High school counselors will soon be requesting your course selections for next year. Be prepared. The most important advice is for students to take the most rigorous class schedule that is appropriate for them. Keep in mind colleges look at course selection and rigor for all four years including your senior year as part of their holistic review of your application. So taking academically rich courses is a must for college-bound students.

In addition to your school’s basic graduation requirements, colleges look for you to exceed in the core subjects. A strong candidate for a wide range of selective institutions would take: four years of English and Math, three or four years of science, foreign language, and social science. 

Just because a class is designated an AP course does not necessarily mean it is more difficult. Whether it’s an AP class or regular class, teachers design their own criteria for the type of assignments and grading. AP curriculum comes from The College Board and non-AP...

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