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Stressed about Gr.12 courses..taking spares?..Dropping courses..

A photo of Kimberluh Kimberluh
I think I'm just stressing myself out way too much for Gr.12. I'm currently in Gr.11, and am already stressed to the point of not sleeping properly and this is nothing.

First semester for Gr.11:
Advanced Functions - 88% (This was pretty good, as I'm not a strong math student)
Chemistry - 78% (I had an 84% before exams, and totally screwed up on the exam..this class stressed me out and I stayed up late doing the homework and labs all the time)
English - 92% (I'm okay with this mark, I had one of the "hardest" English teachers or so I was told)
Gym - 90%

Second Semester I received progress reports:
Cross-Fitness Course - 96% right now
French - 90%
Biology - Not sure, as I did not get a progress report for this
Physics - Not sure, but I got my Motions test and received an 88% :D I'm proud of that.
I'm struggling learning the concepts because my teacher..well she doesn't teach, is all over the place and is a messy writer.

I ended up taking 8 courses for Gr.12 and they were:
Calculus
Advanced Functions
Biology
Chemistry
Physics
Kinesiology
French
English

I was thinking of dropping French, and possibly taking a course in the summer to lighten my load and get a spare at least. I've lost interest in French, and have really no will to learn it anymore..but I'm sticking through it. I'm terrified for my Gr.12 year. I still don't have much of an idea of what I want to do so I'm taking these courses for that reason.

Do you guys mind giving me tips for Gr.12? If I'm having stress over little stuff and grades now, I might just blow up in gr.12......
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8 replies
 
A photo of napinhei napinhei
Honestly, don't stress! I've been there, and I understand why you're freaking out. I know I freaked out. If I could go back in time, though, and give my Grade 11/12 self a piece of advice, it would be to stop worrying! Grade 12 is probably going to be one of the best times of your life -- as it should be since you will be in the last year of high school and celebrating it -- so embrace it and don't let yourself get bogged down with worrying about school.

That said, you obviously have to take your work seriously. Grades are important! Just keep in mind that if you overload yourself, all of your subjects will suffer as you try to keep up with everything. Well, unless you're one of the super geniuses that are often seen around here, haha.

As for advice, I most certainly have some. Here goes...

First of all, go to the eINFO website. Just browse through the programs. Even if you have no idea what you want to do, try to see what interests you or if anything catches your eye. By doing that, you will get an idea of what is out there, what you might like, and what thethe prerequisites are for the programs you are considering applying to. This is important because that way you can make sure you cover your bases and take what it is you need to help you get where you want to be.

Second, take a look at your grades. Wow, you are clearly a hard worker and a strong student overall. Since you manage to get great grades in subjects you say you aren't strong in, I take this as a sign that you deserve to have spares. In fact, what I would suggest is (depending on what province you live in) taking as many spares as possible. With all that extra time, you can make sure you work really hard and spend a lot of time on work for the classes you do decide to take. When narrowing what classes you can drop, refer to the programs that piqued your interest from the previous step. Make sure you stay in whatever prerequisites you need to. As for the rest of them, keep only your strongest subjects. If it isn't a prerequisite, it doesn't matter whether you take it or not so it is important to take classes that will get you the best possible average. Then, when you have a total of four or six (depending on the province), leave it at that.

As for French, I would say drop the subject all together. If you really want to follow through and continue learning French, save that motivation for when you're in university. You can take any foreign language class without having any prior knowledge. They basically teach you from the ground up so you really don't have to take it. No point in wasting time and giving yourself extra work in Grade 12.

As for not knowing what you want to take after high school, that is perfectly okay. Most people change their mind two, three, even four or more times. Choosing a major to apply to isn't set in stone. In fact, even if you're admitted into a certain major, you still have to take courses that are part of general degree requirements anyway so your first year is unlikely to be entirely specific to your major. You'll mostly be taking a variety of different courses in different subjects. Doing that will help you make up your mind. The world won't end just because you don't go into university knowing exactly what you want.

Last tip, enjoy yourself. Make sure there is balance in your life so you don't mess up your grades, but really enjoy yourself. Once you're in the real world, you'll realise just how drastically different life is after high school and, if you don't make the most of it now, you'll regret it. I know I definitely do.
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A photo of Bscit Bscit
I was always thinking that Spares are not the right way to go. But I was stressing at the beginning of Grade 12 (My avg was really low 80s after 1.5months), I know this is sad, so I decided to drop one of my classes.

The one I hated the most and found the most useless, mainly because me teacher is a rock nerd and wont teach properly but instead would show off his collection of rocks. After I dropped the class, I found that my other classes rose significantly. 77 and MHF became 83, 72 in Int Law became 85, and English mark stayed the same (90).

Im currently taking a spare again in Semester 2 and im currently getting 90+ in Physics, and Data. Calc mark is low 80s though.
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A photo of brady23 brady23

@Kimberluh wrote
I think I'm just stressing myself out way too much for Gr.12. I'm currently in Gr.11, and am already stressed to the point of not sleeping properly and this is nothing.

First semester for Gr.11:
Advanced Functions - 88% (This was pretty good, as I'm not a strong math student)
Chemistry - 78% (I had an 84% before exams, and totally screwed up on the exam..this class stressed me out and I stayed up late doing the homework and labs all the time)
English - 92% (I'm okay with this mark, I had one of the "hardest" English teachers or so I was told)
Gym - 90%

Second Semester I received progress reports:
Cross-Fitness Course - 96% right now
French - 90%
Biology - Not sure, as I did not get a progress report for this
Physics - Not sure, but I got my Motions test and received an 88% :D I'm proud of that.
I'm struggling learning the concepts because my teacher..well she doesn't teach, is all over the place and is a messy writer.

I ended up taking 8 courses for Gr.12 and they were:
Calculus
Advanced Functions
Biology
Chemistry
Physics
Kinesiology
French
English

I was thinking of dropping French, and possibly taking a course in the summer to lighten my load and get a spare at least. I've lost interest in French, and have really no will to learn it anymore..but I'm sticking through it. I'm terrified for my Gr.12 year. I still don't have much of an idea of what I want to do so I'm taking these courses for that reason.

Do you guys mind giving me tips for Gr.12? If I'm having stress over little stuff and grades now, I might just blow up in gr.12......



I took the exact same courses as you in grade 12 except for Kinesiology for which I took Accounting.

Don't drop French, especially if you are getting a 90. Not only is 90 a good mark, french can always help you out in the future, even if you stop after grade 12. Also, you can still take a course in the summer (you should take an "easy" elective that you KNOW you can get a 90+ in) like International Business or Business Leadership.

I was never into French either, but I stuck with it, and I'm happy with it now.

Your courses you chose will meet the prerequisites for any program in university, and you will be prepared probably for every program except Business (even that you can study on a fresh start in uni).

But look at your grade 11 marks, and figure if you are prepared for your grade 12 courses. You don't want to be the student who got 60s in Math and Science, and still took them in grade 12 and got lower marks, and therefore, wasted a whole semester.

Good luck!
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A photo of Kimberluh Kimberluh
Thank you everyone!
I feel much better now. I think I might actually end up dropping French.
I'd rather benefit from possibly two spares, one for each semester if I can, so I could use that time to get help or do work in courses that I might struggle in...which I know I will :P
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A photo of bcd92 bcd92
Another word of advice....WORK HARD IN GRADE 11. by the time you apply, you'll be ahead of many students with the countless number of early acceptances. At my school, most (if not all) students were not as aware of the importantce of grade 11 marks. So do try to bring it up as much as possible. Luck!
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A photo of tukr tukr
Here's my two cents... Had I not taken my 2 spares this year, I likely would have died. I probably would have been able to handle the school work, but if you are a student that's very involved in EC's (which I highly recommend you emphasize in gr 11 not 12 if you are an EC person!!), like me, then you will find the 2 spares relieving (I had to balance student council president, interact club president, yearbook editor, part-time job, sports, etc. and I was shooting for a 92% average, ended up with a semester 1 91% average)

Here's what my sched looked like:

Sem 1
Physics
Chem
Yearbook Production
Spare
AP Calculus
(AP calc was after school, once a week, but extra work for semester 1, and yearbook production turned out to be a surprising amount of work for an average booster...)

Sem 2
Spare
English
French
AP Calc

(I took data man and adv. functions in grade 11... also one of the best decisions ever, took a HUGE load off this year)

For you, I would recommend not taking advanced functions again if you got an 88! Most universities only care about calc. Swap that for a spare. I'm in core french right now and I hate it, I only took it because I was set on going to McGill and "experiencing Quebec" since grade 9 and now I don't even care because I'm 99% sure I'm going to Queen's (sounds awful, I know, but this year I hate the course and I have a brutal teacher). Also, CORE french is going to be of little to no use to me. I wish I could have dropped it for food nutrition sciences or exercise science which may have managed to hold the attention of a 2nd semester grade 12 (I have to maintain a 75 average, like let's get real here), but its too late... It's your call though! I am quite biased against french right now. Point is, evaluate how you work best and use your time, also how you work under a heavy workload, and try to relax, it's grade 12 :) university stuff will start getting thrown at you before you know it! Feel free to inbox me if you have any questions about my gr 12 year
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A photo of AdJan AdJan
I have two tips for you:

1) Take only six courses.
As far as I've read, you already took Advanced Functions which is a 12U course. Unless you ABSOLUTELY need a course a prerequisite for university, I advise you to stick to 6 courses and 2 spares. Choose the ones you like, you usually do well in subjects you take an interest to. The trade off of taking 6 courses is that you study them hard and long, and ensure that you do extremely well in all 6 rather than mediocre in all 8. If you take two spares, you will probably have enough time for homework, studying and slacking off. With 8 courses, it'll be hard to do well in all 8 when only university is taking 6.

2) Generalize
You said you had no idea what you wanted to do; that's perfectly acceptable. You do know what interests you though. If you enjoy learning about the sciences, obviously you're going to consider a field of science for university. But generally other than science or design arts programs in university, most programs require you take 12U English and sometimes (1 or 2 math courses). So if you consider science or visual art one of your interests, it wouldn't hurt you to take some courses related to them.
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