By Barbara Wilkerson
In this month’s newsletter I would like to talk about several things I would like for you to do to better prepare you for your senior year. I would like for you to go to your Inow home portal webpage and print your transcript. I plan on visiting you again in December. I would like to show you how to evaluate your transcript. By doing this, you will know exactly which classes you will need to take as a senior. You’re probably (painfully) aware that your high school transcript is a record of every grade you earned in high school– and that all of those grades are averaged to produce a single number, your cumulative GPA.
In case you were thinking they weren’t important, now you know otherwise. Your freshman grades make up (approximately) one–quarter of your cumulative high school GPA. If you tank freshman year, it will follow you for the next three years. (That includes art class, gym class, music class or anything for which you receive a grade.)
Colleges expect your grades to be consistent or improve. If you received As in sophomore year, and Cs in senior year, they will conclude that you are a capable student who became lazy.
High school graduation requirements vary from school to school. Most students have the opportunity to take more classes (or credits) then are required to graduate. If you take only the minimum, colleges will conclude that you are doing the least you must do to get by.
If you take extra classes (or credits) but they are softball classes (like basket-weaving or calisthenics), this looks just as bad.
The best high school transcript will show consistent grades in a challenging course load with challenging classes. AP classes or advanced classes impress colleges and tell them that you are ready for college–level work. Remember we are all human and mistakes are made on your transcript. It is your responsibility to check it out and let me know if you find and mistake and you have proof to back it up.
Let’s now talk about how to calculate your Grade Point Average.
Follow these steps:
Once you enter high school, you should have started learning about GPA. These letters stand for “Grade Point Average” which is what is used to indicate a your score at the end of a semester, or an academic year. (Calculating GPA isn’t as hard as everyone thinks. First, we’ll look at how to calculate it yourself, manually.
If you took five courses and earned these grades;
Class Letter Grade
you would need to assign each course a numeric grade instead of a letter grade.
Use this as your guide: A = 4, B = 3, C = 2, D = 1
For the example shown above, the grades would now look like this:
Class Numeric Grade
In high school, most courses are offered for one “credit” each. That is, each of the courses counts as a credit toward high school graduation.
Continuing the example, the number of credits has been added to the table, below:
As you can see, this student completed a total number of 5 credits.
To calculate the GPA…
Multiply each numeric grade by its corresponding number of credits, yielding these results, shown in the Product column:
Add up all of the numbers in the products column: 4 + 4 + 3 + 3 + 3 = 17
Divide that some by the total by the number of credits taken: 17 / 5 = 3.4
This example would yield a GPA of 3.4 for this particular student.
Classes offered for 1/2 credit will work, too. Simply use the number 0.5 instead of a 1 when computing the products.
Note – There is a slightly different calculation for “weighted” courses, such as honors classes, courses taken on college campuses, AP classes, and so on.
Since these courses are more rigorous, they have a greater GPA value than other high school classes and receive a 1-point increase in their numeric value. Simply use the higher value for that course, and then calculate the GPA as usual.
In this example, if Spanish was an ”Honors” course, instead of using a 3 for the numeric grade equivalent of B, use a 4 instead (B=3, plus the additional 1-point bonus, which equals 4).
Remember, this is only for advanced coursework that merits the “weighted” score.
I want each of you to log on to Career Cruising and go to the course planner tab and start looking at classes you will be interested in taking next year. You will be registering in March with Mrs. Daniels.