Having honors classes on your academic record can prove advantageous later on in your educational career. Colleges and scholarship-offering institutions love to see students who are willing to submit to the intellectual rigor and extensive workload of honors classes. If you want to participate in these courses, there are some things that you must do well in advance of registering.
Getting Into Honor Classes
Talk to your guidance counselor, student adviser or the instructor of the honors course you wish to take to find out what requirements you must meet before taking the class. The requirements to get into honors courses vary. For example, to get into an honors science course, you might need to complete an excellent science project.
Take the prerequisite classes for whichever honor course you wish to take. Most honors courses require that you take prerequisite classes and achieve a certain grade in those classes before being considered for the honors course.
Because these are high-level academic classes, it is likely that you will have to meet a certain GPA to enroll in them. Talk to your guidance counselor to learn what benchmark you need to surpass to qualify to take honors classes.
Get a recommendation from a qualified instructor. Sometimes, honor courses (especially AP courses, which are a level above honors) require a recommendation. It is also possible that a good recommendation can offset or explain a slight shortfall in GPA requirements.
Skills Necessary for Success in Honors Classes
Work on improving your time management skills. Keep an organized schedule of assignments, homework and important dates, and adhere to this schedule strictly.
Maximize your note-taking skills. Begin the habit of constantly condensing and "digesting" your notes.
Uphold the highest standard of academic integrity possible. Always do your own work and do it well ahead of deadlines. Never cheat or plagiarize.
Learn to think and work independently. Don't just repeat what the instructor says; develop and express your own thoughts. And don't wait to be told what to do in class. Take initiative, and explore the subject matter on your own.
Jeremy Cato is a writer from Atlanta who graduated with Phi Beta Kappa honors and an English degree from Morehouse College. An avid artist and hobbyist, he began professionally writing in 2011, specializing in crafts-related articles for various websites.