When to Worry about Grades

books with graduation cap and diploma on topSo, you’ve had a bad semester and you got bad grades.  Maybe grades-wise you’ve had a bad school year in general.  When do you need to start worrying if your report card doesn’t show stellar grades?  First of all, you should begin to be concerned about your grades if your GPA isn’t high enough for you to meet the graduation requirements for your high school!  Check with your school counselor to find out what the graduation requirements are for your school.  For many high schools, the GPA requirement for graduation is 2.0.  If your grades are starting to drop down into that range, you might need to start worrying!  Talk to your school counselor to see what you need to do to make sure that you graduate!
In addition to meeting graduation requirements, you should look and see what the average GPA requirements are for the colleges that you are interested in going to.  GPA requirements are different for every college, so you’ll need to check with each school to see what they are.  If you really want to go to a specific college and your grades aren’t quite what they are looking for – then it’s time to start worrying!
Another thing which you should also keep in mind is that you need to maintain passing grades for all of your college required classes.  For example, some colleges will not accept “D” grades for important courses such as English and Math.  Make sure that you are always maintaining high grades in the core classes that are required for college, starting as early as your freshman year.  You wouldn’t want to be held back from going to college because of one “D” grade that you got as a freshman.
As harsh as this sounds, if you are a college-bound student that’s in high school, you should always be concerned with your grades and how well that you are doing in school.  Colleges are really interested to see how well that their applicants did during their high school years.  Most colleges begin to look at your transcript as early as your freshman year in high school, but some can look as early as eighth grade (especially if you took honors or high school courses early)!  So really, you want to be concerned about grades as early as possible.  Remember, your cumulative GPA scores also usually begin during your freshman year, so you want to make sure that you can get the best grades as possible right-off-the-bat when you start high school.
Even if you aren’t sure if you want to go to college, you should still worry about your grades.  Many employers like to see a record of the GPA which you maintained in high school, especially if you don’t go on to get a college degree.  Sometimes you will be asked to even include specific grades on your resume, particularly if you work in a specific field which requires a certain amount of education or previous knowledge.  Hiring employers also look at GPAs to try and get an idea of the work ethic and personality of their future employees.
So, basically, worrying about your grades is always an important thing to do.  With that said though, remember that grades aren’t everything.  They are not a reflection of the success that you’ve had as a person, and sometimes don’t even reflect what you have learned in your classes.  Don’t let grades get you down, but remember that they also are important to help you in your future.  They can always change and be improved!  So don’t spend all of your time worrying about grades – instead get out there and start working to get them better!

What Classes You Should Take

girl flying with the booksSometimes in high school it can be difficult to decide what classes you should take, especially if there are a lot of electives and fun classes that are offered!  Even though it’s always fun to take classes with your friends and your crush, there are a few things to consider before you sign up for your classes.  The most important thing is to make sure that you are taking all of the classes which are required for graduation – you don’t want to be left behind in high school because you didn’t take the required classes!  Check with your school counselor or adviser to make sure you know all of the classes that are required for graduation at your school.  Getting a list of these classes can help in your schedule planning.

Required Classes for Colleges:
Another good idea is to make sure you are taking classes which will look good on college applications.  Most colleges require two years of natural science classes, two years of history/social science, three years of math courses, and four years of English.  Most schools require two years of foreign language credit, but some more competitive schools can require up to three to four years of foreign language.  It is always best to check with potential colleges to see if you are fulfilling their requirements.

Another thing to consider is taking AP or honors classes, which also can look good on a college application.  While deciding what classes you should take, it is also a good idea to plan out your classes for future semesters and years as well.  Even though your interests in electives may change, your basic plan with these required classes probably won’t change much over the school years.

Classes with Friends:
It is always a good idea to make sure that you are taking these important classes for graduation and college requirements before signing up for school electives.  Many of your friends might be required to take these same classes, so check with them if you want to have a friend in class with you!  Sometimes friends make great study buddies, especially in important classes for college and graduation requirements.  Just make sure that you aren’t too chatty with your friends in class though – if you know you won’t be able to stop talking in class to your friends, it might be a better idea to take a different class than them!  Make sure that you take classes with friends that will help you to study and concentrate in class.

Electives: When deciding what electives you should take, there are a lot of things to look at!  First of all, it is a good idea to take classes which you might use in your future career, or possibly something that will relate to your future college experience and degree.  For example, if you are really dedicated to art or music, it is a good idea to be involved with those kinds of classes throughout your time in high school.  Colleges like to see your dedication to certain subjects throughout the different years of your high school.  If you’re serious about something, show that on your college application by taking those classes!  Show colleges what you’re passionate about!

Electives are also a great opportunity to develop your different talents and abilities.  Sometimes you don’t even know you’re good at doing something until you try, so don’t be afraid to sign up for an elective which you think you might be good at.  If you’re planning on trying something new, it’s best to first take the introductory class to the subject and then move on to more advanced classes afterwards.