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Documentation of Courses

classof09classof09 Registered User Posts: 944 Member
Hi! I'm actually not a homeschooler, but I poses question about course documentation (specifically self-studied courses) in another forum and was directed to ask you knowledgable people here.

Basically, I ran out of math course at my local high school last year, and my school had neither an existing dual enrollment or independent study program and my guidance counselor unexpectedly left so I had no way to ask her to help me plan (Sorry for the excuses, no more, I promise!) I self-studied two math courses under the guidance of my dad, using textbooks and MIT's opencourseware. This year I worked with my guidance counselor to get an independent study plan approved for next year.

My question now lies in how I would mention this to colleges on my application. I'm not looking for credit as I want to retake these courses as a prospective applied mathematics major wherever I go so I cover the material in a more rigorous manner, but I don't want the admissions people to think that I slacked off and gave up on math my junior year.

Thanks in advance!
Post edited by classof09 on

Replies to: Documentation of Courses

  • timelytimely Registered User Posts: 1,613 Senior Member
    Perhaps you could include it in a resume. You could have sections for academic, community service, and any extracurricular areas you have focused on. Under the academic section, you could put something like, "Student at X High School 2005 - present". Then on the next line, you could put "Pre-calculus, Calculus I - Self-study 2007-2008"

    Another option would be to take an AP exam in the subjects you studied. Unfortunately, those are only offered in May, so you couldn't take the tests till next year.
  • classof09classof09 Registered User Posts: 944 Member
    Well the courses I self-studied were linear algebra and multivariable... so APs aren't offered in those areas- if they were, I'd be very happy :) Do you think just mentioning it in my resume is enough? Would I need any like certification or anything?
  • anotherparentanotherparent Registered User Posts: 1,275 Senior Member
    There is a place on all apps to list anything else you want to say. This is where you should mention this. Remember - the adcoms go into this process assuming you are telling the truth, and they will believe it.

    You could also ask your conselor to mention it in the counselor letter.

    If you do have a resume, you should also put it there.
  • huguenothuguenot Registered User Posts: 514 Member
    For homeschoolers, we would just list them in the transcript like any other courses. Your transcript will be issued by your school, so I would ask the guidance counselor if your work could be relected on your high school transcript as "Independent Study: Linear Algebra" and "Independent Study: Multivariable Calculus" perhaps with either a "pass" or a "not graded" for the grade.

    If they are unwilling to do that (gently remind them that it makes the school look better when their students are doing math at that level :-), then I would list it on your resume as "Independent Study". Do be sure to list it somewhere noticeable. As a long time scholarship committee member, I think it says a lot about your drive and love of learning.

    Good Work!
  • 'rentof2'rentof2 Registered User Posts: 4,327 Senior Member
    For the courses my kids self-studied, I wrote up a brief description of the topics covered and the texts used. In the case of math, I also recorded a grade for them, determined by their performance on unit and cumulative tests -- with A=93% or above.
  • BCEagle91BCEagle91 Registered User Posts: 22,762 Senior Member
    I think that AP Calc BC covers multivariable.

    Ask the math department head if he could administer a test to give you independent study high school credit for the linear algebra course.
  • classof09classof09 Registered User Posts: 944 Member
    BC covers calc 1 & 2, multivariable is calc 3. I took the BC exam last year. They don't have anything to use as a test..

    Thanks everyone for your answers, I'll probably attach a page to my resume explaining the curriculum and self-studies. :)
  • Cardinal FangCardinal Fang Registered User Posts: 15,776 Senior Member
    If you list your work as Independent Study, be sure to mention what textbooks you used, and also that you used MIT's open courseware. If you look at the homeschool supplement to the Common App, you'll see that it asks for texts for all homeschool courses, and that would likely apply to you as well.
  • IAmYourMother!IAmYourMother! Registered User Posts: 62 Junior Member
    @'rentof2: How do you give grades? What kind of test do you use? Who administered them?
  • 'rentof2'rentof2 Registered User Posts: 4,327 Senior Member
    As far as giving grades, it was easiest for math because they used prepared curriculum and took the unit and cumulative tests. I just graded them on a standard scale: A=93% or above, B=85-92%, C=78-84%, etc. It makes it a bit harder to get a good grade than it is in school since there aren't other ways to earn "points" like turning in homework, participation points, extra credit, etc. In our case it was just 100% test scores, but people do it differently in different homeschooling situations.

    Other than math, it was more subjective, although whenever possible I only graded their course work on a pass/no pass basis because I was never too comfortable with the grading thing. It seemed a betrayal of one of our main reasons for homeschooling.

    In subjects where the kids took an SAT subject test (literature, world history, american history, latin, and math) I also used their test scores as validation for the grades I gave them.

    Both kids also took selected classes outside the home, either at the high school or the local univ, so they had those grades on their transcripts too.
This discussion has been closed.