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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)

Understanding different GPA scales?

So, I'm trying to get a grasp on the difference between unweighted and weighted GPAs. Can someone explain the difference in scales and why some schools use one or the other?

6 months ago

Certainly! Let's break down the difference between unweighted and weighted GPAs:

Unweighted GPA is the most common GPA scale used by high schools. It's calculated on a 4.0 scale, where A = 4.0, B = 3.0, C = 2.0, D = 1.0, and F = 0. The scores for all your classes are averaged, regardless of the difficulty of the courses. In this system, an A in a regular class and an A in an advanced class carry the same weight of 4.0.

Weighted GPA, on the other hand, takes the difficulty of courses into consideration. In a weighted GPA system, more challenging courses like honors, AP, or IB classes are assigned a higher point value. For example, an A in an honors class may be worth 4.5 or 5.0 points instead of just 4.0. This rewards students for taking more challenging courses and demonstrates their ability to handle rigorous coursework.

The reason some schools may use weighted GPAs is to encourage students to take more challenging classes without the fear of negatively impacting their GPA. A weighted system provides an incentive for students to challenge themselves academically, which can better prepare them for college-level work.

It's essential to understand that colleges are aware of the different GPA scales and consider the context of each applicant's high school curriculum. They often recalculate GPAs using their system to create a fair comparison among applicants. That being said, it's crucial to prioritize challenging yourself academically and maintaining a strong GPA, regardless of the scale your school uses.

6 months ago

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