6 Tips to Make Class Selection Easy

Class selection doesn't have to be scary!

For high school students, planning in advance is something that we especially struggle with. I mean, we can barely get our assignments on time much less make a commitment and plan for classes next year.

Alas, that time of year has come where we must do just that. Picking classes for next year may be nerve-wracking especially if you aren’t familiar with the subject, level of difficulty, or processes of class selection. Luckily for you, I will be sharing some advice based on my own experience as a rising senior!

 

1. Know your options and choose what interests you.

“You should pick classes that truly interest you and could see yourself succeed in,” said Stephanie Kim, a current junior.  “In my experience, picking difficult classes just because your friends are taking them will only make your year miserable.  So, you should definitely select classes FOR YOU.”

Check out the course catalog on the school website for a whole list!

This is the where the course catalog is on the school website (Credit: GNNHS)

2. Recommendations and self-selection

This is a great way to have a one on one conversation with your teacher to figure out where you stand in terms of your classmates now and what level of class you should take next year. I’d advise on getting as many recommendations as you can because this process is NOT permanent. Recommendations are just a way for teachers to express where they think you will do best based on your performance this year. You can always choose to take or not to take the class later on. 

Of course, there is a way around the recommendation system. For whatever reason, students may “self-select” into ONE AP CLASS per year. Depending on the subject or class you are taking this may mean you have to talk to the department head or to do an extra assignment. You should consider doing this if you’re really interested in a class or are improving in your current class.

Talk to your teacher about what they class you should take (Credit: ADL)

3. Make sure you can handle all your classes while still properly challenging yourself. 

Keep in mind that while taking these classes you will have to juggle extracurriculars, a social life, and family. At the same time, colleges are really looking to see if you challenged yourself and took advantage of all the opportunities high school offers.

Talking to your guidance counselor before meeting with them for registering for classes (which you will do sometime March with your social studies or English class) is helpful since you can get holistic advice on your schedule. 

grimaldello – Fotolia
Have a balanced schedule that properly challenges you. (Credit NEA Today)

4. Ask upperclassmen how they feel.

A great way to get a feel for the class besides talking to your teacher or guidance counselor is to ask upperclassmen. You can really get an authentic student experience. At the same time, remember that every student is different and you may have different strengths or interests that influence the way you feel about a class. Here are some of my personal experiences from my sophomore year:

  • English 10H- One of my favorite classes. It was so much fun and it was really chill. There were some unique projects and novels that I actually liked. 
  • AP World History- This was a challenging AP but it was very rewarding. There’s a lot of content; you are learning the history of the entire world over several centuries. But the content was pretty interesting and you learn some serious studying and life skills.  
  • Chemistry H- Hated it so much. Felt like I was floating in a pool of random numbers and super long Latin names. It seems like others agree with me.“My least favorite class from sophomore year would have to be Chemistry,” said Lucy Liu, a junior. “The people in the class were amazing but the subject itself is so boring. I would say that Chemistry is the worst subject in high school.”
  • Algebra 2 H- Kinda regret taking it because I didn’t really understand the way the teacher taught.

Talk to upperclassmen about their experiences in different classes to get a feel. (Credit: Edutopia)

5. If you aren’t sure than overdo it a bit.

Changing your schedule after spring is getting increasingly difficult but it is easier to go down than up. Dropping classes before the second quarter is an option and a way you can try a class for yourself. Just be wary— you might have to completely change around your schedule or forced to stay in a class if there’s no room to move. 

 

You can try out a class and drop it later. (Credit: CDC)

6.Write it down.

Create a trial schedule on google docs and make sure you can fit everything you need! Make sure you’re fulfilling your requirements and have a lunch period.  

So these are some of the tips I have for class selections! I hope you learned a little something and the process of registering for classes is less daunting.