Does this plan seem like too much?

Okay, so for reference, I am currently a rising sophomore. To give some background, in 7th grade, I took Algebra I, and in 8th grade, I took French I, Earth Science, and Geometry. In the summer after 8th grade, I took a regular, un-weighted Psychology class online.

In 9th grade, I took Pre-IB English 9, Pre-IB Biology, Pre-IB World History/Geography, Pre-IB French II, Pre-IB Algebra II/Trigonometry, Economics and Personal Finance, and Health and PE 9. In the summer after 9th grade (now), I am currently taking Honors Pre-calculus/Mathematical Analysis and Health and PE 10 online (I also plan on doing Driver’s Ed in the near future). I also want to take AP Psychology and AP Statistics throughout this summer as well.

In 10th grade, I plan on taking Pre-IB English 10, Pre-IB Chemistry, Pre-IB AP US Government, Pre-IB French III, AP Calculus BC, AP Economics, AP Physics 1, and AP Physics 2. In the summer after 10th grade, I plan on taking Dual Enrollment Human Anatomy & Physiology and AP Physics C (Electricity & Magnetism & Mechanics, a two-parter course through CTD Northwestern).

In 11th grade, I plan on taking IB English HL, IB French SL, IB History HL, IB Biology HL, IB Chemistry SL, IB Math AA HL, TOK, AP European History, and AP Art History. In this year, I also plan on taking the AP European History, AP Art History, AP Chemistry, AP English Language and Composition, and AP Physics C exams.

In 12th grade, I plan on taking IB English HL, IB French SL, IB History HL, IB Biology HL, IB Chemistry SL, IB Math AA HL, and TOK. In this year, I plan on taking the AP French Language and Culture, AP Spanish Language and Culture, and AP Literature and Composition exams.

In your opinion, does this seem like too much? Does it seem unbalanced? Do you think admissions officers would look down upon this schedule, and look at it as a “checking off the boxes” type of plan, as opposed to taking classes that you are truly invested and interested in?

I think that you should take classes that you are truly interested in, and try to do very well in every class.

Do not try to impress admissions staff. Do not do things to impress admissions staff.

Try to do what is right for you. Be aware that there really are classes that you are not ready to take yet, and that education is a marathon. At each point you need to find the pace that works for you.

To me your plan does look like too much.

Where does the time for your meaningful ECs (which show depth, commitment over time, growth and leadership) come from?

The harder they come, the harder they fall. Yes, it is quite a lot, probably too much, although every student is different. There are lots of kids on CC who come on strong then come back later asking if “B’s and Cs” will hurt their chances at a top prestigious college.

At the end of the day, it isn’t going to be an overload of difficult classes that is going to impress colleges. They’re not looking for grinders. A high GPA in rigorous classes and high test scores are really just a baseline. It is going to be what you accomplish in your extracurriculars that truly sets you apart and displays your personality, shows you are a match for the school, and hints at what contributions you might make. So do not shortchange those in favor of a lot of homework in a deluge of difficult classes.

Colleges are not impressed when you take the AP exam without also taking the class. There are reasons to do this, but they are unrelated to admissions; for example, you want to graduate college early (usually for financial reasons) or with a double major, and you are for sure attending a college that for sure will award credits for scores.

The key is taking four years of each of the five cores. Talk to your guidance counselor about what constitutes the “most rigorous course load” in your high school. Ideally you are taking the highest level in which you can perform well, and a high level in classes related to your future major.

I personally feel like you are doing way too much IB HL classes are no joke and are much harder than your standard AP classes on top of that you are going to do AP classes. Even if your the smartest person in the world there simply aren’t enough hours in the day for you to dedicate to all of those classes. Looking at your schedule I have absolutely no idea what you want to major in: you have chemistry, physics, art, psychology, English and econ. it seems like WAY to much.

I would say cut down on everything you aren’t really interested in, chose a FEW HL and AP classes that align with your interests and then invest your time in clubs/extracurricular that speak to what you want to do. Even if you do end up getting A’s in all these classes (which is highly unlikely) college are likely going to view you as lost and confused. It would be much better if you took up a sport, hobby or joined a club.

Good luck!

@AnJa26, thank you for your response! Personally, I want to pursue pre-med (which is where the Chemistry and Physics came from). The reason why I was concerned about AP is because of IB, and the fact that it does not allow for an “À la carte” method of choosing classes; you’re kind of locked in to whatever classes you choose. Also, I did not take any AP classes in freshman year; the most rigorous were Honors-level, Pre-IB classes. I will try to cut down on the number of APs. Part of the reason why I wanted to do AP Art History was to fulfill my Fine Practical Arts requirement in order to graduate. If I were to do art, I would want it to be at least an honors-level class, in an effort to supply some “pillowcases” for my cumulative GPA before starting IBDP. Also, the reason why I wanted to do AP Economics (we do not have IB Economics at my school) was in an effort to prepare myself for an MD-MBA program.

You do not need to take AP Economics in high school to prepare yourself for an MD-MBA program. They will not see your high school courses. Take economics in college if you are still interested in this after you get there.

You really are trying to do too much. There is no reason to overload yourself like this. Colleges don’t expect you to have taken every possible rigorous course in available to you in high school.

@me29034, thank you so much for your words of encouragement! I will re-adjust my schedule to make it more on “my level”! I think I will just take an economics class in college, like you suggested.

I don’t see anything wrong with your school year plans, it is a typical IB course load for many. I would forego the summer classes and use that time for EC’s and/or a job.