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Weighted Vs Unweighted GPA: Understanding the Difference

May 14, 2024
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If you are among those students who are keen to proceed with college applications, you might continuously think about scoring good grades or a highest GPA. Your GPA( Weighted Vs Unweighted GPA) is the key indicator of your academic performance throughout high school. Hence, several well-known institutions need applicants to align with a minimum GPA to qualify for college admission. 

A strong GPA, weighted or unweighted, is important to enter your dream college. But do you understand the difference between unweighted and weighted GPAs? Worry not, as this article will clearly elaborate on the key differences between them.

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What is a Weighted GPA?

A weighted GPA is the average of your credits and grades. However, it also represents whether you have appeared for specific advanced courses, such as AP, IB, or honours courses. Hence, instead of implementing a 4-point scale, a 5-point scale is used in a weighted GPA. For instance, if you scored a B in the AP class, it is translated into 0.4 as per a weighted GPA instead of an unweighted GPA of 3.

What is an Unweighted GPA?

Under an unweighted GPA, the multiple difficulty levels of your classes are not taken into consideration. However, a 4-point scale is used for your unweighted GPA, and the advanced courses are not converted into a 5-point scale. Hence, you can score the highest unweighted GPA of 4.0.

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Weighted Vs Unweighted GPA: Key Differences

Even though both GPAs are meant to monitor the student’s performance, not every high school implements the same pattern. The key differences between weighted and unweighted GPAs are as follows:

Measurement Scale

In order to measure the weighted GPA, schools implement a scale ranging from 0 to 5.0 gpa. However, some schools also implement an even larger scale. The scale monitors the different difficulty levels in multiple types of courses. For instance, if a student has scored an A in some advanced course, it represents a 5.0 underweighted GPA; however, if an A is scored in some standard course, it displays a 4.0.

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Schools calculate an unweighted GPA on a scale ranging from 0 to 4.0, and the difficulty levels of the scores are not considered. For instance, in an unweighted GPA, an A grade scored by a student is a 4.0, regardless of the difficulty level of the class. You can also access online calculators or charts to convert your GPA between the unweighted and weighted scales.

Calculation

It is simple to calculate an unweighted GPA as you need not consider the different academic levels of the courses you appear for. Each grade letter showcases a specific percentile or GPA. For instance, if your school implements an unweighted GPA system to assist the performance of the students but also offers advanced courses, your grades will appear as follows:

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  • Art: A (represents a 4.0 on the scale)
  • AP US History: A (represents a 4.0 on the scale)
  • Honors Algebra: B (represents a 3.0 on the scale)
  • Chemistry: A (represents a 4.0 on the scale)
  • Honours English: B (represents a 3.0 on the scale)

You must proceed with the following calculations to get your unweighted GPA:

4.0 + 4.0 + 4.0 + 3.0 + 3.0 = 18

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Unweighted GPA = 18/5 = 3.6

However, the multiple academic levels of advanced courses should be considered when calculating a weighted GPA. To monitor your weighted GPA, you must convert the grades scored in advanced courses through a GPA conversion scale. Standard classes include the addition of a 0-grade point. Moreover, 0.5 was added for honours or mid-level classes and 1.0 for advanced placement or high-level classes. 

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Hence, your weighted GPA grades will appear as follows: 

  • Art: A (represents a 4.0 on the GPA scale)
  • AP US History: A (represents a 5.0 on the GPA scale)
  • Honors Algebra: B (represents a 3.5 on the GPA scale)
  • Chemistry: A (represents a 4.0 on the GPA scale)
  • Honours English: B (represents a 3.5 on the GPA scale)

You must proceed with the following calculations to get your weighted GPA:

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4.0 + 4.0 + 5.0 + 3.5 + 3.5 = 20

Weighted GPA = 20/5 = 4.0

Hence, by scoring the same grades in the same classes, the weighted and unweighted GPA calculations will emerge, as discussed above.

Conclusion 

Your GPA can be considered on either a weighted or unweighted scale. The major difference between both of them is that the difficulty of your classes is considered under weighted GPA; however, it remains unlooked under unweighted GPA. Maximum weighted GPA is recorded on a 0 to 5.0 scale, and the unweighted GPA is measured on a scale ranging from 0 to 4.0.

Regardless of the weighted or unweighted GPA implemented in your high school, your colleges will consider your GPA along with your proven determination and hard work. To boost your GPA and get into your dream college, join hands with Turito, an online education platform that helps students prepare for their upcoming exams and achieve excellence in the field of academics under the guidance of experts.

Frequently Asked Questions 

What do you understand about a 4.2-weighted GPA?

A 4.2 GPA represents that you’ve appeared for some weighted courses, including International Baccalaureate classes and advanced placement courses, which are comparatively more challenging than regular classes.

What does a weighted GPA of 4 represent?

The weighted GPA of 4 represents an A grade in the regular level class.

Can a GPA of 95 be considered as good?

Even though certain schools consider 90 – 100 as A or A+, some schools can also prefer 93-100 as A. However, if the 90-100 scale is implemented in your school, 95 would be considered a GPA of 4.0.

Weighted Vs Unweighted GPA

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