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How to Pick High School Classes

Last updated March 11, 2024

If you're wondering what classes to take during your next term or year of high school, we can help! Here's how to choose classes while navigating your school's requirements, college expectations, and your personal interests. 

Note: When you have an idea of what classes you want to take in a term or year, make an appointment with your counselor to make sure your choices will work. The most important thing to do is to ensure that the classes you're taking are keeping you on track to graduate. 

Graduates move the tassels on their caps - How to Pick High School Classes

Take the core classes required to graduate

High schools have a list of required credits that must be taken over four years. If you're not sure what's expected of you, talk to an educator or counselor to learn more. They can help you register for the core classes you need to graduate and help you pick out elective classes that interest you.

Know the admissions guidelines for your top college choices

If you're interested in attending college after high school, make sure you're informed about the academic requirements of each school you want to apply to. For example, some schools may require you to have taken multiple years of a foreign language in high school. Being informed about what different schools require can help you build your college list.

Create a rigorous yet balanced schedule

While taking challenging high school classes can be a great way to prepare for a college course load and to boost your college applications, taking too many during one term or year may be a bit overwhelming. Try and balance the amount of challenging classes you're taking– such as AP courses or dual enrollment classes– to make sure you're not spread too thin and still have the time and energy for other things, such as extracurricular activities, jobs or internships, spending time with loved ones, and resting.

Take classes that interest you

If your schedule allows room to take an elective class, choose one that interests you! Whether it's dancing ballet or working on the school newspaper, exploring your interests in high school can help you learn more about yourself and equip you to make bigger decisions down the road– like where you want to apply to college, what majors interest you, and what types of career paths you find interesting. Before choosing an elective, be sure to double-check that it doesn't interfere with any core classes you need to graduate. 

Have any questions about choosing high school classes? Text #Hello to 33-55-77 to chat with one of our advisors. If you're using a mobile device, click here to have the text message set up for you!

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