If you’re in high school, you definitely want to know how to keep track of what’s going on with your schedule, right? You want to make sure that you’re going to graduate on time, and that means making sure that you’re following all the rules and doing everything you need to do in order to get your credits.
So, you may be wondering if you’re even on track. And that means you’re probably wondering how to know how many high school credits you have. Well, the good news is that it’s not difficult to figure out the answer to this question.
We’re going to look at how many high school credits do I need to graduate and how to figure out other high school graduation requirements. Plus, we’ll talk about what your credits are really going to be used for. From there, you’ll be able to get a whole lot further in your planning.
What are High School Credits Used For?
High school credits are first used to determine if you’re going to graduate or not. Your high school will have a set number of credits that are required in order for you to be considered ‘passing’ your grade level. And they’ll have a set number that you need to accumulate in order to finally graduate.
If you don’t get to that number and don’t get it in the right combination of courses, you won’t be allowed to graduate before you finish your senior year. Then you will either need to take summer school, take another year beyond your senior year, or switch to a GED program. It will generally be a decision made by you, the school, and your parents which of these options you’ll go with.
Once you have enough credits to graduate, the college you want to go to will also take a look at your credits. They will determine whether or not you have enough credits and the proper credits to come to their school. This means looking at things like how many English credits you have and how many math credits. If you don’t have enough of certain types of credits, you may not be accepted in either.
Now, this isn’t always true of colleges and universities. For example, some schools will only look at whether or not you graduated from high school. This is more likely with community colleges and some trade schools, but it may be the only requirement at the school that you’re looking to attend.
On the other hand, some schools may have even more stringent requirements than others when it comes to what you need to have completed. They may require you to take additional courses are your local community college (or preliminary courses at their college) before allowing you admission. Do your research on this so you know what you need before you get too far into your high school career.
How to Determine Your High School Credits?
So, you know what your high school credits are going to be used for, but how do you know what you have? How can you figure out the number of high school credits? Well, you can typically look at the number of classes you’ve taken and then look at just how long each of those courses was.
A full-year course will typically be one credit, while a single semester course will be ½ credit. So, if you take five classes in a term that are each an entire year, you have earned five credits. It’s important to note that some states have slightly different numbers for their credits and their system. So, if you live in one of the following states, you’d have to look at their method of counting.
- California: full-year courses are 10 credits, and half-year courses are five credits
- Nebraska: full-year courses are 10 credits, and half-year courses are five credits
- New Jersey: full-year courses are five credits, and half-year courses are 2.5 credits
- Idaho: full-year courses are two credits, and half-year courses are one credit
You may want to check with your school or look at your report card to see how many credits you have or how many credits each of your courses is worth, so you know your school’s method for calculating these credits.
How to Know How Many Credits You Have?
How do you determine your own specific number of credits? Well, the first step is to make sure that you know how your school calculates credits. If they go based on the standard one credit for each full-year course, you can easily count the number of full-year classes you are taking or have taken for your high school career and know your credits.
The next method of determining your credits would be to check your report card. Often progress reports will be sent out throughout the year, or you can wait for an end-of-the-year report card. Either way, you can take a look at these reports and will usually see an updated list of the number of credits you have received. This will typically appear in the upper corner of the report.
Finally, you can always speak with a counselor at your school to find out more about your progress toward graduation. They will be able to pull up your school record at any time and let you know what your current credit count is and whether you are on track to get enough credits before your graduation date.
Keep in mind that you must pass the course in order to receive credit for it. Even if you finished the course, you need a passing grade to count. Also, just because you have a set number of credits does not mean you will automatically be eligible for graduation. Most schools have requirements for what type of credits those need to be.
Your school will have a record of exactly what your credit makeup needs to look like. For example, you will need to earn a set number of math, English, science, history,/social studies credits. You may also need a set number of ‘extracurricular’ credits, and some of these may be required to be in things like art, communications, foreign language, gym/physical education, music, or others.
How Many Credits Does it Take to Graduate High School?
In general, it takes between 18 and 24 credit hours to graduate from high school. However, keep in mind that this number is varied for a reason because different schools in different states mark their credit hours differently than others.
You will need to check the requirements in your home state or consult a high school credits chart to find out precisely what you’ll need. Also, make sure that you check the specific requirements for courses within that credit hour requirement. You don’t want to find yourself with plenty of credit hours but in the wrong subjects as this would be the same as not having enough credit hours at all.
If you don’t get the right combination of credit hours from the proper subjects, you will still not be able to graduate. The best thing that you can do is monitor your credits and your progress toward graduation at least every semester to ensure you are on track and fulfilling all of your school requirements.
Speaking with your high school counselor at least this often will help you on your path. They can take a look at the overall requirements for graduation and then the courses that you have taken are currently taking or plan to take, and determine what you need to do differently (if anything).
The earlier you are able to catch a potential problem, the better off you’re going to be. You will have a lot more time to make changes to your schedule and make sure that you can accommodate the additional courses that you need.
If you don’t catch a problem until later, you may find that you are out of time to fix the problem and still graduate on time. While this doesn’t mean that you won’t graduate at all, it can be disheartening to be held back from graduating with your peers.
Best Way to Catch Up on High School Credits
If you find that you aren’t on track for graduation for any reason, the first thing to do is talk with your high school counselor. They can give you a better understanding of why you’re not on track and what you would need to do to get on track. You may be able to simply rearrange your schedule to take the required courses and get back where you need to be.
Some students find that they missed a more obscure requirement for a specific course and are able to swap out an unneeded course for the required one. Others find that they have not passed a required course or only passed part of it and need to add it into their schedule where they can.
If you are not able to add a course to your regular schedule, there may still be options. For example, some schools offer extra hours in the morning or after school where you can add an extra class. The class that you can add may be set (a single course offered for each grade level), or you may be able to take an online course out of any offered by your school.
If you are not able to add hours to your school day, you will generally have the ability to take the course during summer school. This would mean continuing your regular school day through at least part of the summer. If you are already a senior, this would mean you would not be eligible to graduate with your peers as you would not have achieved the required course credits.
The best option is going to be adding the courses you need into your school day however you can. Whether you can add them into the regular school day or you need to add hours to your day, this will allow you to catch back up and still complete your high school career on time.
Wrapping Things Up: How to Know How Many High School Credits You Have
When it comes to knowing how many high school credits you have, the most important thing is to always be aware. Always pay attention to what you’re currently doing, what you need to be doing, and how you’re going to get where you need to be. It can be challenging to stay on track in high school, but that’s the only way you’re going to graduate on time.
Keeping track of your high school credits is simple, and with so many people to help you make sure you’re going in the right direction, you should be able to keep yourself on track without too much trouble.