By Lizzie Goddard | March 15, 2024, at 10:00 a.m.

As a high school student, one of the most important decisions you will make is creating your course schedule.

With different levels of rigor to choose from and multiple subjects to decide on, the process can be tricky.

Here are some tips to consider when planning your schedule to prepare for college.

Understand the Different Course LevelsBuilding relationships with your teachers and counselors who can provide guidance and support in your academic journey and seeking help from The College Planning Center in South Carolina in making important decisions will be helpful for high school students to create their course schedules.

There are mainly five different levels of courses.

Regular/Standard, Honors, Advanced Placement (AP), Dual Enrollment (DE), and International Baccalaureate (IB).

Some schools have different codings for each level, so it is best to check with your counselor if you are unsure. 

We have a specific blog that focuses on these levels, of course, go check it out!

Highlight Your Strengths

If you excel in reading and writing, consider taking AP Literature or AP Language.

When choosing your courses, you will want to choose the highest level of courses in your strongest classes. 

Alternatively, you might consider enrolling in courses related to your intended major in college.

College consultants at The College Planning Center in South Carolina highly recommend high school students take challenging courses that demonstrate their willingness to challenge themselves academically.Challenge Yourself

You might feel anxious about taking a higher-level course.

But it is always good to push yourself out of your comfort zone!

If you are taking standard-level classes and consistently receiving high grades, consider taking a higher-level class.

This can increase your GPA!

Demonstrating your willingness to take risks and challenge yourself can benefit your college applications.

Track Your Progress

It’s important to remember that even if you don’t start high school on the right foot, it’s never too late to make progress.

Take some time to reflect on your performance at the end of each semester, and identify areas where you can improve.

Would you need to seek out a tutor in a specific subject?The College Planning Center in South Carolina encourages students to develop a well-rounded transcript by excelling in a variety of subjects, including math, science, humanities, and languages, and maintaining a strong GPA throughout high school, as it is a crucial factor in college admissions.

Would using online resources like Khan Academy help you better understand the material?

Think about what you will need to be successful and show improvement!

Be Consistent

If you are looking at applying to some of the top schools in the country, you will want to show consistency in your courses and grades.

College admissions officers appreciate seeing a consistent and progressively challenging course load throughout high school.

Steadily increase the difficulty of your courses to show growth and development.

We are happy to help you through this college process, as it can be challenging and overwhelming to make these important decisions.

The key takeaway is to be able to identify what you can handle and manage while highlighting your strengths and goals.

Free download of SMART Goals for College Planning.