High GPA or Advanced Course?

<p>I have encountered a common problem for high schoolers in thinking about what courses I would like to take at Columbia this upcoming fall: should I take easier classes to bolster my GPA, or harder classes to more quickly proceed through requirements/show I'm willing to challenge myself. What is the perspective of employers and grad schools on this subject? High GPA or lots of advanced classes?</p>

<p>I'm particularly thinking about Physics 2801 versus Physics 1601 (as a Materials Science and Engineering students in SEAS). I'm essentially an Applied Physics major, and I love Physics more than any other subject, but I would hate to pull off a B or C in 2801 (which I hear is horribly difficult). Opinions?</p>

<p>Advanced course, of course!
Course rigour is one of the most important things adcoms consider.
They will see through people taking easy courses just for high GPA's.</p>

<p>Well, this is college. Don't throw your GPA down the drain immediately.</p>

<p>Honestly, I'd say that you should take the course that fits in best with your future plans, if you have any idea what they are. If you'd like to go to grad school, then you'd better safeguard that GPA like it's your life. If you're just interested in undergrad, then feel free(er) to experiment.</p>

<p>
[quote]
If you'd like to go to grad school, then you'd better safeguard that GPA like it's your life. If you're just interested in undergrad, then feel free(er) to experiment.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>You never know if you're going to be interested in grad/professional school even if you aren't now... you may be interested by the time you're a senior... or maybe 2-3 yrs after college... or maybe 5-7 yrs out.</p>

<p>
[quote]
Advanced course, of course!
Course rigour is one of the most important things adcoms consider.
They will see through people taking easy courses just for high GPA's.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>What a lame post. Do you deny that GPA is one of the most important things employers/grad schools care about?</p>

<p>I don't think he/she is denying the importance of GPA. He/she was merely saying that it's better to have a slightly lower GPA and challenging courseloads than a high GPA in all elementary courses.</p>

<p>C02 - whereas for college certainly gpa matters a lot, for high school it really is all in the advanced courses, if you don't take the right courseload you don't stand a chance getting into top schools.</p>

<p>but the balance has to be there - don't take courses that are too hard for you and you don't get the material. that is counterproductive. and frankly there are a lot of students who because of many reasons think they can do the most advanced courses, but really shouldn't. struggling in a class is bad for you as a person and wont get you any closer to getting into an Ivy like school. but there are plenty of schools out there that are good and well-known that would rather you have a high gpa (period)</p>

<p>^Good advice for high schoolers. I believe, however, the OP has already been admitted to Columbia.</p>

<p>
[quote]
If you'd like to go to grad school, then you'd better safeguard that GPA like it's your life. If you're just interested in undergrad, then feel free(er) to experiment.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>Seriously. Safeguard that gpa with your life.</p>