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Debunking Myths: Grades Don’t Matter
February 21, 2015
Once you’ve made it through the first semester of freshman year, you are most likely already familiar with the myths that your classmates and older students have been spreading about freshman year and high school in general. By far the most comforting (but also ominous) is the advice to take it easy in freshman year, because “grades” don’t matter until sophomore year when classes become more vigorous.
It is very much an immature assumption that colleges don’t consider the grades from freshman year. Here are the motivations to not neglect your work during freshman year, and to be proactive even, despite feeling like grades don’t matter.
1. Class rank: It begins when you’re a freshman, and the grades will accumulate by the time you graduate. Having a number one class rank in Diamond Bar makes you a valedictorian, which can be impressive if you have taken high level classes in a school like DBHS. In California, if you are ranked in the top ten percent, you will be guaranteed acceptance into at least one University of California school. Also, popular colleges may consider class rank because it helps when considering the many applicants.
2. Improvement: Some students can’t let go about how they ruined their class ranking because of their freshman grades. As important as knowledge is, don’t look back on freshman year for the grades. Besides, colleges will be pleased to see an overall improvement when they’re considering an applying student’s class rank.
3. Have better classes in sophomore year: By sophomore year, all of the Honors and college level classes have prerequisites. Moreover, there are many freshman Honors students who eventually find that they have to say goodbye to their Honors level friends from first year, as they find themselves dropped to a lower level class the next year.
4. Also on prerequisites: Grades help outside of the classroom, too. For athletes, a failing grade can have you off the team. Some clubs might also require certain grades from their members. Still, keeping grades above the minimum cut is still not the ideal option, as striving in the classroom can give you the knowledge to do well in a number of extracurriculars.
While good grades can help you get into classes or clubs and improve college admission chances, processing knowledge is more important – grades and class rank don’t accurately measure how intelligent someone is. How you measure up to other students shouldn’t matter compared to how you improve personally. Still, if you do need to make a grade, be very open to extra credit opportunities since they can change the game phenomenally.
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