We’re always amazed when parents tell us that their rising seniors are taking 2 or 3 Advanced Placements courses because they need to have the time to write college essays or study for fall SAT’s or ACT’s. Did you know that rising seniors who apply to highly selective colleges are typically taking 6 Advanced Placement courses? Did you know that colleges want to see applicants continue in all 5 core subjects through senior year? That means not dropping foreign language in senior year. Read that again. It’s not okay to stop your Spanish or French studies (or whatever language it is you’ve studied throughout high school) just because you’re a senior. How does not continuing your foreign language studies demonstrate your intellectual curiosity? Just think about it for a second. Don’t even consider dropping a core subject like a foreign language.
This also means that it’s not okay to take AP Statistics in lieu of AP Calculus. It means not taking AP Psychology instead of AP Biology, AP Chemistry, or AP Physics. Is there harm in taking AP Psychology? No, absolutely not! Learn about classical conditioning, groupthink, and cognitive dissonance — just not in lieu of learning about the cardiovascular system, ionic bonds, or momentum equaling mass times velocity. If you’re still considering dropping science your senior year, read these three words following the colon over and over again: Don’t do it.
It never ceases to amaze us how many times students want to get into an Ivy League or other highly selective college, but they manage to find all of the excuses in the book to avoid doing the necessary work to get there. So if you’re serious about getting into a Harvard, Dartmouth, Yale, or Princeton, don’t slack off. Take the most rigorous curriculum possible during your senior year and do exceptionally well in your classes! Continue in the core five high school disciplines and do so with passion and a love of learning!
While you’re here, check out this post on AP Courses and Ivy League Admission.