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How to Decide Which High School Electives to Take?

Written by James Madison High School on Friday, 06 January 2023. Posted in Adult Learner, College Bound, Traditional Students

Girl studying on laptop.

Deciding which high school electives you should take involves knowing what your school offers, what your goals are after high school, and how rigorous you want your courses to be. Electives may seem less important than your core classes, but depending on what you want to do after high school, they can help prepare you for your next move. Here’s why electives are important and how to decide which classes are right for you.

Why are high school electives important?

The “extra” classes you take in high school can seem like they’re just meant to fill up your schedule. After all, how can a drama class or speech class make an impact on your future after graduation? But, actually, it can matter a lot. This is especially true if you have specific goals for your post-graduation life. Your electives can help you prepare for more difficult college-level courses, meet school admissions requirements, and become a more well-rounded learner. They can also help you decide what career you want to pursue.

The classes you choose in high school can make a big impact on what happens after high school, so it’s important to consider your options and understand what you can learn from each course.

Find out what electives your school offers.

To begin the process, find out what options you have for electives. Once you know what you can do, it’s easier to think about what you want to do. Most schools offer electives in a wide range of subjects, including more academically challenging courses like chemistry or interest-specific classes like fitness or nutrition.

James Madison’s online high school offers elective choices similar to those you’d find in a traditional high school setting and you can tailor your choices to what you want to do after graduation. If you’re not sure what you want to do after high school, elective courses are a good way to help you narrow down your interests.

How to decide which electives to take if you want to go to college.

If you’re interested in going to a four-year college after graduation, even if you’re not sure what you want to major in, you can start preparing in high school. Research the colleges you’re interested in attending and see what their admissions requirements are. Do you need to have a certain level of math under your belt? Is a second language required before starting your freshman year? You can use your elective choices to fill those requirements and take classes that are a little more academically challenging so you can submit college applications with confidence.

If you want to make sure you get the classes you need on your transcript, you could enroll in James Madison’s College Prep High School Diploma, which combines more challenging courses with your traditional curriculum to get students ready for college-level math and literature courses.

How to decide which electives to take to advance with your current employer.

Your goal is to either jump straight into the workforce post-graduation, take a gap year before college, or even graduate in order to advance with your current employer. You want to finish your diploma but you want to do it your way, on your schedule, and you want to keep it simple. With that in mind, choosing electives that can teach you a useful skill but can still be done at a faster pace might be the best direction for you to go. Or, if you know there’s a particular skill your employer would like you to work on, such as accounting, you can learn the basics in the accounting elective.

How to decide which electives to take if you know what career you want.

Sometimes, you find something you’re passionate about early on and know, without a shadow of a doubt, that this is what you want to do for the rest of your life. If that’s the case, you may not want to waste time on classes that won’t help you get to your end goal. Our high school programs are designed to help you earn your high school diploma, on your own terms. James Madison High School’s Career Pathways Diploma offers an accredited education combined with elective courses that are introductory lessons in a specific industry. James Madison High School is nationally accredited by Cognia and the Distance Education Accrediting Commission.

From carpentry to event planning, you can lay down a foundation for your future career goals with your electives.

Prepare for the future your way with JMHS.

With our online high school diploma, you can choose the track that works best for your goals and complete your courses on your schedule. If you’re ready to get started or have questions about which high school track is right for you, speak with an Admissions Specialist at today!

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James Madison High School

James Madison High School

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