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Duke University
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Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

Term vs Cumulative GPA: What's the difference?

Hey guys, I'm a little confused here. What is the difference between a term GPA and a cumulative GPA? And which one do colleges put more emphasis on during the admissions process?

7 months ago

Hey there! A term GPA refers to the average of your grades for a single academic term, typically either a semester or a quarter, depending on your school's academic calendar. On the other hand, cumulative GPA is the average of your grades for all terms you've completed throughout your high school (or college, when applicable) career.

As for college admissions, cumulative GPA carries more weight because it provides an overview of your overall academic performance in high school. This helps colleges understand your consistency in academic achievement across various subjects and over time. While term GPA can reveal fluctuations in your academic performance, colleges are generally more interested in seeing how you've grown and managed your workload throughout your high school years. For instance, a student who shows continuous improvement and a strong finish in their senior year may be looked upon more favorably than a student whose grades decline as they progress through high school, even if their cumulative GPAs are similar.

So, when it comes to college admissions, focus on maintaining a strong cumulative GPA. Of course, individual term GPAs are still important, as consistent or improving term GPAs demonstrate your ability to excel academically and adapt to increasing levels of difficulty in your coursework.

7 months ago

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