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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)

What does a GPA of 4.2 really mean?

Hey y'all, I've often seen people on here mention that they have a 4.2 GPA, but I'm a bit lost. What does a 4.2 really represent considering the typical scale is out of 4.0? Can colleges interpret these different types of scales correctly?

14 days ago

Hello there! When people refer to a GPA above 4.0, they're typically talking about a weighted GPA. Standard (or unweighted) GPA scales run from 0-4.0, in which 4.0 represents an A average across all classes.

However, many schools use a weighted GPA scale due to the introduction of advanced courses like Honors, Advanced Placement (AP), and International Baccalaureate (IB), which are more challenging than normal classes. In these scales, a grade in an advanced class carries more weight. So, if you get an A in an AP or IB class, it could be worth 5.0 rather than the standard 4.0.

When it comes to interpreting these GPAs, colleges are experienced in evaluating students from a diverse range of high schools, each possibly with different GPA scales, grading policies or course weightings. Schools typically recalculate GPAs so they can compare students on a consistent scale. Colleges also look at your school’s profile, which provides information on your school's grading scale, course offerings, class size, etc., to better understand your academic performance in the context of your particular environment.

In essence, a 4.2 GPA indicates that a student has done well in their coursework and possibly undertaken several advanced classes. It shows a high level of academic performance and may be regarded favorably by college admission committees.

14 days ago

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