The Argument Against Class Ranks

Class rank is a major source of stress for many students.

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Class rank is a major source of stress for many students.

Class rank. It’s what all the juniors and seniors are talking about. If you are not stressing over your class rank right now, you probably will be soon. The competition is steep amongst students and everyone wants to be at the top of their class.

Many students load up their schedules with as many Advanced Placement classes as they can possibly take. When students take hefty loads of rigorous courses, they usually do not have time for much else. Students who do not take honors or AP classes are at an automatic disadvantage even if they work just as hard as honors and AP students since AP and honors classes hold more weight.  Some students do not believe that schools should use class rank as an indicator of success.  

“Intelligence does not equate to grades,” KT Pritchard (12) said.“Students are distinguished off of more than just their grades and in order to prove yourself as a good student you need to be able to balance your studies as well as extracurricular activities and community engagement.”

Catherine He (11) does not like the idea of class ranks and percentiles either.

“Class rank is basically based on how many APs a student is taking, so many students take dozens of APs, falling short in other areas of their life. I don’t believe we can rank the intelligence of students through GPA,” He said.

Mr. Fernandez, U.S. History, and Practical Law teacher recognizes that there are both positives and negatives to class rank.

“Class rank and class percentiles are definitely a good tool,” Fernandez said.  “I think it is a matter of having perspective about that tool and about those measurements. At some point using that system encourages more cheating and the competition becomes more unhealthy and negative.”

Class rank can either be a confidence booster or breaker. Many students, unfortunately, face the negative effects of class rank. High schools should find a better way to distinguish the intelligence of students, and colleges should not use class rank as an indicator of a student’s success in school. Ultimately, class rank should not be used to compare students.