By Quynh Luu

Academic studies are oftentimes an essential yet taxing component of a high school student’s life.  Along with keeping up with various extracurricular activities and maintaining social relationships, students also have to deal with the pressure of passing courses in order to graduate.  Picking which classes to take can greatly impact your future grades.  With that said, here are a few tips that will help ease the challenge of creating a schedule before a new school year begins.

In order to graduate high school, you need to earn at least 220 credits by the end of your senior year.  Before choosing classes that seem “fun and easy,” think about picking courses that will help you get all the credits you need to meet the A-G graduation requirements first.  The sooner you complete those classes, the sooner you can start to take more courses that appeal to your interests.

Seniors should consider taking five classes instead of the usual six.  The phrase “quality over quantity” matters here.  Concentrating and understanding information well from a few courses is better than getting through many of them without fully comprehending the material.

If you are still in your freshman year of high school, sign up for one or two AP classes next year.  It’s a good idea to get a small taste of college-level courses before entering the world of higher education.  If you perform well enough in them, consider taking more the following year.  If you don’t perform so well, don’t feel discouraged.  You’re not automatically unintelligent for getting low grades in an AP class, so just study harder and take only a couple more classes again when you feel prepared.

When a class feels way too challenging to handle after the first week, try to drop out as soon as you can.  Again, don’t believe that you are not smart for deciding to do so.  Many people face difficulties when it comes to coursework.  It’s a safer option to quit and prevent future stress than to struggle and carry on, in some cases.

Finally, talk with your counselor if you face any concerns regarding schedules.  Their job is to provide you with assistance when it comes to academic problems, so don’t feel shy about opening up about your frustrations with choosing classes.

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