By Beverly Red | Journalism 1
Over the course of high school, students need to make the choice of taking a harder class with the risk of damaging their GPA or playing it safe. Making the wrong choice can result in failing the course altogether.
The most prominent problem with taking a challenging class is the effects it can have on a student’s GPA. These effects can be both positive and negative. If a student does well, then he will receive “quality points” that will boost his GPA. But, if he does poorly, the class could cause damage to his GPA.
“The QP can help people’s grades, but if they do poorly in the class, then it’s not worth the stress,” freshman Katherine Hutchison said.
Yet, there are advantages to taking challenging courses. Students gain studying, reading and writing skills for a college level course. They also build the ability to connect with and understand the topics in everyday life.
Taking and passing an AP exam also means a student doesn’t have to take it in college, and he is better prepared for college schoolwork.
“Without a doubt, the most effective advantage to taking an upper level class is the preparation it gives you for the rest of your high school career,” freshman Cole Mollard said.
However, there are disadvantages to consider. A student will have to study harder to be able to pass, attend tutoring and think critically. A student will also have to give up a lot of time for the class.
“I think taking a hard class can result in a much higher workload, and you have to figure out how to study efficiently to get better grades on tests,” freshman Mary Grace Hearon said.
According to AP Human Geography teacher Megan Webster, when students are deciding whether or not to take a challenging class, they should look at all of the things they could gain and what they would have to sacrifice. If students are willing to take the challenge and willing to keep up with the class, then they should go ahead.
On the other hand, if students are not willing to give up time to do the work and are worried about it affecting their GPA, then they should try it out for the first six weeks, and if they can’t handle it, then drop it.
“Students should take hard classes if they want a challenge and to achieve a goal,” Ms. Webster said, “especially as a freshman, because once they realize they can manage, they realize it’s exciting and engaging and can even find it rewarding.”