What are your chances of acceptance?
Duke University
UCLA
##### Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
1.0
4.0
SAT: 720 math
200
800
| 800 verbal
200
800

#### Extracurriculars

Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

# Understanding the High School GPA Scale

This might sound silly, but can someone please explain to me how the GPA scale works in high school? I've been hearing a lot about weighted and unweighted GPAs. What's the difference and which one do colleges look at? Also, what's a good target for college admissions? Thanks in advance.

a month ago

The high school GPA (Grade Point Average) scale is a tool used to measure a student's academic performance. Typically, GPAs are calculated on a 4.0 scale, though some schools may use a 5.0 or even 6.0 scale based on the rigor of courses taken.

An unweighted GPA is the traditional method where A’s equals 4, B's are 3, C's are 2, D's are 1, and F's are 0. The numbers are then averaged to create the GPA. The highest possible unweighted GPA on a 4.0 scale is 4.0, which means an A in every course.

Weighted GPAs, however, consider the course rigor and give more credit to challenging courses. For example, A's in advanced placement (AP) or honors courses might equate to a 5.0 instead of the standard 4.0. Essentially, weighted GPA scales factor in that IB, AP, and some Honors classes are harder than standard classes and reward students accordingly.

As for the question of which one colleges look at, they consider both. Typically, colleges recalculate GPAs based on their specific admission requirements, often returning to an unweighted scale for basics and then adding weight for honors, AP, and IB classes.

In terms of a good target GPA for college admissions, that depends on the selectivity of the schools you're aiming for. Top-tier universities usually see average weighted GPAs between 4.1 and 4.5, mid-tier schools average GPAs between 3.5 and 4.0, and less selective institutions may accept students with averages around 3.0. However, GPA isn't the only factor. Schools also consider things like standardized test scores, essays, extracurricular involvement, and more.

Remember, every college has different criteria for admissions, so it’s important to research the specific schools you're interested in! Be sure to reach out to college admissions offices or check their websites for specific GPA requirements.

a month ago

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