GPA... What Does It Mean?

Posted by Gerrin T. Alexander

August 22, 2019 at 1:00 PM

How To Grades High School

Your grade point average, GPA, is essentially a measurement of your academic performance. Your unweighted GPA is an average of your earned grades regardless of course rigor. On the other hand, your weighted GPA accounts for such rigor (honors or AP designations) and grants you more credit for taking those challenging courses

GPA Scales

I’m sure you know this by now, but let’s get into it anyways. A 4.0 scale is the most commonly used GPA scale. An overall 4.0 is a perfect GPA, where a 4.0 represents an A or A+. Each of the following letter grades are a full point lower: B=3.0, C=2.0, D=1.0.

Unweighted GPA Conversion Chart

Letter Grade Percent Grade 4.0 Scale GPA
A+ 97-100 4.0
A 93-96 4.0
A- 90-92 3.7
B+ 87-89 3.3
B 83-86 3.0
B- 80-82 2.7
C+ 77-79 2.3
C 73-76 2.0
C- 70-72 1.7
D+ 67-69 1.3
D 65-66 1.0
F Below 65 0.0

Weighted GPA Conversion Chart

Letter Grade Percent Grade Honors GPA AP/IB GPA
A+ 97-100 4.5 5.0
A 93-96 4.5 5.0
A- 90-92 4.2 4.7
B+ 87-89 3.8 4.3
B 83-86 3.5 4.0
B- 80-82 3.2 3.7
C+ 77-79 2.8 3.3
C 73-76 2.5 3.0
C- 70-72 2.2 2.7
D+ 67-69 1.8 2.3
D 65-66 1.5 2.0
F Below 65 0.0 0.0

As you can see, this scale differs from the unweighted GPA scale in that it differentiates between courses with various degrees of difficulty by adding 0.5 to Honors and 1.0 to AP/IB grades.

What do Colleges Look at?

Don’t be fooled, colleges look at and consider both your unweighted and weighted GPAs even though they gain more information from weighted GPAs. Admissions officers are well aware of these two different GPA calculation systems. Therefore, they will review your course curriculum to see how well you performed in the types of classes you took. Also, admissions officers will evaluate your class rank relative to the number of seniors in your graduating class. If you feel like you have a low GPA, show admissions officers your academic abilities and intellectual aptitude by scoring in the 99th percentile on the ACT/SAT. Make the journey easier and more enjoyable by joining Prepmedians!

When you’re in college, your GPA is calculated on an unweighted, 4.0 scale. If you’re interested in going to graduate school, it’s in your best interest to get the highest GPA you possibly can, especially in your major field of study. However, don’t put too much pressure on yourself by studying 24/7. Learn how to study efficiently and effectively by reading Chris’ article “6 Ways to Improve Studying.”

Want to Start Your Prepmedians Journey Today?

Take Me To Prepmedians
Author Image
Posted by Gerrin T. Alexander

Gerrin scored in the 99th percentile on the ACT in high school and is currently studying Economics and Public Policy at The University of Chicago. Fun fact: She has done the #wopchallenge on nearly every corner of the campus, including the quad.