back to Admissions Advice
05/07/2020 at 02:58AM

3.6 GPA to at least a 4.0? Is it possible?

Do you think I can earn a 3.8-4.0 GPA by the end of junior year of the 4th marking period? I'm currently a sophomore and I have a 3.648, I ended this year with my final grades being all A's except one B-? What would my GPA round up to? Will it go up to at least a 3.7? I only took one honors class this year and my final grade was a 93. Next year, I'll be taking two honors classes and one AP. I want to increase my GPA to at least a 3.9 to be able to apply to Ivy League schools! Or at least big average schools like NYU. Even though I had a 3.6 GPA avg. overall through my past years will I be able to increase it?

[🎤 AUTHOR]@julylilys05/08/2020 at 03:39PM

Thank you so much!! By the way, does a GPA count both semesters or does it depend on your final grades?

NewYou earn karma when your answer is accepted or upvoted.

3 answers

05/07/2020 at 07:55PM

GPAs follow the same rounding rules as regular numbers, so anything at a 3.65 or above would be considered a 3.7 by colleges. You're not quite there right now, but you're close enough that slightly better grades as a junior would get you there.

Likewise, you would need to raise your GPA to a 3.95 to bring it to a 4.0, or a 3.75 to bring it to a 3.8. As for how easy that is to do, remember, a GPA is an average, which means that the closer you get to an upper or lower boundary (4.0 or 0.0, respectively), the harder it will be to move it more in that direction. I'm going to do the math for you, but skip to the end if you want the short answer.

To give an example, say you have six Bs and four As. GPA works by assigning a number to a letter grade, and then averaging those numbers—an A is a 4.0 (an A+ is actually a 4.3 which is the actual upper bound on a 4.0 scale, but only some high schools offer those), B+ is a 3.3, a B is a 3.0, a C is a 2.0, etc.

So six Bs and 4 As = 6(3.0)+4(4.0) divided by 10 = 3.4 GPA.

If I then add 3 As to that, we now have 6(3.0)+7(4.0) divided by 13 = 3.53—so we went up by .130.

If I add 3 more As to that, then it's 6(3.0)+10(4.0) divided by 16 = 3.625—so we only went up by .095 even though we added the same number of As.

Because we're getting closer to a 4.0, that means that you need progressively better and better grades to get big jumps in GPA.

So as for your case, I can actually do this math for you—it's pretty simple. If you have a 3.648 cumulative GPA for your freshman and sophomore year, and you want at least a 3.75, then that means your junior year is going to be 1/3rd of that final GPA. So (2/3)*3.648+(1/3)(X)=3.75. X here is the GPA you need in junior year.

If we just do that algebra, then X = 3.96. That means you need at least a 3.96 GPA in your junior year to have a 3.75 overall—which means that that's about the highest you could bring your GPA up to, unless your school lets you get A+s (because a 3.96 is basically straight As).

So it would be possible for you to get a 3.7 or, maybe, a 3.8. It's not mathematically possible for you to get anything higher than that on a 4.0 scale.

Now for the actual college advice—a 3.7 or 3.8 are definitely fine for you to apply to schools like NYU, or even Ivies. A 3.7 is usually what I've seen to be the cutoff from working with students. But make sure you have strong safeties as well, and aim for a diverse array of schools—not just big private universities like NYU.

Accepted Answer
05/07/2020 at 12:24PM

It's possible that it could round up to a 3.7 this year but it's hard to predict without having the full transcript. I think a 3.8 or more is definitely possible if you get As in all of your classes. If you get a B it might bring your GPA down again so it's really hard to predict.

[🎤 AUTHOR]@julylilys05/07/2020 at 03:52PM

Thank you for your answer!! Is there any way I can round it? I have my full transcript of this year and I would love to know what it'll round up to :(

@Mysterysquash05/07/2020 at 06:15PM

is this weighted or unweighted GPA?

[🎤 AUTHOR]@julylilys05/08/2020 at 03:41PM

I’m not sure :( but is the GPA calculated by both semesters combined or does it depend on your final grades? Because my school has 4 quarters and 2 semesters, what does it calculate to? The final grades?

@Mysterysquash05/08/2020 at 05:47PM

It's each semester grade that goes toward GPA. For example if you get an A semester 1 and a B semester 2 they both go toward your GPA. GPA is not quarter grades.

[🎤 AUTHOR]@julylilys05/08/2020 at 05:56PM

Oh ok so it's semester grades? not final grades?

@Mysterysquash05/09/2020 at 06:56PM

Semester and final, usually your semester 2 is your final grade.

[🎤 AUTHOR]@julylilys05/09/2020 at 07:37PM

ohh okok, because semester one wasn’t so good... I had a 74 in geometry and a couple B’s.... semester 2 I have straight A’s and they are pretty high!!

@Mysterysquash05/10/2020 at 10:53AM

yeah so the 74 would count but so would all of those As.

[🎤 AUTHOR]@julylilys05/10/2020 at 08:39PM

Okay, thank you so much!!!

05/07/2020 at 05:57PM

I track it to 2 decimal places but I can see it being a 3.7 this year but if your school doesn't differentiate between a 100 and 95 for example as long as you get one B a semester and the rest As especially if they are AP/IB classes I can see that happening