January 13, 2012 at 5:08 pm

A Guide to GSA’s System of AP, Honors, CP4 and Skills Level Classes

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Sometime in your 8th grade year, when you first met with the GSA admissions officer, you were faced with a decision that would affect the rest of your high school career: honors or not.  As most high-schoolers know, once this decision has been made, it can be both beneficial and detrimental in its constraining effects.

One effect of this decision is, for example, the fact that if you start your freshmen year in French 1 Honors, you need to achieve a final grade of 80 or higher to continue on to French II honors.  However, if you choose to take the CP4 class, you need a 90 or higher to be able to move up to honors in the next year.  It is very easy, however, to drop down from an Honors class if it is too difficult.

If you’re in a CP4/Skills class you get less homework, and thus are afforded more time to do the things that interest you outside of school.  However, at the expense of a heavier homework load, honors classes include an added 10% to your average grade when determining class rank (this is the grade that colleges will see).

For those of you who wonder if Honors classes are worth the workload, know that you can get into the National Honors Society without being in a single honors class, and the Honor and High Honor rolls do not take your weighted averages into account.  Honors and AP courses do, however, prove to be more focused work environments, and if your goal is to get into a top college you should be taking as many as you can.  If you are in doubt as to what level of classes you should take, always go for the harder class because moving down to a CP4 class, is much easier than moving up to an honors class.

While there is a myriad of other little perks and problems within the system, help is only as far away as the guidance office.

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