Dropping from Advanced to On-level

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The author Nicholas Scoggins studying for his chemistry class.

Nicholas Scoggins, Staff Reporter

While Pre AP/IB and AP classes can be an enormous boost to your GPA, they can also be a double-edged sword. They can make you want to rip your hair out as you struggle to get above a 70. Eventually you may wonder whether or not you should drop from advanced to on level. I faced the same thing last semester when I was enrolled in almost all advanced courses.  That is why I am here to offer some advice.

If you don’t think you can make above a 70 in an advanced class no matter how hard you work, I absolutely think you should drop the class. Even though a D may be weighed as a C and a C weighed as a B, it is still better to make a B or A in a regular class. Don’t worry about what it will do to your prestige. I decided to take all advanced classes as I wanted to get into the IB program and get into a good college. After dropping three advanced classes I am still getting emails from college campuses. It is because I dropped out of those classes, my grades have improved substantially. Before I dropped Pre-AP Geometry, I failed pretty much everything in that class, now in on-level I am constantly getting A’s and B’s. It is absolutely amazing how much your grade will soar if you decide to drop out of a class you are struggling in.

Another reason I dropped is the massive amount of stress I had while taking these classes. The first few months of school were very dark for me, getting fail after fail, not making progress in any direction. I was constantly in a state of fear and worried about how much further my grades would plummet. I just did not understand anything they were trying to teach me. I tried tutorials, studying for several hours a day, but nothing worked. It was so frustrating to put that amount of effort and still fail. I eventually decided that getting into the IB Program was not worth sacrificing my mental health, and I got the papers to drop. It was not an easy decision, but I knew that it was necessary. While my grades improved after I dropped, I also felt so much better emotionally. It lifted an enormous burden off my shoulders.

Remember, you are at school to learn. If you keep failing the class regardless of the difficulty level, you are not learning anything. I figured that out when I was in Pre-AP Spanish. I was failing so much of the stuff and not learning anything. I knew Spanish was an important language to learn, and I wasn’t going to get anywhere with how I was doing in that class, so I decided to drop and go to on-level. Now I can speak broken Spanish.

However, if you are doing well in an advanced class, by all means, keep pushing. It is absolutely amazing how many doors these classes can unlock. As a sophomore, I already have three hours of college credit thanks to taking Human Geography. In the end, you need to weigh multiple factors when you decide whether or not to drop a class.