7 months ago
Admissions Advice

What is the difference between Weighted GPA and Unweighted GPA?

I need to know the difference between Weighted GPA and unweighted GPA so that I will know which type to go for. Especially for the college I might be going to. I want to be prepared.


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2 answers

Accepted Answer
7 months ago

If you apply to American colleges using the Common App or Coalition App or even UC App for California colleges, you will not have a choice to decide what GPA to use. 99% of colleges require you to submit your unweighted GPA and some applications have a spot for you to enter your weighted GPA as well for comparison.

UWGPA is based on a 4.0 scale and they are your reported grades so typically A=4.0, A-=3.7, B+=3.3, B=3.0, B-=2.7, C+=2.3, C=2.0...down the line.

WGPA is arbitrary based on the discretion of your own High School so there is no hard and fast rule.

Some HSs give IB courses a 6.0 out of 4.0, others 5.0

Some HSs give APs 5.0 out of 4.0, others 4.5, yet others do not weigh them

Some HSs give Honors classes 5.0 out of 4.0, others do not weigh them.

So you can in theory have a 3.67 UGPA and have a WGPA of 3.67, 4.11, 4.36, 4.76, or 5.24 depending on the HS you attend. You see the problem here? There is no way for college admissions officers to compare and contrast WGPAS like apples to apples so they all want to see your UWGPA and then compare it to your personal story of course rigor.

If you have a 4.0 and have not taken an AP, IB, or Honors classes then that doesn't show any course rigor.

However, 3.85 and have taken 11 AP classes and scored 4s and 5s on those AP classes, that means you are challenging yourself and not taking the path of least resistance to getting a 4.0 GPA. So most top colleges would rather have the 2nd applicant versus the 1st applicant.

Furthermore, some colleges calculate their own GPAs like Stanford and UC systems. So they get your HS transcript and then come up with their own GPA to use to compare you against other applicants.

There is NO way to reasonably GAME the GPA system in US Colleges so the best thing you can do to prepare yourself for applying to any college is to try to get the best grades in all your coursework and take the hardest classes that are available to your high school. If your HS offer limited or no APs or IB classes, then consider self-studying for AP exams, taking dual enrollment college classes, or online college classes for credit on your time and your own dime to show that you are academically or intellectually curious.

Good luck with your HS career path.

7 months ago

Unweighted gpa is on a 4.0 scale 4.0 being all a's while weighted gpa can go above a 4.0 because it adds weight on ap/honors/ib classes. There is not one that you should 'go for' because they can be converted either or. I think most colleges go weighted but I dont think it matters and you can look at the college you want to go to and give them their preference.


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