What classes will colleges consider for my GPA?

Will colleges consider (accelerated) religious classes? How many AP classes should I take? Will colleges care when my school finishes?

  1. Colleges will consider your overall GPA; if that includes religious classes, then they will be included. However, colleges may also calculate a "core GPA" that includes only classes like English, Social Studies/History, sciences, Math, and (sometimes) Foreign Language; in that case, religious classes would most likely be considered "electives" (like music or P.E.) and wouldn't be considered core curriculum.
  2. An accelerated religious class is only better than a regular religious class if you are planning on pursuing studies in that area or are personally invested in it. Otherwise, take the regular level class and use the time and energy you would have spent meeting the advanced level requirements on other advanced classes. The only exception is if there's no difference in workload between the advanced and non-advanced classes, in which case you'd want to take the more advanced class.
  3. If you haven't already, I highly recommend reading our article on how to get into Harvard and the Ivy League; in particular, the section "Profile: The Burgeoning Writer" has some great ideas for how to develop a spike in creative writing. Some of the suggested activities are working on getting your writing published in top periodicals for teens, entering writing competitions (and placing), running a blog, or starting a writing club. From my own experience and that of my friends, I'd also highly recommend looking into prestigious summer programs like the Iowa Young Writers' Studio or the Creative Writers Workshop at Emerson, or even finding a summer camp that allows you to hone your writing skills (like Buck's Rock).
  4. See above.
  5. In our article on how many AP classes to take, we recommend taking 7-12 APs over the course of high school. That said, if the teacher is "off" in that you'll get bad grades in the class and won't do well on the AP, it might not be worth it. This is especially true if you're worried that the time you'll put into the AP Euro class could be better put into other advanced classes you're currently taking; as we point out in our article on how to get into Harvard and the Ivy League, each additional AP you take has diminishing returns. Your time could be better spent developing a spike in writing.
  6. No. Different schools finish at different times. The only case in which it might make a difference if it has affected your ability to do any extracurricular activities; however, the time in and of itself won't make a difference.
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