# Why do high schools weigh GPAs?

#### Wellesley

At my school, they give an extra GPA bonus to those in AP or Honors classes. A=4.5, B=3.4, C=3.2. Does this seem fair that honors classes, a year behind Advanced Placement, get the same boost in GPA? It may be just me, but the workload, and the level of diffuculty in AP just doesn't compare to Honors classes.

Also, I have heard of other schools giving a whole point extra (A=5.0) for AP classes. Why do schools do this when they know universities will recalculate the GPAs?

#### uman

The weighted GPAs are used to calculate class rank, so they may matter for colelges more than you think.

#### Wellesley

The weighted GPAs are used to calculate class rank, so they may matter for colelges more than you think.
Okay....I can see that. Then why would a school give the same weighted points to an Honors class as an AP one?

I just think the whole education system is moving farther and farther away from what a "4.0" had meant for a long time. A 4.0 GPA was all A's, in every class, with nothing lower than that. A while ago, schools agreed to boost a class because of AP, and now, they extend that to the honors track. It just seems too many people are getting over a 4. without all A's.

#### j93

The weighted GPAs are used to calculate class rank, so they may matter for colelges more than you think.
This is also the reason to weigh GPA's.
Suppose no weighing ans there are student taking all the same classes except for one class a term
Student A takes same except for
Algebra II--Art-Sculpture-Health
has a cumulative of 3.9
Student B takes
Algebra II-Pre-Calculus-Statistics-Calculus
has cumulative of 3.87

#### Wellesley

This is also the reason to weigh GPA's.
Suppose no weighing ans there are student taking all the same classes except for one class a term
Student A takes same except for
Algebra II--Art-Sculpture-Health
has a cumulative of 3.9
Student B takes
Algebra II-Pre-Calculus-Statistics-Calculus
has cumulative of 3.87

I guess what I'm wondering about is, should Honors and AP classes get the same weight? Honors Algebra II: A = 4.5, AP Calculus BC: A = 4.5. Is that fair?

#### Jack21222

So, what kind of academic guidance are you looking for?

If your only goal is to be the valedictorian, just take honors classes. If you want to get some college credits out of the way in AP classes, but will need to work harder to have the same or slightly lower GPA, take the AP classes.

I'm just not sure what you want from us. You want us to tell you your school is being unfair? Would that make you feel better? I'm not certain that accomplishes anything.

My suggestion is to just get As in the AP classes, and don't worry about the people in the honors courses.

#### owlpride

Okay....I can see that. Then why would a school give the same weighted points to an Honors class as an AP one?
Maybe because your school does not offer APs in all subjects?

Suppose someone would rather take Honors World History (no AP offered) than AP US History. Should that decision be punished? Maybe it would be a good idea to give the highest-level class in each academic subject an AP weighting, regardless of whether or not it is an AP class. But that might cause problems too... Suppose the next year there are not enough students interested in AP US history, so the class is not offered. Now the highest-level US history class is honors. Should that honors class now get AP weighting or not? If not, it would be unfair to the few strong students who would have taken the AP version. If you do give it AP weighting though, wouldn't that give the students in the class an unfair advantage over the students who took the non-weighted honors class the year before?

Just treating AP and honors classes the same bypasses all of these issues.

Last edited:

#### Wellesley

Maybe because your school does not offer APs in all subjects?

Suppose someone would rather take Honors World History (no AP offered) than AP US History. Should that decision be punished? Maybe it would be a good idea to give the highest-level class in each academic subject an AP weighting, regardless of whether or not it is an AP class. But that might cause problems too... Suppose the next year there are not enough students interested in AP US history, so the class is not offered. Now the highest-level US history class is honors. Should that honors class now get AP weighting or not? If not, it would be unfair to the few strong students who would have taken the AP version. If you do give it AP weighting though, wouldn't that give the students in the class an unfair advantage over the students who took the non-weighted honors class the year before?

Just treating AP and honors classes the same bypasses all of these issues.

Good point, I never thought of it that way. I started the thread, hoping to see what rationale there was behind this type of policy. I knew there were some situations in which this would work out for the best, but I just didn't know how.

This may be wishful thinking, but wouldn't it be best to give AP more weight than an honors class, with both AP and honors having more weight than a regular class?

#### snipez90

This may be wishful thinking, but wouldn't it be best to give AP more weight than an honors class, with both AP and honors having more weight than a regular class?
This was my high school GPA system. There are issues that arise regards to difficulty of subjects. For instance, some people found precalculus to be more difficult than "honors" classes. The courses you choose are more important than the GPA weight may suggest.

#### physics girl phd

My high school system didn't weight grades at all. If you took an AP course, it would be weighted the same as someone who took the normal track.

I still took AP courses and my GPA didn't suffer from it. In fact, the one B+.. (or A-... gee it's been so long) that I received was in a non-AP course (AP world history wasn't offered at our school at that point)... because I was bored out of my skull and not motivated to memorize the wrestling coaches exact definitions of concepts and his list of dates.

I tend to agree with Jack21222... what advice do you want from us? Just buck up and deal with the system you have (it's different everywhere and your parents made the choice for you by either funding a private school or choosing to live in a certain school district). Do what's best for you with what you've got. Don't worry about college admissions.... you'll be admitted to a school or to a few schools that will be right for you.

### The Physics Forums Way

We Value Quality
• Topics based on mainstream science
• Proper English grammar and spelling
We Value Civility
• Positive and compassionate attitudes
• Patience while debating
We Value Productivity
• Disciplined to remain on-topic
• Recognition of own weaknesses
• Solo and co-op problem solving