BSM is considering making a switch to weighted grades next year


Design courtesy of Andrew Lyons

BSM considers joining many other schools in offering weighted grades for AP classes.

Next school year, BSM may switch from an unweighted to a weighted grade system.

A weighted grade system would mean that each student’s grade point average (GPA) would be measured on a 4.5 scale versus a 4.0 scale. In other words, a B (3.0) in an Advanced Placement class would be an A- (3.67) on the weighted scale. And an A (4.0) in an honors or Advanced Placement class would be an A+(4.5). “With weighted grades, you get a higher GPA for an honors or an AP course than you get for a regular course. So it encourages students to take the most rigorous coursework that they can, so that they can be successful and they get a higher GPA for those courses,” BSM Senior High Principal Mrs. Nitchals said.

Switching to a weighted GPA system encourages students to challenge themselves with more difficult coursework, like AP classes. AP classes give students opportunities to earn college credit. These college credits allow students to potentially be exempt from some entry level courses in college, allowing them to take classes that they find more interesting. “I think it will help because more students will be compelled to take AP, which will then give them an opportunity to get college credit for more classes,” Nitchals said.

The goal is for the weighted grade system to be put into place at the start of the 2022-2023 school year. “This winter, we’ll talk all about it, what the pros and cons are so that when students register for class next year they’re ready and they know what they’ll get for anything that they register for,” Nitchals said.

It seems that the weighted grade system will have the positive effect on the students that the administration was aiming for it to have. Many students believe that weighing a grade in an AP class is fair and that would motivate them to enroll in that class over a regular class. “I would prefer to have weighted grades because I think AP classes are probably harder than regular classes,” sophomore Julia Evens said.