recommended HS courses big factor?

<p>the number of years spent in each subject recommeded by harvard:
English 4
Foreign Language 4
History 2
Math 4
Science 4
Social Studies 3
I'm only using Harvard as a generic example. Do you think it's a crucial factor in competitive admissions to have taken this many years of each subject? If not, are you at a disadvantage? To what degree?
I'm only slightly worried about this. As a junior IB student, i plan to finish with 4 english courses, 4 math (is 4 years absolutely required? or could i take an elective senior year instead?), 3 science, 3 foreign language, 5 history/social science, 4 art, and TOK.</p>

<p>freshman year:
pre-ib english
Alg 2 Honors
pre-ib world history
drawing and painting 3
AP french
pre-ib Bio</p>

<p>sophomore:
pre-ib english 2
math studies 1
AP European Hist
pre-ib art studio
AP French Lit
Honors Chemistry</p>

<p>junior:
AP English
math studies 2
AP US Hist
IB art studio
TOK
IB Biology</p>

<p>senior (tentative schedule):
IB english 2
Honors Pre-Cal, or Honors/AP Statistics (which is better to take?)
AP World History (or complete a 4th year of science, like physics?)
IB art studio 2
IB French 5
IB contemporary history</p>

<p>You will be at a tremendous disadvantage at top schools taking so little math. Through calc is pretty standard unless you are brilliant in the humanities, and I mean truly outstanding.</p>

<p>I would suggest taking the recommended courses because you will only be placing your self at a disadvantage if you don't because many who will be applying will have taken the recommended courses and then some</p>

<p>I've only taken 3 years of Spanish because we a new teacher and he's VERY bad. However, I will have 5 years of math and 6 years of science, so I'm thining maybe it won't look so bad since I've taken lots of other more advanced classes??? Also, should I try explain that I didn't take the 4th year of Spanish for that reason, or would that just look bad?</p>

<p>I would nevcer take less than the recommened courses unless you have something else the schools truly want (ie sports, music). Otherwise you are applying at a disadvantage. Most other applications will have the recommended classes and probably additional one too.
If for some reason you are unable to take the extra science (your school doesnt offer it for example) make sure the universities are aware of this situation. Otherwise take what is needed.</p>

<p>well, i'm fairly confident that i could get 5's on history AP exams....but whether that makes up for the lack of math/science is another story. I have no great interest in math or science; they're my weak points and i don't plan to touch them very much in college. I won't get through calc, but is AP stat a good substitute for pre-cal? If not, could take precal over summer....I guess i'm basically wondering whether this affects a future visual arts, philosophy, or humanities major</p>

<p>i see, well, thanks a lot for the advice.....poo :(</p>

<p>You are going to be evaluated against the minimum requirements and on the basis of whether or not you have taken the most rigerous curriculum your school has offered for example- if your school gives math up to AP Calc BC, there is an expectation that you would have taken all of these courses and done well.</p>

<p>this is my new plan....
take pre-cal and physics during the summer before senior year
then take AP stat or Cal as a senior, and history elective instead of science.</p>

<p>Take the 4th year of science</p>

<p>Here is what I've heard from every guidance counselor and admissions officer: give priority to what most interests you. I think math is usually a must, but science less so if you demonstrate a passion in a different subject. All depends on you. Also have heard a thousand times that something like that will not make the difference whether you get in or not.</p>

<p>Onthe basis of the experience of one of my children, who was accepted at several top-ten LACs several years ago, I would somewhat disagree with Sybbie regarding the fourth year of science: You can get away without the fourth year of science if you have an extremely strong transcript through the end of junior year (essentially no grades below A-), did really well in the other sciences you took (A or A+ in non-honors) and have other marketable characteristics such as being an excellent writer, athlete, artist, or performing artist. But you certainly would need to maintain the rigor of your schedule by taking a full load of honors and AP courses other than science and maintaining stellar grades in autumn of your senior year.</p>

<p>It depends on where he is applying. I am just writing based on the experience with my daughter who is a freshman at an Ivy (in addition to being accepted into top LACs and a R1 university as many were looking for the 4 years of science) and took the 4 years of science which included Bio Chem Physics and Ap Chem (some friends took AP Physics, some took AP Bio)</p>

<p>Tha applicant pools are becoming stronger and more competitive each year,I still think that he would do himself a disservice not to meet the school's minimum requirement.</p>