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5 Myths About High School GPAs

Overcoming High School GPA Assumptions

Strong performance in a student’s high school years is key to strong performance in college admissions. However, there are plenty of myths floating around that get in the way of proper preparation. Below are a few assumptions our counselors at MEK Review would like to bust!

Top 5 Myths

Myth 1: If a student earned good grades in middle school, they will do the same in high school.

Truth: Many students who perform well in middle school, struggle with the new demands of high school. Research shows that nearly half of students experience a drop in their GPA during freshman year​.

Myth 2: Students don’t need to worry about GPA until their junior year.

Truth: It is very difficult to make a huge leap in GPA over the course of two years. Without intervention, most students continue on the same path started in their 9th grade year.

Myth 3: Student grades drop in 9th grade because the coursework is more difficult.

Truth: Studies show that freshmen GPA decreases often have less to do with course difficulty and more to do with environmental changes. They have new teachers, new campus, higher expectations, and less individual attention than in middle school. Students are often unsure how to navigate these changes, and their grades suffer.

Myth 4: By 9th grade, students are solely responsible for their own grade performance.

Truth: At this age, students’ brains are still undergoing major growth, and working to develop organization and planning skills. They need the right guidance and instruction to learn how to best study, manage time, and map long term goals.

Myth 5: SAT & ACT scores are the most important factor for college applications.

Truth: While test scores are important, the most important factor that college admission officers look at is GPA.

What’s Next

By tackling these myths head-on, students can make sure to get ready from day one.

As they transition from middle school to high school, or even from grade to grade in high school, they can rely on smart solutions and tips.  Sudden changes in environment, surroundings, and expectations can be challenging. We recommend for students to stay emotionally tuned in, open and patient with themselves throughout. Carving out extra time to study and plan next steps is also key, and can help to prevent last-minute scrambles and panic.

At MEK Review, we offer several courses to help students along the way:

  • Summer High School Honors Courses: This summer-only course helps students be ready and confident to ace challenging math and science courses. Students also learn time management and build strong stud skills.
  • PSAT Core Reading and Writing: This year-around class helps 9th and 10th graders get a huge head start on mastering the PSAT/SAT, while learning to ace Honors English.
  • School Support Tutoring: This program offers one-on-one tutoring sessions to help students master their classroom subjects.

Curious and want to learn more? Contact us or call our team at 855-346-1410. We would love to hear from you!

Katie Weisman

Katie Weisman is a driven, dedicated English teacher at MEK Review, who leads group test prep classes, as well as one-on-one sessions with students. Her passion for teaching, in-depth knowledge of test content, and use of our systematic approach to test preparation helps her guide students to high test scores, strong writing skills and their full potential.


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