Your junior and senior years are important, but they're not the only part of your high school education that matter to colleges. Your overall GPA retains the results of all your years, and admissions officers will consider your academic rigor — that is, the types of courses you were taking all the way up to your graduation. This doesn't mean you need to immediately flood your schedule with extra classes, and the point at which you should add honors or AP courses depends heavily upon what kind of student you are. However, here are some general guidelines to help you put together a solid plan for each year.
Rob Franek, editor-in-chief at The Princeton Review, is the company’s main authority on higher education and is a college aficionado -- he visits more than 50 colleges a year. Over his 24-year career in education, he has served as a college admissions administrator, test prep teacher, author and lecturer. He is lead author of The Princeton Review’s annual books, The Best 382 Colleges, and Colleges That Pay You Back: The 200 Schools That Give You the Best Bang for Your Tuition Buck. He is also author of Colleges That Create Futures: 50 Schools That Launch Careers by Going Beyond the Classroom and co-author of If The U Fits: Expert Advice on Finding the Right College and Getting Accepted. Rob gives dozens of presentations a year to audiences of teachers, parents and students on trending education and college topics. Follow his tweets at @RobFranek.