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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 GPA scale is commonly used by high schools?

I've seen a few different GPA scales mentioned in college pamphlets and on websites, and now I’m kind of confused. Does anyone know what GPA scale most high schools use? Is it the 4.0 scale or another type? I'm trying to understand how my GPA will be viewed in the admissions process.

7 months ago

The majority of high schools utilize a 4.0 unweighted GPA scale. This means that the highest GPA you can achieve in regular classes is a 4.0, with an A translating to a 4.0, a B to a 3.0, and so forth. Some schools also use weighted scales for honors, AP, or IB classes, which can go up to 5.0 or sometimes even higher. On a weighted scale, an A in an advanced class might be equivalent to a 5.0, while an A in a regular class would remain a 4.0.

Colleges are aware that different high schools use different scales, and they often recalculate GPAs to their own standardized scale to compare applicants fairly. They also consider the rigor of your coursework in context with your GPA; for example, a slightly lower GPA but with more challenging courses can be more impressive than a perfect GPA with easy classes. When you're looking at college admissions, try to make sure your GPA is competitive by checking the average GPA of admitted students at the schools you're interested in applying to. Remember, they normally report unweighted GPAs, so focus on that if you're trying to gauge how your GPA will be viewed during the admissions process.

7 months ago

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