Eye of the Tiger

HOLPUCH: Pre-Calc’s heavy workload deserves weighted credit

(COURTESY / NATHAN SANGRIA)

(COURTESY / NATHAN SANGRIA)

EMILY HOLPUCH

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I was deciding my classes for my junior year and like a lot of other juniors, I entered the school year with infamously high expectations. This is the year where my grades matter the most if I plan on attending college.

With this preconceived notion floating in my brain, I signed up for pre-calculus under the impression that I would be receiving a weighted grade since it was indicated as an honors class. However, after signing up I was informed that the class was retired of its former honors status. This information unsettled me for a moment, but I assumed that the class being stripped of its weighted grade would also reduce its difficulty.

This, again, was an incorrect notion.

Upon taking the class and discussing it with previous students, I understood that not only had its honor status been downgraded, but that the amount of work and difficulty remained the same. I am grateful to have not been denied of the opportunity of learning pre-calculus, but the overall reward has fallen short of my expectations.

It is difficult to be motivated both in and out of class. My homework ranges anywhere from 25 to 65 problems of advanced mathematical concepts, often still with the title of honors pre-calculus on them and the reasoning behind this is lost on me when my efforts are being regulated and equated as a normal CP class would be.

When I signed up I was aware that it would be a challenge, but the impression that I would have the grade bump as a cushion was the deciding factor for me taking the class. I thought that I would be able to learn and grow mathematically without being excessively stressed out about whether I would be able to even pass or not.

In a time when a stellar grade point average is a critical component to college applications for renowned universities, it should be more transparent in whether we will be receiving it or not. Many students plan to take advantage of instate tuition of University of California schools, which both had average freshman admissions for fall 2018 set between 4.16 and 4.31 for a majority of applicants.

Although I luckily had a 4.0 at the end of the first quarter due to taking two weighted AP classes. If those were also not weighted my GPA would most likely have been in the lower 3 range or worse. With my hope of attending a UC school after high school and also treading the lower average of admittance with my existing grade bump, the absence of the weight for the class is a growing concern.

I am aware that university acceptance also takes into account who you are as an individual, but it has been made known that high school GPAs are a indicator of one’s performance in university and possibly will affect your future alma mater and possibly employment. Though it may seem over-exaggerated, GPA is a valuable factor in an admissions profile.

I, as well as other people in my class, have expressed discontent of the removal of the weight especially at times when the teacher compares the class to their education at UC Davis, claiming that it is preparing us for college level math by teaching at a rapid pace with copious amount of work.

Devaluing the work of students appears to be causing resentment and lack of motivation, which in turn creates worse performance. Although reinstating the weighted grade for Pre-Calculus will not benefit me now, I would strongly recommend it reverted in order to create better outcomes for future students.

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