Planning My Four-Year Academics

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Las Vegas 2015

THE ACADEMICS

Hands down, the most important thing in elementary, junior high, high school, and college ever.

While 6th – 8th grade really do not play much of a role in college applications, I personally believe they provide the strongest foundation in terms of how ready you’ll be for high school. Basically, start joining things, and pursue any hobbies or interests as early as possible. And no, freshman (or even sophomore) year of high school is not too late – it’s actually a pretty ideal time for the beginning of many new activities.

I took every high school semester in every year seriously and planned everything out from the beginning of freshman year. But WOW that was a real waste of time – our school ended up cutting some of the classes I planned to take and adding newer, cooler ones – so DON’T plan your schedule out years in advance like I did.

Anyway, this was my schedule for all four years:

Freshman Year:                                                    Sophomore Summer:
1. Biology Honors                                                 1. Beginning Photography
2. World History Honors
3. Algebra II Honors
4. P.E. Year 1
6. Chinese 3 Honors
7. English 1 Honors

Sophomore Year:
0. AP European History
1. P.E. Year 2
2. Pre-Calculus Honors
3. AP Chinese Language and Culture
4. Chemistry Honors
6. Journalism (School Newspaper)
7. English 2 Honors

Junior Year:
0. AP United States History
1. AP Calculus AB
2. AP Psychology
3. AP Chemistry
4. Journalism (School Newspaper)
6. Mandarin HL/1st Year
7. AP English Language and Composition

Senior Year:
1. AP Environmental Science
2. AP Computer Science
3. AP English Literature and Composition
4. AP Calculus BC
6. Journalism (School Newspaper)
7. Free Period

And here’s my advice down below:

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From my experience, DO NOT take a history for your zero period if you can avoid it, especially if you’re not a morning person like I am (I can stay up all night but can’t wake up early for my life).

Next, if you had an intense schedule more or less like my sophomore and/or junior year, you can DEFINITELY afford a free period as a senior – although the rules may differ if you’re in the IB program like some of my friends. Senior year overall should be the chillest out of all four years for an AP student, because if not, you could be doing something wrong.

So by now you may be wondering about my GPA, along with my other outside test scores. I would recommend taking 3 or more SAT subject tests, and score at least 740 on each of them. Keep your unweighted GPA above 3.70 and weighted GPA above 4.50 at all times (these are a minimum!).

Befriend your teachers and gain connections! All the teachers I’ve had are so valuable to me in that each had something different to offer: a life lesson, friendship, an adviser, etc. They’re not just instructors but people to admire and look up to, and play a huge role in your academics. Shout out to my all-time favorite elementary school teacher Mr. Tang by the way!! ♥

Finally, if you have any questions or need advice, I’m here to help – feel free to comment or drop a message somewhere. Until then, see you soon!

-Melanie

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