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Duke University
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Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
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Total GPA vs Academic GPA: What's the difference?

So, I've noticed that some people talk about their total GPA and others mention their academic GPA. Can somebody please explain the difference between the two? Also, which one should I be focusing on for my college applications? Thanks for any help!

6 months ago

Total GPA and Academic GPA differ in the courses they include while calculating your overall grade-point average. Total GPA is a cumulative measure that takes into account all the courses you have taken throughout your high school career, including electives like arts, physical education, and any other non-core subjects. On the other hand, Academic GPA only focuses on core subjects such as mathematics, science, history, English, and foreign language.

When it comes to college applications, Academic GPA is generally more important because it reflects your abilities and achievement in core subjects that are directly related to the type of work you'll be doing in college. However, Total GPA is not totally irrelevant. It can still provide some insight into your overall performance as a high school student and your commitment to a well-rounded education. If there are certain electives you excelled at and had a genuine interest in, you can certainly mention them in your application (for example, in a supplemental essay) to showcase your inquisitiveness and passion for learning beyond your core subjects.

In summary, prioritize your Academic GPA when preparing for college applications, but don't completely neglect your Total GPA. Both figures can provide important context and demonstrate your dedication to achieving in different areas of your high school education. Best of luck with your academic pursuits!

6 months ago

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