Have you ever wondered if there was a way to raise your GPA in high school without having to suck up to teachers for just a few points in extra credit? There’s a way around begging to have your B bumped up to an A in order to improve your GPA, and it involves a bit of your free time and a whole lot of effort. But that’s alright, isn’t it, because the grade point average waits for nobody, and you need that up as soon as possible. Fortunately, summer school is always an option for students. It may not sound that enticing at first, but there’s plenty of reasons why it should be an option for you to choose as well.
How Does Summer School Work in High School?
Summer school, like the name implies, is school during the summer. It isn’t like the regular school year, which traditionally takes place during the fall and spring semesters; it has its own separate semester, the summer. Normally, that would be the time where most students are off since it’s summer vacation. However, the option to take classes is well worth the free time that was given up if you’re that dedicated to the schooling grind.
Summer school sometimes gets a bad rap because it’s used to threaten failing students to get their grades up, or else they won’t be able to enjoy your summer. However, it can also be used to take high school classes that you want to get out of the way, so you can focus on more important things and classes, like cramming as many AP classes as you can fit into your regular school schedule. Oftentimes some high schools will outsource their higher-level summer school classes to a local community college. Hence, you attend classes over on their campus and get to experience a little of the college freshman experience a year or two early.
If that sounds enticing, talk to your academic counselor or a school faculty member who can help you take summer school. Simply ask them how to take high school classes over the summer, and they’ll be glad to help you out. It isn’t that complicated to do, and you can pick and choose whatever classes you want to take if you’re going to take them at all. Remember, you don’t have to take summer school if you don’t want to; it’s not mandatory to attend like regular school.
How Many Classes Can You Take in Summer School?
The amount of classes depends on what school you’re attending, but one thing to keep in mind is how long summer school is in your high school. Generally speaking, you’re usually allowed a maximum of ten to fourteen credit hours over the entire summer school session in college. Most high schools try to emulate that as sort of a college preparatory kind of deal. Usually, though, the amount of classes you can take depends on how much you can handle because most students typically end up taking only around one or two classes the entire summer.
It’s highly recommended that you not take standard courses over the summer because those are the hardest besides AP courses. They do that because the summer semester is much shorter than a regular one, lasting around six to eight weeks depending on the school. Because of that, classes you’re going to take are at a much faster pace and are highly condensed since they’re teaching half a year’s worth of material in a month and a half.
Math and science courses are the most challenging points for any student in summer school, so if you can, take English or some other class like that. If you think you can handle it or you’re already well versed in whatever class it is, by all means feel free to take it, but the vast majority of people aren’t able to do that, so don’t feel bad if you can’t take as many as you thought you could.
What are the Benefits of Summer School to Students?
There are plenty of benefits of summer school to students; here are a few of them:
- It can help increase your GPA
Yes, summer school can help you boost your GPA up by a few points, and that whole process will be elaborated on in the next section.
- It can free up your schedule
If you don’t like the amount of classes you have during the regular school year, take them over the summer. It’ll give you an extra hour without class during the regular school day.
- It can help you get ahead with your classes
To elaborate on the last benefit, think about it this way: You’re required to take a health course your freshman year. You get the option to take it over the summer, so you do so, which means you can take another class during the fall. You’re required to take at least two electives to graduate, so you can now take an elective and get that out of the way.
Because you took that elective your freshman year, you now have a free spot on your schedule junior year. You can now use that free spot to take an AP course, which will give you a free college credit if you pass the AP exam. You are now three credit hours in your college major ahead of your regular classmates who didn’t take that health course over the summer back in freshman year.
It all adds up, so if you have the chance to take a course over the summer, jump on it. Of course, take courses that are within your ability to pass within the given time frame of a month and a half.
Since summer school can also help improve your high school GPA, it should be noted that you have to be able to pass the classes you take in order to improve your GPA. If you don’t, you’re just hurting your grade point average.
How Does Summer School Help Your High School GPA?
There is one main way that summer school can help you with your high school GPA, and that’s because you’re taking more courses. GPA stands for grade point average, so it’s an average of the grades of all the classes you’re taking. The more classes you take, the bigger of a pool the average draws from. The more good grades you get, the more the bad grades are offset by them. Unfortunately, it also applies the other way around; the more bad grades you get, the more the good grades are offset.
By going to summer school, you’re giving yourself the chance to improve your GPA. It doesn’t mean that you’re guaranteed to get a better GPA; it just means you have the opportunity to. That means you should try your best to do well, because it will have consequences for you, whether you intended it to or not. That’s why you shouldn’t take more than you handle, because having a limited amount of time to learn severely hinders your ability to do well in a comprehensive final exam.
By the way, they do hand out exams at the end of the summer semester, in case you were wondering. That’s why it’s highly recommended not to take a hard science or math course, because it’s extremely hard to learn half a year’s worth of calculus or physics in a month in suboptimal conditions. Keep in mind that if you’re not willing to put in the work, neither are the summer school teachers, and keep in mind that they’re giving up their summers for students like you to have the opportunity to attend class outside of normal operating dates. The most important thing for you to remember is to put in the work and make sure it’s good work too. With a mindset like that, it’s hard to fail.
Other Ways to Improve Your High School GPA
As stated in a previous section, summer school isn’t the only way to improve your high school GPA. Things like extra credit exist, as well as your normal classes. Naturally, doing better in your classes will raise your GPA, but how do you go about doing that? The answer lies in your study habits, which is something every student knows they need to fix but never get around to doing. You know you should be studying properly every night like you’re supposed to, but you’re probably too lazy to do it or just simply lack the motivation. Not to worry, since it affects every student from time to time, and for extended periods of time for some.
The first thing to do to fix your studying habits is to make new studying habits, which involves a lot of rigor and self-discipline. It’s hard to pull off, but once you make them, they’ll stick and will be hard to shake off. Take that as a good or bad thing, but setting them up is tricky. You have to get used to the idea of self-study, but it’s a pretty simple concept. Just set an alarm for a time every night and study when it goes off. You study however long you want, but a good minimum is around a half-hour. As long as you feel that that half-hour is well spent, you can finish anytime after that.
Another way of improving your GPA is extra credit, but don’t get in the habit of depending on it to raise your grade drastically. It’s not going to raise a B- to an A, but it could possibly raise a B+ to an A. Most teachers don’t offer extra credit if you ask, but some may put extra credit points on tests or projects, so if you can do them, do them. A little bit goes a long way, and every point counts. It all counts towards your final grade, and it may be a little easier to think of it that way if you ever find yourself staying up late to finish a project because you want that extra credit point.
Wrapping Things Up: Does Summer School Help Your High School GPA?
To answer the question “Does summer school help your high school GPA?,” yes, it does. It’s a large time commitment and takes a lot of effort, but it’s always an option for you to take if you ever need it. It can never hurt to just take a class or two, just whatever you feel comfortable with, since as long as you do good at the class, it’ll raise your grade point average by a bit. It may not be by much, but every little bit helps. It also can get you further ahead in your high school career, so take advantage of that while you can.