Choosing your High School Courses: Easy “A” vs Hard “B”

Making the Grade: Is an easy “A” better than a hard “B”?

When it comes to choosing classes, most of us think about how easy it will be to make the grade, rack up credits for graduation, our homework load, the teacher's reputation and so on. But, have you ever wondered about how these classes are going to look to your future college admission officers?

What do you think goes further:

A) A perfect “A” in Bowling, the easiest Math class, easiest Science class, English with the least amount of writing, etc?


B) A solid mix of “A's” and “B's” in Honors English, AP Math, Advanced Chemistry, etc?

Remember, you have to take the hard stuff in college anyway and the college admission officers would like to see that you made the most of what your high school had to offer. The more selective a college is, the more that they “zero in” on how you played your cards in high school. Don't try to bluff them with a great GPA in “gravy” courses. College Admissions officers know their stuff when it comes to easy vs. hard classes at your school, your grading system and your coursework.

When students ask me about the best high school game plan for “getting in”, I recommend taking:

  • Four years of English with a strong writing component
  • Four years College preparatory mathematics including Algebra, Geometry and two units of advanced mathematics.
  • Four years Foreign language
  • Two to three years Laboratory science (biology, chemistry, physics)
  • Two to three years History

Have questions about your high school game plan? Go ahead and comment, the My College Options Team is looking forward to hearing from you.


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