If you have ever heard anyone say that someone skipped a grade and wondered what they meant or are thinking of skipping a grade yourself, then you have come to the right place. Skipping a grade, or going from one grade past a grade and into the following grade, is a relatively common practice in early elementary school but tends to be less common later on in schooling.
In this article, we’ll be covering how you skip a grade and why you might choose to skip a grade. Understanding the pros and cons associated with skipping a grade will give you all the tools you need to figure out if skipping a grade is right for you.
What Does Skipping a Grade Mean?
Skipping a grade means moving from one grade, past the grade you should be in, and onto the following grade. For example, if you finish first grade, you would skip to third grade instead of going onto second grade with your peers. Skipping a grade can manifest in many different ways, but this is the general definition.
If you choose to skip a grade in high school or middle school, there may be more nuanced, just because it is harder to entirely skip out on all of the material covered in a grade in high school. It would still count as skipping a grade to merge two grades into one and complete two grades in the time it would take to complete one grade.
What is the Process of Skipping a Grade?
The exact process of skipping a grade depends entirely on the state you are in and the grade you are trying to skip. In general, you will need to prove that you are academically ready to advance past a grade. This can be done through testing, parent testimonials, teacher testimonials, among other state-specific ways.
Some states have specific rules concerning skipping different grades. Often, this means that while it might be relatively easy to skip something like kindergarten, it might be a lot more work to skip something like ninth grade. Some states even have rules stating that you and your family must undergo some psychological testing before you can skip a grade. It all depends on the state that you live in.
Is Skipping a Grade Good or Bad?
Skipping a grade can be good or bad, depending entirely on the student. For some students, skipping a grade is the best option. For other students, pursuing other forms of grade acceleration might be better for them and their lives.
If you decide that skipping a grade is not for you, there are so many ways to accelerate your education. Many middle and high schools will let you take grade acceleration tests for specific subjects instead of whole grades. This means that you can often move ahead with a grade in math but stay with your own grade for other subjects.
By moving forward in some subjects but staying back in other subjects, each student can create their curriculum. Using grade acceleration tends to negate many of the challenges that can come from skipping a grade. There are also fewer state restrictions on moving ahead a grade level in a subject than for moving a whole grade level ahead.
If you wonder if skipping a grade is right for you or your child, it is worth considering the real reason you are skipping that grade. If that reason can be mitigated through some other means, those means may be less distributive to the student’s life than skipping a grade will be. Skipping a grade can be disruptive to a child and can lead to tons of social challenges, so it is a serious choice to consider.
Many school districts make it easier for students to skip grades when they are younger since they are much more adaptable and less tied to their school community than they are older. It is generally recommended to only skip grades in elementary school unless there are extenuating circumstances, but this is different for every person.
If you want to skip a grade in high school, it may be worth it to try to graduate early and merge two of your high school years instead of entirely skipping one grade. By adjusting what levels you are in each subject, you can create your own high school experience that will work for you and allow you to graduate early, essentially skipping a grade without testing into the next grade level.
Pros and Cons of Skipping a Grade
As we said earlier, there are good and bad sides to skipping a grade. Here, we’ll be breaking down some of the most common pros and most common cons of skipping a grade.
1. Encourages academic motivation
Allowing students who are not feeling academically motivated a path towards grade acceleration or skipping a grade is a great way to help them rebuild that academic motivation. Students who think that school is not challenging them but are academically gifted can find that school will get monotonous or boring, leading them to want to skip a grade and challenge themselves more.
2. Community of similar academic level peers
For some students, being surrounded by other students who are also learning at the same level as them can be immensely satisfying. Being surrounded by like-minded students can help them better bond with their classmates and can help prevent high achieving students from feeling isolated from their peers in their age-level classroom.
3. Reducing boredom and potentially behavioral issues
One of the main reasons for behavioral issues in class is boredom. Students can become bored in class in many different ways, but academically gifted students can become bored by not being challenged. Some schools have found that by allowing students to skip a grade and move up to a grade where they feel challenged, the students get bored less and create fewer problems in the classroom.
1. Lack of emotional maturity
One of the biggest reasons that some people don’t like the idea of letting kids skip a grade is because of a lack of emotional maturity. Kids tend to mature at a similar speed to their age group, so by taking them away from their age group and putting them with kids of a different age group, you may run into some differences in emotional maturity. If a student skips a grade like first or second grade, these differences may not manifest until that student is in high school, but there will be a difference at some point.
2. Increased bullying
Many students who have skipped a grade have experienced bullying at some point in their academic careers. Kids will find anything to pick on each other for, so by pulling someone out of their age group of peers and putting them into a group where they are now the youngest and likely the smallest, you are, in some ways, giving kids something to pick on them for.
3. Excessive stress for kids
As with any significant change to a child’s life, skipping a grade can put a lot of stress on a child. In a world filled with so many stressors, this is a significant concern of many parents. Since there are so many challenges that kids have to face that stem from stress, some parents may opt not to have their kids skip a grade to help minimize the amount of excess pressure they are potentially exposing their children to.
These are the main pros and cons associated with skipping a grade but are by no means the only ones. For some students, it may be evident if the pros outweigh the cons or if the cons outweigh the pros, while it may take more time to make the right choice for other students. Take your time and thoroughly think through this choice since it will be impacting you for the rest of your life.
Learn everything you need to know about the benefits and drawbacks of skipping grades here.
Wrapping Things Up: Is It Bad to Skip a Grade?
Understanding what it means to skip a grade is an excellent step towards figuring out if you should skip a grade or not skip a grade. Skipping a grade is a huge choice that shouldn’t be taken lightly, so make sure that you fully understand both the pros and cons of skipping a grade before you make that choice.
We’ve covered a lot of information about skipping a grade in this article, but since each state has its own specific rules, make sure that you check your state’s rules before you decide to skip a grade.
If you are interested to know how to skip a grade in other states, check out our guides here: