Class Rank Competition Misguided

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Aaliyah Gray, Reporter

Constant competition regarding class rank bubbles just underneath the seemingly calm exterior of practiced composure and crafted discipline. But there are more important things than class rank.
The drive, the motivation to better ourselves should not come from an inferiority complex, but from our desire to actually be educated. Education should not be a competition. Many students take extra AP classes that they have no desire to take or that pose no benefit to them, just to gain extra points toward their rank. Such an unhealthy amount of schoolwork outside of the classroom creates an enormous amount of stress detrimental to health.
However, GPA is an important factor that more students should focus on. GPA is a representation of how hard we work, how disciplined and driven we are. It is an accurate representation of our own intelligence. Besides, the ranking system is skewed by many factors. Students easily cheat and make the grade that way; therefore their rank isn’t as accurate as it should be. Some take five point classes that they do not really have to work in, easily pushing their rank ahead of someone who might have taken a class not worth as much, because it benefited themselves and their future. Those who have trouble learning or disabilities have to compete with 400+ others in an unfair match of social and educational hierarchy.
Class rank doesn’t truly reflect intelligence, like GPA does, it reflects the student’s ability to regurgitate information. Students go through high school believing that this ability to reiterate information will get them through college when in reality, that memorization alone will not. The skills acquired over years of education, such as how to study, are what truly benefit students. Most colleges look at SAT/ACT scores, grades, and GPA, and are usually somewhat forgiving when it comes to class rank.
The pros of class rank are completely overshadowed by the cons. Class rank is appealing to colleges, and automatic admissions are granted to the top ten percent most of the time. Okay great. But that doesn’t benefit those pushed out of the first quartile of their class by students who manipulate the system. GPA is the only standard that isn’t affected by other variables, like deceitful students, and is the only way to measure our intelligence. At least books smarts, that is.