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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)

How does a 4.0 GPA compare on an unweighted vs. weighted scale?

Hi, I'm a little confused about GPA scales. For a 4.0 scale, what's the difference between an unweighted and weighted GPA? Also, how do colleges view the two when it comes to admission decisions? Thanks!

7 months ago

Hi there! Let me clarify the difference between an unweighted and weighted GPA on a 4.0 scale. An unweighted GPA is calculated based solely on the grades you receive for your courses, with A's being 4.0 points, B's being 3.0 points, and so on. This means that the maximum unweighted GPA is 4.0. In contrast, a weighted GPA takes into account the difficulty of your courses (e.g., honors or AP) and assigns a higher numeric value to the grades for those classes (often up to 5.0 points instead of the 4.0 points for regular classes). This means that the highest possible weighted GPA will be greater than 4.0, depending on the number of honors or AP classes you take.

When colleges evaluate applicants, they consider both weighted and unweighted GPAs, but they also look at the context of your coursework. Colleges want to see that you have challenged yourself with rigorous classes, but they recognize that not all schools offer the same opportunities. Most colleges will recalculate your GPA using their own weighting system or compare your unweighted GPA to ensure a fair comparison among applicants.

In general, a strong unweighted GPA (close to or at a 4.0) will be viewed positively by admissions officers, but demonstrating that you have taken challenging courses and received good grades in those courses (resulting in a higher weighted GPA) may provide you with an additional edge.

7 months ago

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