I forgot to sign up for second language classes, does it matter?

Hi, I’m an 8th grader who’s going into high school next year. I’ve always been worried about my college application, so I always make sure my schedule is on the highest track. I take the highest accelerated math class, high school science, and gifted English. (Since our school only lets us take 2 gifted subjects excluding math) But this year I forgot to sign up for second language classes. I do know the whole pathway for math and science since I’m looking forward to a STEM carrier. But second language classes aren’t my area of mastery. So as far as I know, is that if you don’t take second language classes in 8th grade, you can’t take ap classes for that language, like ap Spanish or ap French. Would this have a major effect on my college application, or is it not a big deal?

Schools vary so much in their AP rules / tracks / policies nobody here will be able to give you a definitive answer as to whether you will be able to do an AP in a language in your school. In the HS’s I know best the 4th year is typically AP, so if you start a language in grade 9, in those schools, you could get there. BUT…there is nothing magic about having an AP in that language. If year 4 of a language in your school is not AP, you won’t be at a disadvantage. Just be aware that many / most selective schools like to see 3/4 years of a second language.

I don’t think the relevant thing to a 9th grader is, will I get to get an AP foreign language class? Instead, think about whether you want to study a language or not. You might only decide to go through level 3. Did you really “forget” or are you just not interested.


You should be taking foreign language every year, if it is offered, up through AP, for several reasons, one of which is that the younger you are, the easier it is to learn a foreign language. Can you fix it for this year?

You’re an 8th grader. Please don’t stress just yet! It’s good to be aware of the tracks, but have fun while you’re in school. Don’t start obsessing over college admissions just yet. Just do your best in school and take challenging classes and please make time to have fun!


If you are in 8th grade focus on having fun and enjoying yourself. I would even advice to stay off college confidential until you are in 9th grade. Your school will guide you to classes for 9th and will do a better job than strangers. Tons of school districts do not offer a language option before high school and guess what - colleges don’t care about what you take prior to high school. Hve fun and don’t stress about college five years out.

You do want to take school seriously and do your best in the most rigorous classes you can comfortably handle BUT you definitely should not be stressing about colleges while you are in middle school.

Please keep in mind that high school should be a time of growth and development - a time to improve your academic skills, develop interests, socialize with peers and family etc. – it is not simply a four year college prep exercise.

Can you get into French 1a or Spanish 1 now?
If not, will you be able to reach French 4 or Spanish 4 in HS?