Increase High School GPA
From high school honors and AP to middle school foreign language and high school counselors, a 4.0 and/or 5.0 high school GPA scale means more than just earning grades and working hard. Parents and students can benefit greatly from knowing about a few ways to greatly maximize high school and college admissions Grade Point Averages.
Take Foreign Language Classes in Middle School
Most middle schools offer foreign language classes as electives. Taking two years of language in middle school can count for at least one year of high school credit and it will eliminate one more 4 point graded course.
Take Honors and AP Classes
Honors and AP classes usually academically weigh students on a 5 point scale instead of a 4 point scale. An A can earn a student a 5.0, a B a 4.0, and a C a 3.0. These courses give students a chance to push their overall Grade Point Average above a 4.0.
Go Far in Middle School
Taking the most advanced courses in middle school will allow students to enroll in Honors and AP classes in high school. If a middle school, for example, offers geometry as its highest level of mathematics, students should attempt to take geometry before they graduate from middle school.
Take High School Competency Tests Seriously
Many high schools give middle schools competency tests to administer to students to determine which high school classes students should be placed in. Students should take such tests seriously so they can be placed in the most advanced courses possible.
Eliminate Non-Academic Electives
Elective classes that do not allow a student to earn a 5.0 will bring down a student's overall GPA, even if the student earns all A's. Replacing as many of these courses with academic classes weighted on a 5 point scale would be ideal.
Take 4.0 Classes Freshman and Senior Year
Many colleges and universities only focus on a student's middle two years, sophomore and junior year. The colleges will recalculate a student's admission GPA based on the classes taken during this time period. Taking as many 5 point courses during the middle two years of high school, and taking as many 4 point courses during the first and last year of high school, can improve a student's college admission GPA. These 4 point courses might include P.E., band, computer graphics, foreign language, art, and woodshop.
What will your GPA be when you graduate?
High school can be overwhelming and earning a high GPA definitely will be. Students should try to balance their classes by taking an even amount of courses each term and not taking all the challenging classes at once. Students should mix academic classes with more enjoyable classes if possible, like taking photography along with AP calculus. Students should also not allow for there to be a period when they take very many courses one term and very few courses another term. Keeping a steady pace and not being too overwhelmed will benefit the student in the long run.
Confront the High School Counselor
Some high school counselors manage hundreds of student schedules each term and students should not rely on their counselors to always setup the most ideal and functional class schedule. Parents and students should not be afraid to counter their counselor's suggestions if the schedule interferes with the student's overall plans or if the student feels the schedule will be too difficult or detrimental to the student's GPA.
Make School a Priority
Of course, success and hard work falls on the efforts of the student, and unfortunately, corresponds with the socioeconomic opportunities afforded. Students, Parents, and the community must work together to encourage and safeguard academic success.
What Can I Do to Raise My GPA in High School Now?
If you're already a freshman, sophomore, or junior and your GPA falls below a 4.0 or a 3.0, you can still take action now to push it back up!
1. Rewrite history.
If you failed any classes, see if you can retake those for a better grade and cancel out your previous grade.
2. You need to put school on the top of your To-Do List.
If that means cutting out some extra curricular activities, dropping that part-time job you got, playing less video games... you need suck it up. Your girlfriend will understand.
3. Get rid of the classes you can't handle.
If you're taking honors and AP classes and you find you can't get a B or better, it might be time to move back into college prep.
4. Reduce the stress and the load.
If you know you're not doing well in a particular subject (math, science, art, etc), and you don't need them, stop taking those types of courses. Just concentrate on the ones you enjoy or can do well in.
5. Focus on your graduation requirements.
Are you taking more classes than you need to graduate? If you can take less classes, do so, and focus more time on the ones you need to get A's and B's in.
6. Get help.
Stay after school, meet with your teachers, find a tutor, consult your counselor, get your parents involved, find friends who can help you do better. No one succeeds alone, but it will be on you if you fail. Get connected with the right people who can help you do better and improve your grades.