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Duke University
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Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
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Understanding the traditional GPA scale

Hi all, I'm a bit confused about the traditional GPA scale. Can someone please explain how it works and how it compares to other GPA scales, like the weighted scale? Thanks!

6 months ago

Hi there! I'd be happy to help you understand the traditional GPA scale and how it compares to other scales like the weighted scale.

The traditional GPA scale, also known as the unweighted GPA scale, ranges from 0.0 to 4.0. Letter grades are awarded points as follows: A (4.0), B (3.0), C (2.0), D (1.0), and F (0.0). The unweighted GPA is calculated by summing the points for each grade you've received and then dividing by the number of courses you've taken. On this scale, having a mix of A's and B's will result in a GPA between 3.0 and 4.0, irrespective of the difficulty of the courses you’ve enrolled in.

The weighted GPA scale, on the other hand, takes into account the difficulty of the courses you've taken and assigns additional points for higher-level courses. For instance, an A in an Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), or honors course would typically be worth 5.0 points instead of 4.0. Likewise, B’s in those courses would receive 4.0 points instead of 3.0. Weighted GPAs range from 0.0 to 5.0 (or even higher in some cases), with students who do well in rigorous courses potentially earning a GPA above the 4.0 cap in the unweighted system.

The main difference between the two scales is that the unweighted GPA focuses on your overall academic performance without consideration of course difficulty, while the weighted GPA accounts for the rigor of your coursework.

It's important to keep in mind that colleges may recalculate your GPA based on their own internal scales or convert your GPA to a uniform scale for comparison among applicants. This ensures a fair evaluation process, as different high schools may use various GPA scales and calculation methods.

In summary, the traditional (unweighted) GPA scale ranges from 0.0 to 4.0 and measures your academic performance without accounting for course difficulty. The weighted GPA scale, on the other hand, adjusts for course rigor and typically ranges from 0.0 to 5.0 or higher. Colleges will consider both your GPA and course rigor when evaluating your application to assess your overall academic ability, and may even have their own particular method of doing so.

I hope this helps clear up your confusion!

6 months ago

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