My school doesn’t show term grades on our transcript and doesnt grade with A-, A+, B- and so on. IT is just a straightforward A,B,C,D and so on. What my school does is average the grade we got in both terms using letters and not numbers. If someone got an A first term and a B second term, the only final semester grade shown on the transcript would be a A for that class. Regardess if they got an 90% and an 80% in ther terms, the final for the class is an A. Plain A, no - or +. Even though my transcript shows an A, will colleges have any way of finding out?
All colleges investigate the School Profile with Grading Policies submitted by your HS Counselor as part of the College Application Review. This is done for each and every applicant because every school has its own quirky grading system.
It's obvious that your school employs grade inflation and more students at your school have higher GPAs because of this very loose policy of bumping what other schools would report as 85s and B+ to 90s and As.
The bottom line is that your school does not help the High School students they are serving because 1/2 the students benefit from Grade Inflation and 1/2 the students have to compete with others in the college admissions process with twice as many students who have similar GPAs as they do regardless of whether they have done the same amount of work and earned these grades.
Since all colleges evaluate applicants against their peers at the same school applying to the same college, the bigger problem for HS students at your school is that there are twice a many high GPA Seniors and they if they apply to the same schools, you'll be evaluated against them.
So if you apply to say a Top School with a A-4.0 GPA, that admission officer will compare you to other 4.0 GPA students applying to the same school. Without this school profile clearly delineating how grade inflation occurs at your school, the AO may inadvertently admit a peer of yours with the same GPA, even if they have lower raw grade scores and values.
I don't know if you are in the group that benefited from grade inflation or suffers from others getting bumped up to your level, but it is a real problem.
If you are a top student at your school that deserves the highest marks and grades based on your unadulterated raw scores, then I would recommend you write about this grade inflation problem in your additional information section of the common app.
@CameronBameron has responded with a thorough answer about how your school is inflating grades. To that I would like to add that you can differentiate yourself from other classmates who scored A's by taking the most rigorous classes you can at your school. For example, be sure to take 4-5 AP classes during your junior and senior years if your school offers them. High SAT/ACT scores will also make you stand out. All of this combined with an explanation in the additional information section of your applications will help the admissions officers see through grade inflation. Hope this helps!
Colleges will take the transcripts they get at face value—if this is standard for your high school, they will not investigate further. I would recommend double-checking with your counselor to see if they also report percentages.
This probably is not the best answer, and others will probably have better advice, but this seems like a very odd case and not common so I would ask your guidance counselor.
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