Did I Pick The Right Classes

Choose classes that prepare you for life after graduation

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The best way to explore any topic is to hit the books. Of course, we don’t mean that literally. Trust us, osmosis doesn’t work for the transfer of knowledge. Picking the right classes is necessary to get you ready for college. You can also get a head start on exploring potential career fields.

English (Language Arts)

Take English every year. Traditional courses, such as American and English literature, help improve your writing skills, reading comprehension and vocabulary.

Math

Algebra and geometry help you succeed on college entrance exams and in college math classes. Take them early, so you'll have time for advanced science and math, which will help show colleges you're ready for higher-level work.

Most colleges want students with three years of high school math. The more competitive colleges prefer four years. Take some combination of the following:

  • Algebra I
  • Algebra II
  • Geometry
  • Trigonometry
  • Calculus

Science

Science teaches you how to think analytically and how to apply theories to reality. Colleges want to see that you’ve taken at least three years of laboratory science classes. A good combination includes a year of each of the following:

Biology

Chemistry or physics

Earth/space science

Schools that are more competitive expect four years of lab science courses, which you may be able to get by taking advanced classes in these same areas.

Social Studies

Improve your understanding of local and world events by studying the cultures and history that helped shape them. Here is a suggested high school course plan:

  • U.S. history (a full year)
  • U.S. government (half a year)
  • World history or geography (half a year)
  • An extra half-year in the above or other areas

Foreign Languages

Solid foreign language study shows that you're willing to stretch beyond the basics. Many colleges require at least two years of study in the same foreign language, and some prefer more.

The Arts

Research indicates that students who participate in the arts often do better in school and on standardized tests. The arts help you recognize patterns, learn to notice differences and similarities, and exercise your mind in unique ways.

Many colleges require or recommend one or two semesters in the arts. Good choices include studio art, dance, music and drama.

If done right, your high school years can set you up for future success. It all starts with picking the right classes at the right time to make it happen. For more, head over to Big Future.