It’s an ongoing question for many students. Do you take the easy classes and get an A, or do you take a risk with harder classes? Sometimes, it’s a choice between standard and honors or AP classes. Both would fulfill core requirements. One is just meant for students who excel in the given subject.

If you take an AP class, you can earn college credits while you’re still in high school. So there are obvious benefits, especially if you get good grades. When it’s a subject you’re already struggling in, you should always stick to standard classes and do as well as you can. If it’s an elective class or even areas like science, you can choose other subjects.

You might be ready for an AP class in biology and not chemistry. It’s a matter of finding a balance between the two sides.

A B in Advanced Classes Can Be Better than an A in an Easy Class

If you think you’ll get a C, you may not be ready for some subjects or advanced classes. Part of the trick is finding that balance and knowing how much you can handle. Some students take fewer classes some semesters to focus on doing well in some subjects. Others find a balance between those classes that are more challenging and easier subjects.

Through your junior year, you should always do your due diligence to make sure you can perform to the best of your ability. If you have a choice between two classes you feel you can do relatively well in, choose the harder class. Your GPA isn’t the only factor in a college’s decision-making process. If you apply for college right after high school, they’ll look at your curriculum including the classes you’ve signed up for your senior year. So don’t take your senior year as an opportunity to go easy or slack off. Schools still want to see a natural progression into more challenging classes.

How Do Schools Weigh Your Classes Compared to Your Grades?

If you get a good grade in an AP class, you could qualify to count it towards your college credits. That’s one less class you have to take later on. The right honors and AP classes can also raise your overall GPA if you do well. You can find AP history and English classes. If you attend an accredited high school, you can also find higher level science classes. It all depends on what you do well in.

How do you know if you should take these highly weighed classes? Many people have a natural sense of what areas they excel in. You can also look at your grades to get a better idea of where you stand. Many students now go to teachers and other leaders in their school to get recommendations. When you start submitting applications, you can ask teachers to write letters of recommendation for you. You can get a head start by asking for help in choosing your classes.

What If My School Doesn’t Offer AP or Honors Classes?

Not all schools offer AP and honors classes. Even if you get in, you might not find it as challenging as you expect. Rural and inner city classrooms are especially vulnerable to this lack of resources. Students seeking online alternatives find more opportunities. You can find a diverse range of opportunities also including remedial classes if you need them. If you aren’t prepared to do well in a standard class, always look for extra help or classes that fit your needs.

If you’re debating between two options with the same subject, talk to teachers and others. Then decide if you could get a B or higher in each class. Grades and the classes you take are both weighted. Online high schools can help you find that balance with active support to help you learn.

If regular high schools aren’t meeting your needs, consider going online. Traditional high school students can use it as an alternative for their local high school. Some parents use online high school as part of a homeschooling program. Many adults find it fits with their schedule. So they can go back to school without worrying about work and their finances. To explore your options with High School of America and see how online high school can help, click here.