No pluses or minuses leads to higher GPAs and less stress

March 29, 2019 — by Angelina Chen and Edwin Chen

As second semester begins, stress begins to pile up as students struggle to cram material and maintain borderline grades. Starting with the class of 2020, however, the administration introduced efforts to mitigate said stress — removing plus-minus grades on transcripts.

Having a grading system solely reliant on A/B/C grades is beneficial toward students, as it helps boost student GPAs while simplifying the GPA system. The old 13-point system meant that students with A+s would receive a 4.33, but students with an A- would receive a 3.67.

Normally, A’s are worth 4 points, B’s are worth 3 points and so on. Honors or AP courses boost the point worth of each class by 1. This means that a student who receives an A- gets the same GPA as a person with an A+.

This four-point system has proven beneficial to many students, who tend to raise their grades just enough to push it to the next grade letter.

Attaining an A at the school is already hard enough. Many students spend excessive hours studying and completing homework in pursuit of a high GPA.

Some may argue that this system does more harm than good, since students who achieve pluses are hurt by this change and don’t get the GPA that they deserve. However, principal Paul Robinson said that 60 percent of all students’ plus or minus grades each semester are minuses, meaning the change will help a majority of students.

Students who receive an A- in such a competitive school deserve to be rewarded adequately, and by removing the plus and minus from the grading system, it means that they will receive the grade they worked so hard for.

The removal of the plus and minus system can also help relieve excess stress and ease the intense academic culture.

With this change, students don’t have to spend as much time obsessing over being perfect. Without this kind of stress, students can lead a healthier lifestyle. It helps open up more free time for students to focus on their passions and to spend time with their families and friends.

Intense academic culture results in students pushing themselves to compete with their peers, especially since getting into college is seen as an important step to success. The new GPA system of removing the pluses and minuses helps more students relieve stress by alleviating the high stakes academic culture as well as boosting their highly valued GPAs.

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