. So throughout high school I have taken all honors and AP classes. Next year is my senior year and while my school offered me the chance to only take four classes and leave early every day, I declined and filled up the blank spaces with electives that I have alwahs wanted to do but could never do with my heavy course load. So I am only taking 2 APs and one honors course next year and the rest are electives ( 3 fine arts and a journalism class bc thats what i want to major in). Will colleges think I am slacking because of the number of electives? I already took all of my required courses so i am out of options

  92. My child is in 8th grade and has been accepted to an exceptional high school. This school is extremely challenging. I was wondering if it makes more sense for her to go to a hs in which she will definitely be ranked at the top of her class or should she challenge herself perhaps at the cost of her gpa and class rank?

  93. Hi I am a sophomore and I’m currently 3rd in my class. Last year all my core classes were advanced and I’m taking all advanced classes again this year. I am currently in advanced math II and I believe there is a high chance that I’ll get a B. Should I drop out of the advanced class and go get an A in a regular class? Will this one B ruin my chances of getting into the school I want?

  94. Hello, I am a senior in High School and am taking as many APs as my school offers (4). Junior year I took APUSH and got a 4, I am doing ok in AP English and AP Bio, but struggling very much in AP Calc AB. The calc grade is bringing my GPA down significantly and if i drop it all of my grades will go up and i’ll have more time to spend on my other AP and college classes. Do you think I should drop AP Calc or keep it so that it shows strength of schedule? Please give me your honest opinion.
    Thanks,
    Michael

  95. Hi, I’m a junior and I’m ranked in the top 3% of my class. I’m currently taking AP Chem, AP Calc AB, AP US History, and Honors English 11 (also weighted). I have a GPA of 4.7. I want to pursue a career in either architecture or pharmacy. I hope to be accepted into USC or UCLA. Would it look really bad if I drop AP US History second semester? I have an A- in the class, and I’m so scared that it’ll drop to a B, which I have never had before. I know that GPA wise it’ll come out the same, but is it better if I have a B in AP US or an A in regular? Is there a chance that I may not be accepted into UCLA just because I dropped AP US second semester? In addition, I have 6 AP’s scheduled for next year but want to limit it to 5 AP’s or simply 5 classes so I can get out at lunch and volunteer at a hospital. So, I need to take one of my 6 classes over the summer. Would you recommend that I take Psychology or Gov/Econ (regular versions of either, as I don’t think AP’s are offered over the summer) ? Will it look really bad if I go from having AP US, to perhaps dropping it second semester, and then taking regular gov/econ over the summer?

  96. I’m a sophomore, and I’m in Pre-AP Calculus while most students in my highschool are in Algebra 2. Last year, I was ranked 2, but I had the same amount of Pre-AP classes as the valedictorian. I had a 4.65, and rank one had a 4.66 gpa. I’m guessing it’s because of the highschool math classes I took in middle school. This year, however, I have one less Pre-AP class than the valecdictorian. I’m wondering if my gpa will eventually become higher in the end, or will it be impossible to be valedictorian?

  97. Hi I’m in 8th grade and I’m not sure which classes I should take freshman year. Currently I’m in accelerated language arts, accelerated science (intro to physical science), Algebra 1, and regular social studies (our school doesn’t have advanced history). I know I’ve been recommended for Geometry Honors, Biology Honors, and AP Human Geography, so I’ll probably take those. I’m just not sure if I should take Honors English. Even though I’m aceing it here, I find it alot of work and I’m afraid I won’t be able to balance it with my other classes and extracurriculars and free time and sleep. But on the other hand I wonder if core english will be too easy, or that it’ll be even more boring than the honors class.

  98. Hi Mr Montgomery,

    My son is a freshman soon to be a sophomore, and he is concerned that the courses he is signed up for will not help him when has to make his college selections. He is on an IEP which allows him to receive some extra help with algebra. He has been enrolled in advanced History, honors English, standard Physics and standard Algebra2. He was not very happy about the last two because he feels that standard courses will not look good for college.
    I want whats best for him, please help any advice would be appreciated

  99. Hi I’m a sophomore and I am taking all honors classes and Spanish 3. I am doing well in all of them except for honors geometry. We cannot use a calculator and all of her tests and quizzes have a ton of questions so I barely finish. I just took a test and I don’t think I did very well on it as I didn’t know how to answer many of the questions. Should I still stay in it or should I drop down to regular? I don’t know if it would look bad to colleges if I dropped down to a lower class. We are about a month into school right now.

  100. Hi i am a 9th grader who is in algebra 2 and all other honor classes (history, Bio, Spanish 4, and english) I have a 98 in english, 94.5 in history, 97.6 in spanish. I am struggling in bio which i have a 86 and math which i have a 87.5 in. Should i dropout. Also what ranking of colleges do you think a person with my grades can be accepted into. I play varsity golf…….

    Thxs

  101. hello

    im currently a sophomore and taking pre ap alg 2

    the teacher isnt great at teaching and im very stressed in that class and the grades havent been too nice either, but ive been going back and forth since friends are telling me its gonna look bad in college, or itll make pre ap pre calc harder or itll affect my gpa/rank. can someone help?

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