A 4.0 GPA may not be all it’s cracked up to be

With the vast majority of students taking at least one AP class, the pressure for a GPA of 4.0 or above has increased.

Many+students+view+a+4.0+GPA+as+an+exceptional+goal.+Others+view+it+as+an+underachievement.
Back to Article
Back to Article

A 4.0 GPA may not be all it’s cracked up to be

Many students view a 4.0 GPA as an exceptional goal. Others view it as an underachievement.

Many students view a 4.0 GPA as an exceptional goal. Others view it as an underachievement.

Photo by Maricruz Reyes

Many students view a 4.0 GPA as an exceptional goal. Others view it as an underachievement.

Photo by Maricruz Reyes

Photo by Maricruz Reyes

Many students view a 4.0 GPA as an exceptional goal. Others view it as an underachievement.

Story by Antonio Morales Leyva, Opinions Editor

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






In the typical classroom, students are exposed to a competitive learning environment where one’s GPA (grade point average) is placed on oneself for the sole purpose of numerically comparing a student’s intellectual value to their peers’. When the time of applying for college arrives, this number becomes a tremendous deciding factor between whether a student is accepted into a top university or not; so in turn, it becomes difficult for a student to understand the standards by which one needs to judge oneself.

If I had a 4.0, it would mean I have four B’s and that would not be acceptable. When you’re trying to get into a top college, they’re looking for students with exceptional GPA’s such as a 4.5. ”

— Adam Schwab (11)

  “A large part of the reason why I enrolled in AP classes in the first place was specifically to be able to achieve higher than a 4.0. I don’t think having a 4.0 is terrible in the slightest, but if I had the opportunity to go beyond that as presented by AP courses, and I wasn’t able to achieve it, it would be very unsatisfying for me,” Zander Vilaysane (10) said

  In a school where a 4.0 is the standard GPA given to a student with straight A’s, weighted courses begin to cloud and disrupt the notion that a 4.0 is a success.

  “If I had a 4.0, it would mean I have four B’s and that would not be acceptable. When you’re trying to get into a top college, they’re looking for students with exceptional GPA’s such as a 4.5. So to me, a 4.0 is not all that good anymore,” Adam Schwab (11) said.  

  However, for some a 4.0 GPA is merely a dream. For those not in AP classes, a 4.0 is equivalent to straight A’s; it’s a perfect transcript unlike those who are enrolled in weighted classes.

  “For someone whose schedule doesn’t consist of mostly weighted classes, it’s an achievement to get a 4.0, because it’s difficult to earn straight A’s. If you have straight A’s, it’s seen as an accomplishment, and it makes you feel good about yourself. A 4.0 is a 4.0. A 4.8 is very impressive, but if you have a 4.0, you’re still pretty smart,” Guadalupe Sebastian Camacho (11) said.

    Since student’s schedules tend to vary, a GPA is very subjective and individualistic. Standards by which each student judges oneself and one’s performance should not be compared to everyone else. Considering everyone is different in the number of weighted classes they take, it would be unfair to compare oneself to another’s standards.