By the time I graduated high school, I already had almost a full year of college under my belt. I was far from the female version of Doogie Howser. My high school offered a decent amount of AP and “joint enrollment” classes that enabled me to accrue 35 college credit hours, so I figured, why not?
AP was anything but easy, but I made A’s and B’s in those classes – with the exception of Economics, in which I got my first C ever. I still hate that subject.
My school in Georgia didn’t weight GPA’s. If you took AP classes and didn’t do well, you would have a lower GPA than the students who got in A’s in regular non-AP classes. Not so in North Carolina. Students in this state who take college-level and advanced placement classes receive a significant GPA bump, which results in averages well above the traditional 4.0 and skews the system. Starting in 2015-16, the maximum weight will be 5 for AP classes and 4.5 for International Baccalaureate and honors classes.
This system sounds reasonable to me. If I thought I would get a good GPA from taking an AP class – regardless of how well I did in that class – I probably wouldn’t have worked very hard in high school. On the other hand, AP classes deserve to be weighted in some way, as they are the new proposal.
The other argument for reducing the weight on the GPA grading system is it will make NC students’ GPA’s more comparable to those of students in neighboring states.
Starting college with almost a full year of college under my belt allowed me to study abroad while only taking two days of classes a week in London. Plus, I earned a second Bachelor’s Degree in the four years I spent in college. AP classes saved me thousands of dollars. Let’s hope that the new GPA grading system continues to motivate North Carolina high schoolers. What do you think?