One of the worst things your high school junior can do this year is to plan to take it easy academically next year. Some call this "taking a victory lap" after doing well in prior semesters. Colleges pay attention to how much students challenge themselves in high school. Some students mistakenly think that current good grades and earlier academic rigor is all they need to get in to the college of their choice.
Current high school seniors planning next semesters courses need to stay on track taking challenging courses. High school transcripts being sent out will include next terms courses. Mid-term transcripts will also tell the tale.
The reason admissions officers care so much about academic challenge in high school is that it is an indicator of how ready a student is for college work. Students who take fewer classes and/or less challenging classes in high school are less ready to do well in college.
Students reason that they only have to take certain courses to graduate when they decide to take it easy during the senior year. The problem with that logic is that colleges are watching and they want to admit students who are prepared.
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