Should weighted grades be eliminated? – YES


Mira Prabhakar

The significance of weighted GPAs compete with the argument of weighted GPAs being unecessary.

Yining Xie, Features Editor

While academic rewards offered to students taking more rigorous, advanced courses seems like a fair incentive, the so-called “benefits” of weighted grades and GPAs have proven to be a problem.
And the only way to solve this problem is to eliminate weighted grades and once again make a 4.0 the highest GPA students can earn.
Weighted GPAs were added to reward students taking more advanced, college-level courses, providing an extra point for students taking Advanced Placements classes to boost their GPAs. Instead of an A being counted as a 4 on the 4-point scale, weighted classes count an A as a 5, a B as a 4 and a C as a 3.
But weighted grades vary from school to school. Some schools don’t weigh their classes at all and some schools have a different weighting method. For example, some schools weight grades by the letter grade but not with the plus or minus.
At Cal High, we have 21 AP courses and 10 honors courses that are accepted as UC honors and count as weighted courses. But nearby Dublin High offers 26 AP classes and 16 honors course. Granada High in Livermore only has 19 AP classes but offers 37 other weighted classes. At Oakland High School, there are only 12 AP classes and two honors classes offered.
This makes it unfair for many students during the college admission process because they didn’t have the same opportunity as others in terms of earning a higher weighted GPA.
According to a blog by Lydia Tahraoui, a social studies concentrator at Harvard University, admission officers at top colleges such as Ivy League schools generally look at the weighted grades more than unweighted grades. Tahraoui wrote that many colleges and universities look for these weighted grades because it indicates students took harder classes throughout high school, making their application more competitive with other top applicants.
This makes the college application process unfair as some schools do not have the same course as others, while others have weighted courses that are generally considered easier than others.
Removing weighted grades will reduce stress on students from taking too many weighted courses and also help teens focus on pursuing their future path. Instead of loading up on AP classes to boost GPAs, students can choose courses that better fit their chosen paths.
This should allow students to have more time and space in their schedules for extracurriculars related to subjects they enjoy instead of spending hours of extra work for advanced classes that don’t interest them.
Eliminating weighted GPAs should help students manage their stress better by not taking as many challenging classes because of societal and parent pressure.
This change should allow students to not only take more classes related to subjects they are passionate about but also prevent them from damaging their GPAs by earning lower grades in advanced classes they were only interested in because it came with a free GPA boost.