PRO: The highway out of high school

High school, while billed by some as the best four years of one’s life, can often feel like just the opposite. Students may feel as if they are wasting time in class when they could be pursuing a passion instead. Thus, it should be no surprise that students occasionally choose to test out of high school. Instead, it should be more shocking that more do not.

The test is open to students who are at least 16 or in the second semester of their sophomore year. While they are not guaranteed admission to college, the exam nonetheless opens up numerous doors for students.

First of all, students can reduce the time they spend in formal education. High school students with enough credits to attend college early, gained through courses at local community colleges or online, can potentially graduate college years in advance and save money.

Students can attend community college for two years immediately after passing the exam, saving two years worth of a college tuition. They would also have more time to gain experience in the job market than their peers, and those that see higher education as a gateway into the professional world would have the chance to find a career as early as possible.

In addition, students would have more time to pursue passions not found in a traditional high school classroom setting. Early graduates have the option of devoting entire years to working toward their dreams instead of being limited to summer internships. They have the chance to work closely with professionals in a field of their interest for longer than a traditional high school student would be able to, and this may land them a job or future research opportunities.

Students could use the remaining two years they would normally spend in high school as gap years. This would allow students to explore potential careers or majors and get a better idea of what field they would like to study than would be available through a traditional high school education.

Other than internships, students can also look for volunteering opportunities abroad in order to learn more about foreign cultures and help communities.

This work can give them an edge in the job market or when applying to colleges, since they will have much more experience than their peers.

Some may argue a gap year is detrimental to students because they would lose guidance and motivation, ultimately falling short of their goals. Yet, students graduating early are likely to be much more motivated than their peers. Their decision to test out of high school would likely be fueled by a desire to learn outside the classroom, and they would have a clear plan in mind to follow.

In the end, the choice to graduate early is a strictly personal choice. While this path out of high school may not be right for everyone, it is not be as detrimental as some believe.