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Duke University
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Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
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What's the Deal with Weighted vs. Unweighted GPA?

Hey y'all, been hearing a lot about weighted and unweighted GPAs. What's the main difference and when it comes down to it, which one do colleges care about more? Thanks in advance!

18 days ago

Weighted and unweighted GPAs are both methods of calculating a student's academic performance, but they do it in slightly different ways.

An unweighted GPA is the most straightforward method, calculated solely on your grades in classes. In most systems, an A equates to a 4.0, a B is a 3.0, and so on. No matter the course level, whether it's basic, honors, or AP, the grades are still scaled to a maximum of 4.0.

On the other hand, a weighted GPA takes into account the difficulty of the courses you've taken. In this system, higher-level classes like honors or AP are scaled on a 5.0 scale instead of a 4.0. So, an A in an AP class would give you a 5.0 whereas an A in a standard level course still stands as 4.0. This method can allow a student's GPA to exceed the "perfect" 4.0, recognizing those who have challenged themselves with tougher coursework.

As for which one colleges care about more, it varies by institution. Some colleges look at the unweighted GPA to get a baseline measure of a student's academic performance. However, many colleges recalibrate your GPA based on their own system.

Aside from the GPA, colleges also examine your transcript to understand the rigor of the curriculum you pursued. Therefore, even if the weighted GPA gives you a higher numerical value, doing well in challenging courses demonstrates a commitment to pushing your intellectual boundaries which is highly regarded by admissions officers. But remember, just taking harder courses to boost a weighted GPA without actually doing well in them can be counterproductive. It's all about balancing challenge and success.

18 days ago

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