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  • Writer's pictureDwaine Praught


Picking the right Grade 12 courses is the first step in career selection

We have reached that time in the school calendar when students in Grade 11 are required to make their selections for their final year of high school. We hope the following information will prove helpful in assisting them with their selections.

The process

Most schools will require students to submit their initial selections prior to March break, in many cases as early as this week. Even at this stage, course selection is not guaranteed. Some courses may be cancelled due to low enrolment, while others may be unable to accommodate all interested students and therefore accept enrolment on a first-come first-served basis.

The schools will then project the course calendar for next year and provide the students with a Course Verification sheet in mid-April. At that time the students will have one final opportunity to make changes to their selections. Typical school policy is that no changes will be accommodated in September unless due to missing pre-requisites, level or pathway changes. In other words, get it right the first time or you may find yourself out of luck.

Requirement Fulfillment

The first step in course selection is to ensure that the student meets the requirements for graduation. This can be done by evaluating the My Progress section of MyBlueprint. Requirements are:

1. 40 hours of community service

2. Literacy test successfully completed

3. 30 credits (most Gr 11 students will have 24 by June – requiring as few as 6 in Grade 12).

4. Fulfillment of GROUP 1,2,3 credits requirements.

Next students should determine the pre-requisite course requirements for their preferred post-secondary program.

> Ontario University bound students will need 6 Grade 12 U/M level courses. Those courses should include ENG4U and any stated required courses from their chosen university programs. Pre-requisite requirements can be researched at

> Students seeking a college diploma should include ENG4C in their choices. Further course requirements can be discovered through

> Students considering apprenticeship should choose courses related to their future path and may wish to consider OYAP (Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program) - in MyBlueprint, browse Regional Programs. Additional research into apprenticeship opportunities can be done at

Course Selection Tips

Considering that grades are the first determinant in admission to a post-secondary program, it is important to balance learning pre-requisites and performance when selecting courses.

* When examining post-secondary pre-requisites, consider more than one institution. Despite offering similar programs, there are often significant differences in the pre-requisite requirements from one institution to the next. For example, one school may demand any math, another any two maths, another may require MHF4U and either MCV4U or MDM4U, while a third may require MHF4U and MCV4U specifically. Similar alternative combinations will be found in the science requirements. Accommodate multiple schools where possible.

* In addition to required pre-requisites, schools will often recommend additional courses. While not required these courses will often benefit the student in their post-secondary learning by providing a foundation for materials that will be introduced in their first year.

* If a student is undecided on a career path look to accommodate multiple pathways if possible.

* Most students will require only 6 Grade twelve courses to graduate. However, it may be beneficial to take a 7th or even 8th course in order to reduce the risk of one bad outcome. Universities will include only 6 courses in calculating entrance averages which will enable them to exclude a poor result unless it is a pre-requisite course for the program.

* The benefit of adding buffer courses should be weighed against the impact of added workload.

* Taking an OPEN course such as Gym, will not count for academic admissions, but may add enjoyment to the student's final year experience and place little demands on their time outside of the classroom itself. Consider the impact of including or excluding a course of this nature.

* If workload is a concern, consider a summer school course to get a head start.

* Consider the student's course level of difficulty. Be aware that selecting a slew of challenging courses may provide valuable learning experience but may also add difficulty and impact average. Consider including courses in which the student has an interest and will be able to perform to a high level even if not directly related to their program of choice.

* Co-op credits provide an opportunity for hands on learning, increasing skills, real work experience and career exploration. However, these credits do not count towards admission averages for students planning on attending university.

* It is always easier to drop a course you later determine you don’t need than to add one you do.

* Make use of volunteer hours. A secondary consideration that many programs are now adding is a supplemental application process that will give consideration to factors other than grade point average. Typically schools are looking for related skills, leadership, overcoming adversity and community giving. Look for opportunities to build these traits when volunteering your time.

Good luck in your selections!

If you are still undecided about your career path and are looking for some guidance in how to choose the right career for you, send us a note at or call us at (905) 702-9031. We are here to help!

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