Determining the Right Number of Advanced Courses
Advanced courses, such as honors level, Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate, can be beneficial to have on your high school transcript. However, the ideal number of advanced courses to take at one time can vary for each student, depending on factors such as work ethic, goals, and scheduling demands. Some students may feel challenged taking three AP courses at a time while others may find it overwhelming. It is recommended to start taking advanced-track classes as early as possible in high school, so you have enough time to figure out the right number of classes for you. Start with one or two classes and increase your course load gradually if you are able to handle it.
When taking advanced classes, it is important to be honest with yourself from the start and to act early if you find the class to be too challenging. It is normal to start a class and realize it may be too much, but it is important to withdraw before it’s too late to avoid getting a low grade on your transcript. It is recommended to aim high but also listen to your own abilities and act accordingly.
It is important to note that courses tend to become more difficult as they progress, rather than easier. If you find yourself struggling from the beginning, it is best to switch to a different class as soon as possible. Keep in mind that it is easier to transition from an advanced to a regular-track course than the other way around. To ensure a smooth transition, it is recommended to aim high with your course choices initially and to act quickly if you find yourself struggling.
Choosing Courses That Support Your Career Aspirations
High school is a good time to start exploring courses that align with your professional goals. For example, if you aspire to become a veterinarian, taking an animal behavior course in high school would be beneficial. Similarly, students interested in pursuing a career in the arts should consider taking classes such as pottery, drawing and painting, theater and other related subjects.