• Lucy Boyne and Isabelle Drohan

Course Selection Tips

Course selection is up and running and no matter what grade you’re in, course selection is overwhelming and daunting. You may feel like you need some advice, I know I did! We’ve gathered some advice and helpful tools to make your course selection process smooth and easy.

Requirements for graduation:

You need a minimum of 18 credits total, but you’re set up to graduate with 21. You can have no more than 7 “grade 10” credits, no less than 5 “grade 12” credits and 13 of which must be…


  • 1 english

  • 1 math

  • 1 “first science”


  • 1 math

  • 1 english

  • 1 science

  • 1 canadian history


  • 1 math

  • 1 english

  • 1 global studies


  • 1 other technology/science/math

  • 1 fine arts

  • 1 physical education

Here is our best advice and some tools to take advantage of:

Know the requirements

It can be hard to decide what path you want to take after high school, but having a general idea is very helpful! If you plan to attend university, go to the websites of some universities you would consider going to, and look at the program requirements. Every program and school has different requirements, and knowing them will make your course selection process significantly easier.

Consider your options!

There are so many options when it comes to course selection and you may be forgetting some. Some alternative options to taking academic courses include the O2 program (options and opportunities program) which takes you out into the real world to get real experience. Getting an IB diploma, getting an IB certificate which is taking a couple IB classes but not being an IB student, co-op or french immersion. If you’re looking for more details go to the Citadel High website at chs.hrce.ca. or contact your guidance counsellor (find their emails on the Citadel website too) to find out which option is ideal for you.

Know the prerequisites

Consider what you may want or need to take in grade 12, as it will affect your grade 11 course selection. For example in order to take Chemistry 12 you must take Chemistry 11 and so on.

Reach out to adults in your life

Do you have a relative or family friend who has a job or lifestyle that appeals to you? Consider reaching out and asking them for their personal advice! What courses did they take in highschool and post-graduation to get to where they are today? What courses do they regret not taking? What advice would they give to someone looking to start studying and eventually working in their field? This is a great way to get some real-life advice and consider some options you didn’t realize you had.

Do what you love

Make sure to take a few classes you know you will enjoy! Remember that you will be in these classes 5 hours a week all semester. Make sure you’re taking advantage of all of the courses offered and studying something that inspires you. Chances are, it’ll help you get motivated for school and be more successful in your courses.

Consider the Pros and Cons of having a free period

Remember that in grade 11 you can take one free period and in grade 12 you can take up to two! Frees can be really amazing if you’re able to take them. They give you lots of extra time to complete work from your other classes, catch up on rest and have free time to do what you want. And if you’re lucky, you could end up having your free period with your friends! Remember to make sure that you’re taking all of the classes you need to graduate and to apply for the programs and apprenticeships you’re looking into before you take a free period.

Check out myBlueprint

MyBlueprint is a great resource for anyone looking to research post-secondary opportunities. It is a completely free, interactive website filled with easy-to-use tools designed to help you explore all your options. Learn a thing or two about yourself by taking their personalized surveys on learning styles, motivations and more! Post-secondary research is made easier than ever with their customizable filters including location, institution and industry. You can log on through your school district and your account will be created through your existing gnspes.ca account. Definitely go checkout my blueprint to get some course inspiration and to find out what works best for you.

Chat with your guidance counselor

Still don’t know what classes would work best for you? Schedule a meeting with your guidance counselor! They will surely be able to provide you with tons of helpful advice and point you in the right direction to continue your research. Make sure to make a list of all of your questions and any topics that you want to cover before going into the meeting. Don’t forget to take notes on whatever you found helpful to bring back to discuss with your family/friends. You can schedule a meeting by stopping by the guidance office or sending your guidance counselor a brief email. Their email addresses can be found under “Staff Directory” at chs.hrce.ca.

Remember, you can always change or drop courses if you change your mind or something doesn’t work out for you. Goodluck!