High School Curriculum Choices

Digressing into the personal here. A couple of weeks ago, my family attended our first Curriculum Night at their future (this fall) high school. About 3/4 of the incoming families crammed into the cafeteria to learn more about the school’s IB program. IB, like AP, certainly has its merits– college credit earned in high school among them– although the current and recent college students I know who have completed IB diplomas or taken the courses give it decidedly mixed reviews.

When I was a high school senior, I took every AP test available to me. At the time, that was math and English. I hated high school English (surprising, since I love reading and writing), so my goal in taking the English AP test was to never take another English class. For better or for worse, I met that goal and placed out of English in college. Fast forward to spring semester of my junior year, when I took a Comp Lit class that was required for my German minor, only to have it be my favorite class I had taken up until then at Cal. I realized right away that, had I not placed out of English, I probably would have ended up an English major. Instead, my quest to get ahead stopped me before I really got to the starting gate.

Given that history, I was thrilled to read this blog post on AP classes and tests by a college admissions counselor. Her larger message, that we become successful, independent adults by making choices that reflect our passions and desires, not what others expect of us, is at least as important as whether or which AP classes we choose.

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