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Understanding UC GPA

Hi! Can someone explain UC GPA to me? Is it different from my regular high school GPA? And how will the University of California system calculate it for admissions purposes? Thanks!

7 months ago

Absolutely! The University of California (UC) system does indeed calculate a unique UC GPA that considers only specific courses taken during your high school career. This GPA differs from your cumulative high school GPA, which takes into account all courses you've completed.

The UC GPA is calculated using only A-G courses completed during your sophomore and junior years. A-G courses are college preparatory courses in subjects such as history, English, math, laboratory science, languages other than English, visual and performing arts, and electives. UC-approved courses are marked as such by your high school, so you can refer to your school's course catalog or guidance office for a list of A-G courses.

Here are a few key elements of the UC GPA:

1. The UC system uses only your A-G courses from 10th and 11th grade, excluding any physical education or non-A-G elective courses, and your 9th grade courses entirely.

2. Grades earned in summer school or after 11th grade (such as senior year) are not included in the UC GPA.

3. Bonus points are given for up to 8 semesters (4 year-long courses) of UC-certified honors, Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB) Higher Level, and transferable college courses. You receive an additional point for each semester you earn a grade of C or higher, up to this cap.

4. The GPA calculation uses a standard 4.0 scale, with bonus points taking your max GPA up to 5. For example, an A in a certified honors course earns 5 points, a B earns 4 points, and a C earns 3 points.

To calculate your UC GPA, you can:

1. Make a list of all your A-G courses in 10th and 11th grade, along with the corresponding grades.

2. Convert each grade to its numerical value: A = 4, B = 3, C = 2, D = 1, F = 0.

3. Add bonus points for up to 8 semesters of eligible honors, AP, IB Higher Level, or transferable college courses.

4. Divide the total points by the number of eligible semesters.

By calculating your UC GPA, you can assess where you stand in comparison to the average admitted students for the specific UC schools you're interested in. Do note, however, that UC admission decisions consider more than just GPA—they take a holistic approach by also evaluating factors such as essays, extracurricular activities, and personal achievements.

Good luck with your application to the UC system!

7 months ago

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