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Weighted vs. Unweighted GPA: What is the Distinction?


What’s the Difference Between Weighted vs Unweighted GPAs?

As you analysis schools and their admissions insurance policies, you might even see that some colleges ask for a weighted grade level common (GPA) slightly than an unweighted model. However what’s a weighted GPA?

A weighted GPA is a recalculated model that takes into consideration the issue of your courseload. In case you took faculty prep programs, honors lessons, or Superior Placement (AP) programs, a weighted GPA could profit you by providing you with further factors.

However not all schools require weighted GPAs, and a few will recalculate weighted GPAs once they obtain scholar transcripts.

Right here’s what it’s essential learn about weighted vs. unweighted GPAs.

Weighted vs Unweighted GPAs: What’s the Distinction?

Relying on the highschool you go to and the programs you are taking, your GPA could also be weighted or unweighted.

What’s an Unweighted GPA?

An unweighted GPA is also referred to as a uncooked rating. Your GPA is calculated solely based mostly on the grades you earn in your lessons, and it’s usually based mostly on a 4.00 scale, with a 4.0 being the best-possible rating. Unweighted GPAs are usually extra generally utilized by excessive colleges.

In accordance with The Princeton Assessment, right here is how your grades correspond with numerical grades and GPAs:

Letter GradeGrade FactorsNumerical Grade
A+4.097 to 100
A4.094 to 96
A-3.790 to 93
B+3.387 to 89
B3.084 to 86
B-2.780 to 83
C+2.377 to 79
C2.074 to 76
C-1.770 to 73
D+1.367 to 69
D1.064 to 66
D-0.760 to 63
F0.00 to 59

What’s a Weighted GPA?

Opposite to an unweighted GPA, not solely are weighted GPAs based mostly on the grades you earn, however additionally they contemplate how troublesome your course load was. Whereas weighted GPAs use a 4.0 scale, extra factors may be added should you carry out properly in more difficult programs. For instance, it’s possible you’ll earn a further proportion level for AP or honors programs. Consequently, it’s potential to have a GPA over 4.0 if it’s weighted.

How colleges rating honors or AP scores differ. For instance, some colleges could give an A in an honors course a further 0.5 or perhaps a full further level, so college students can have a GPA as excessive as 5.0.

Letter GradeCommon Class FactorsHonors or Superior Placement Class Factors
A4 Factors5 Factors
B3 Factors4 Factors
C2 Factors3 Factors
D1 Factors2 Factors
F0 Factors0 Factors

To calculate your GPA, add the factors per class and divide by the variety of programs accomplished.

For instance, let’s say you took the next programs and earned the next grades:

  • Honors English: A
  • Honors Chemistry: C
  • Customary Calculus: A
  • Customary American Historical past: B

Right here’s how your grades would translate to weighted and unweighted GPAs:

Letter GradeFactors (Unweighted)Factors (Weighted)
Honors EnglishA4 Factors5 Factors
Honors ChemistryC2 Factors3 Factors
Customary CalculusA4 Factors4 Factors
Customary American Historical pastB3 Factors3 Factors
Whole13 Factors15 Factors
GPA3.25 (Unweighted)3.75 (Weighted)

Divide the whole unweighted factors by the variety of programs — 4 — and you discover that your cumulative GPA is 3.25.

To calculate your weighted GPA, divide the weighted factors by the variety of programs — 15 divided by 4 — and your weighted GPA is 3.75.

You can too use a GPA calculator to search out out what your weighted GPA is.

Do Schools have a look at Weighted or Unweighted GPAs?

As you start the faculty admissions course of, it’s possible you’ll be questioning if universities contemplate weighted or unweighted GPAs. Insurance policies differ by faculty, so which GPA the faculty appears at will differ by establishment.

By default, some excessive colleges present solely weighted GPAs to high schools once they ship scholar transcripts. Some schools will settle for these weighted GPAs, however some colleges will request the unweighted GPA as a substitute.

No matter which kind of GPA your highschool makes use of, you don’t have to fret about adjusting it your self on your faculty purposes. Faculty admissions departments have their very own procedures for reviewing transcripts and recalculating applicant GPAs based mostly on their particular weighting techniques. As a result of excessive colleges have completely different course choices and reporting strategies, schools use their very own strategies to standardize the admissions course of.

What GPA do it’s essential get into faculty?

Your grades play a significant position in whether or not you’ll get into your dream faculty. In accordance with a survey of school admissions professionals launched by the Nationwide Affiliation for Faculty Admission Counseling, 75% stated that course grades are the most important issue they contemplate, the next proportion than those who say they contemplate grades in faculty prep programs.

For many four-year schools, you will want a GPA of two.7 or increased to get accepted right into a program. Nevertheless, you probably have your coronary heart set on a extra selective faculty, like an Ivy League college, you’ll want a considerably increased GPA. Under are the acceptance charges and common unweighted GPAs for among the most selective colleges within the nation:

CollegeAcceptance chargeCommon GPA
Harvard College4%4.0
Johns Hopkins College7%3.93
Princeton College6%3.95
Stanford College4%3.96
College of Pennsylvania7%3.9

Making use of to Faculty

Now that you understand how weighted and unweighted GPAs work, you possibly can slender down your listing of potential schools. Faculty Confidential is a superb useful resource; it has a searchable database that means that you can seek for schools based mostly in your present GPA and the common GPA for admitted college students. Within the meantime, proceed to work exhausting so you can also make your faculty desires a actuality.


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