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Plan Your Courses

Are you ready for high school? How about high school graduation? Did you know that the classes you take your freshman year are just as important as the classes you choose your senior year?

The courses you take during all your high school years will affect if and when you graduate, if you go to college, and what type of job you'll get.

During eighth grade, your school will probably talk to you about making a plan for your high school classes. A four-year plan lets you map out what classes you want to take in high school. This plan helps you achieve your school and career goals.

If you want to know what to expect, here's one way to make a four-year plan:

  1. Use a four-year plan template like this. (PDF)
  2. Find out your school's graduation requirements (how many years of which types of classes you need to graduate). Ask your school counselor or look on the school's website.
  3. Decide what type of training or education you'll need after high school for your career goal. If you don't know, make plans for a four-year college – then you'll be ready for just about anything.
  4. Choose a high school curriculum. Your counselor and the websites of technical schools, colleges and universities can tell you what classes you need to take in high school to enter their programs.
  5. Plan which classes you'll take each semester of high school. (Don't worry – you can change your plans later.)
  6. After each semester, write down your achievements – your grades, credits for that semester, total credits so far in high school and your GPA.
  7. Rethink your plan each year. Maybe your plans changed. Make a new plan for the rest of high school if you need to.
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