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Coursework Goals for 2015

I hope you’ve had time to complete your 2014 annual review and plan for 2015. If not, check out the Annual Review post to get going. This week I want to talk to you about your coursework goals and how to achieve them.


Course Selection


This semester’s courses are likely already started, but, if you need to make a change for any reason, this is the time to do it. This is also a great time to plan your courses for next year. I want you to really stretch yourself and take courses that are challenging. Colleges like the Ivies expect highly competitive course loads.


So how do you select to your courses to be challenging? Look at what’s available at your high school. Are there honors courses? Are there AP courses? Those are the courses you want to be taking. What if you’re not sure how you’ll do in honors or AP courses? If you don’t think you can keep at least a 3.7 GPA with all the most difficult classes, be selective about your choices. Pick the honors or AP courses for the subjects you are most interested in and expect to major in. If you’re applying to Harvard with a science base, you want to take the science AP courses offered by your school.


Coursework Planning


Get your calendar filled out with all of the big assignments and tests for your classes. Add reminders to make sure you have adequate time to study and prepare those papers and projects. This is the time to get the planning and prep work done to make your life this semester easier.


When I was in high school, I would put everything in my planner at the beginning of the semester. Now I put everything in my google calendar. Planning will help you achieve your goals.


Get Help Now


If you think you might have a class where you’re going to struggle, get help now. As a tutor, I see you students get tutors only after they are far behind in a class. Some students, however, are proactive and get tutors before they get too behind. The proactive students always seem to have an easier time and end up in a better place. More importantly, with a better grade.


Meet with your teacher now and discuss your concerns about the course. Ask if there’s anything you can be doing to make sure you do as well as he possibly can. See if there’s an extra credit project you can start working on now. This will also let your teacher know that you care about the class and want to do well.


Action Items

  1. Review your course load and match sure it matches your 2015 goals.
  2. Update your calendar for the semester.
  3. Meet with your teachers to discuss what you need to do to ace your courses.
  4. Get a tutor now if you think you might struggle in one of your courses.

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