Less Stress: AP Limits, GPA Changes Will Help Students

APimage1By Mia Feizbakhsh ’22

The school is known for its notorious amount of pressure when it comes to one’s academic future, but this is about to change. The school has made a new rule that will be in effect, starting with the class of 2022. From that grade on, a student’s GPA will no longer be affected by AP or honors courses. This change was made so that students who sign up for advanced-level classes do not do it for the GPA boost they would receive.

Throughout the years, many students have often taken AP and honors classes solely for the one point boost in their GPA, without actually having a passion about that specific subject.  This has caused many students to feel that taking an AP or honors course is necessary in order for their GPA to increase.  This new rule is a step towards relieving students of stress when it comes to their classes.

Many people believe that the new change is unfair because students will no longer be properly compensated for their work; however, the correct reason as to why one should take an AP or honors course is the pursuit of education, not a higher grade point average.  Students should choose to take an advanced course because they have grown to like a specific subject more than others and are willing to accept a challenge in their preferred classes. They should not be signing up for harder courses if all they care about is their grade point average.

Maintaining a high GPA has become a priority at our school, but why? The idea that one’s GPA is a deciding factor in college applications is firmly believed by many students, which is why they prioritize their grade over the value of what they learn.  Taking an AP course, or any course, should not just be about getting a good grade.  If the absence of a GPA boost changes one’s decision when it comes to taking the advanced route, then they don’t really want to take that class because they enjoy it.  When people sign up for an accelerated program, they have a genuine interest in the subject, and they accept the challenge. These students are willing to put in the time and effort to learn, not just to get a good grade.

When going through the application process for college, of course, a student’s GPA appears on the application.  Some people think that they now have a disadvantage, but colleges also receive a copy of transcripts and would be able to tell that a student took an advanced course.

The school has made this new rule to relieve a burden that can cause students to obsess over their future, to the detriment of the present.  School is not always about what grade a student got on his or her tests; it is about the experiences had, such as making new friends on retreat or going on that school trip one was curious about.  The school is trying to give kids more of a “regular” high school experience, instead of the high-pressure-GPA-obsessed school it is sometimes thought to be from people both inside and outside.  Therefore, the new GPA policy is a step towards a less stressful school environment.

 

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