Class Ranks: More Than Just a Number

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Class Ranks: More Than Just a Number

Class ranks are used to determine where a student falls academically. Ranks are calculated at the end of each semester starting at the end of a student's freshman year.

Class ranks are used to determine where a student falls academically. Ranks are calculated at the end of each semester starting at the end of a student's freshman year.

Graphic by Kaylee Rodriquez

Class ranks are used to determine where a student falls academically. Ranks are calculated at the end of each semester starting at the end of a student's freshman year.

Graphic by Kaylee Rodriquez

Graphic by Kaylee Rodriquez

Class ranks are used to determine where a student falls academically. Ranks are calculated at the end of each semester starting at the end of a student's freshman year.

Kaylee Rodriquez, Editor-In-Chief

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She picks up the pencil and works out another AP calculus problem. At the same time, she listens to a podcast about DNA replication to prepare for an AP biology test and thinks about her research paper for AP English. For this class valedictorian, this is her idea of a relaxing evening.

Grade point averages (GPAs) and class ranks are hot topics amongst students. While they are heavily discussed, not many students know the exact science behind where GPAs and class ranks come from.

“We first calculate the GPAs,” counselor David Ramsey said. “After the GPAs are calculated, each [student] receives a numerical placement based on their GPA. The highest GPA receives the first spot and so on for each student.”

“Ranks do mean something, but they don’t define you. If you’re not first or the rank you want to be, it’s not a big deal. If I wasn’t first, I wouldn’t be upset. I know I am doing my best, and that’s all that matters to me.”

— Sydni Segroves

GPAs are calculated based on all of the students’ grades. At Lindale, GPAs are weighted in order to reward students taking higher level classes. For example, students taking dual-credit and/or honors classes receive an extra ten points and Advanced Placement (AP) courses receive thirteen points for their final grade in that class. The points are not present on the student’s report card, but they are reflected in their GPA.

“Ranks here are different from [ranking systems in other districts],” counselor David Ramsey said. “Everyone does GPA differently. The only thing that remains constant is how ranks are assigned. We have so many honors classes, dual-credit and AP courses that some of the other schools don’t have and they are given different weight.”

Ranks determine where a student falls in their class academically based on their grades. Ranks are calculated from the very first day of freshman year.

“Ranks do mean something, but they don’t define you,” junior class valedictorian Sydni Segroves said. “If you’re not first or the rank you want to be, it’s not a big deal. If I wasn’t first, I wouldn’t be upset. I know I am doing my best, and that’s all that matters to me.”

The process begins at the end of a student’s freshman year, and they are given their first rank. They are then ranked at the end of each semester until their senior year. The senior class is ranked at the end of the first semester and then re-ranked at the end of the fifth six weeks for graduation. While the sixth six week is included on the final transcript, the official ranking for graduation cuts off after the fifth six weeks.

“If you are not satisfied with your rank or GPA, it is easier for a sophomore to change that than it is for a senior,” Ramsey said. “Because of simple mathematics, the more grades you have in as a senior, one grade is going to minimally change your GPA. But if you have fewer grades, like freshmen or sophomores do, then one grade is going to more greatly affect their overall average.”

Colleges take GPA and class rank into consideration when reviewing applicants. For most colleges, where a student is ranked in their class determines what kind of SAT and ACT score is needed to get accepted into that school.

“It is very helpful for college,” senior class valedictorian Brina Kuslak said. “There are a lot of scholarships you can only get if you’re the valedictorian, and for any [public] school in Texas you are automatically accepted if you’re in the top 10%.”

 

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