What is the Highest GPA Possible & How To Achieve It?

Mar 1, 2022 | Turito Team USA

what is the highest gpa

Grade Point Average, commonly known as GPA, is a number that represents what you have achieved in your courses in high school. It is a report card that shows your activity level and participation in various classes and tasks. When you think about taking admission to the top colleges to pursue higher education, your GPA might be crucial. Most of the top colleges give an admission offer by considering what is the highest GPA scored by the applicants.

GPA reflects the dedication of students to various courses that they undertake. Generally, top universities want you to be in the top percent in your class with the highest GPA. Though many students know the importance of achieving the highest GPA in high school, they don’t know the different aspects of GPA. Continue reading to find out the highest GPA possible and how you can get it.

What Is GPA And How It Is Calculated?

Grade Point Average or GPA is the numeric representation of your overall high school performance. GPA simplifies the evaluation process for granting admission to students. Your performance in different subjects of high school is measured in grades. Afterward, these grades are allotted a number between 1-4. The average of these numbers is called your GPA. 

Your GPA score is a huge indicator of your success in getting admission to the top colleges. With the highest GPA possible, your chances of success also increase. 

Though there are some exceptions, most American high schools follow the grading scale mentioned below.

Overall %  Grade 
Above 97.0 % A+ 
93.0-96.9 % A
90.0-92.9 % A-
87.0-89.9 % B+
83.0-86.9% B
80.0-82.9 % B-
77.0-79.9 % C+
73.0-76.9 % C
70.0-72.9 % C-
67.0-69.9 % D+
65.0-66.9 % D
Below 65.0 F

For each course, students get a certain numeric point that depends on their earned grades. The following table illustrates an example of the same.

Grade Point 
A 4
B 3
D 2
D 1
F 0

Some schools either increase or decrease the numeric points earned by students as per the plus and minus gave to them on their grades. Generally, most high schools subtract (.3) for a minus grade and add (.3) for a plus grade, where 4.0 is considered the highest GPA. Though the calculation of average GPA is quite simple on a 4.0 scale, you can always contact your school’s counselor’s office for better estimation and results.

What Is The Highest GPA You Can Get?

Many students are confused and hardly know the answer to the question – What is the highest GPA you can get? While calculating GPA on a scale of 4.0 points, it is quite evident that you will assume that 4.0 is the highest GPA you can achieve. This represents that you get an A in all the courses you take throughout your school career.

However, in reality, you can get a GPA above 4.0 with different Advanced Placement (AP) courses. The AP courses are specially designed and introduced by the College Board. These courses offer college-level syllabi and tests to high-school students. Therefore, it is highly obvious that your chances of admission to top universities dramatically increase if you achieve high scores on these tests.

The following table demonstrates the highest GPA if you take AP courses.

Grades with AP courses Points achieved
A 5.0
B 4.0
D 3.0
D 2.0
F 0.0-1.0

The highest GPA possible highly depends on whether you use an unweighted scale or a weighted scale. For the university application, students need to calculate both the GAPs and send whichever is required. If nothing specific is mentioned, you should send the weighted highest GPA possible.

What Is The Average GPA?

As per the latest report conducted by the University of Georgia, the average GPA acceptable by top universities in America can be 3.38 or even higher. But this figure is not that commonly accepted. 

The student’s demography hugely decides the average GPA. Generally, girls have the highest GPA in terms of gender differences. The below table clearly shows it.

Gender Average GPA
Girls  3.10
Boys  2.90
Difference 0.20

Moreover, the students of certain specific races have the highest GPA possible. The following table gives a clear understanding of GPA fluctuation as per the racial background of students.

Race Average GPA
Asian 3.26
White  3.09
Hispanic  2.84
Black  2.69

The variation in the average GPA as per race and gender represents the issues of different educational systems, ethnicity, and socio-economic factors. Generally, most students are scoreless in the core subjects but increase their grades in non-academic subjects. You can refer to the following table to get a clear picture.

Type of course GPA
Overall  3.03
Core subjects (Math, English, Social sciences) 2.82
Other subjects ( Computer science, Foreign language, etc.) 3.18
Non-academic subjects (Physical education, Health, etc.) 3.43

Difference Between Weighted And Unweighted GPA

The most common difference between these GPAs is the consideration of the level of difficulty in the courses taken. The highest GPA accepted by various colleges depends on the Weighted And Unweighted GPA calculation.

Weighted GPA Unweighted GPA
Under weighted GPA, a school calculates the GPA of students by considering the level of difficulty of the courses undertaken by the students. Under an unweighted GPA, the school does not consider the level of challenge and difficulty of a course undertaken by the student.
  • Unweighted GPA: It is pretty simple to calculate the unweighted GPA of students as it does not measure the course difficulty. Suppose you take 5 classes and you achieve Bs in 3 of them and As in 2 of them. The 3 Bs will equate to 3.0, and the As will be considered 4.0 points. Now when you calculate the unweighted GPA, it will simply be a summation of all the points divided by the number of courses which will give you a 3.4 GPA.
  • Weighted GPA: Compared to the unweighted GPA, the weighted GPA calculation is tricky because it considers the difficulty of the courses that a student undertakes. 

Let’s continue with the same example we used in the unweighted GPA. Let’s assume that in the subjects where you earned 3 Bs, two of them are AP subjects. At the same time, one is an honor subject, and between the two As, one is regular whereas another is an honors subject. Now, what is the highest GPA you can get? To calculate your GPA, the course challenge needs to be considered along with the points you achieve. This simply means that for all the honors subjects, you need to add0.5 nd for the AP courses, 1.0 points will be added, and then GPA will be calculated for five subjects. 

Now your GPA will be calculated as (4+4.5+4+4+3.5 divided by 5). The result will eventually be a 4.0 weighted GPA. If you are wondering about what is the highest GPA accepted by universities, you must remember your weighted GPA will be considered when giving you admission.

What Should Do With Average Or Below Average GPA?

An average or below-average GPA makes it a bit difficult to get into your dream college. But the good part is that if you are still a freshman, you still have time to improve your GPA. Never hesitate to ask for help from faculty or classmates if you struggle with any subject. The junior students have little scope for success, but still, they need to focus on increasing their grades in the subjects they are taking. 

Guidelines To Score The Highest GPA Possible In School

If you are a high-school student, your priority is to get into the state’s top university. But the acceptance rate of these universities is meager.

Below are some of the guidelines to help you score the highest GPA:

  • Save your time by avoiding the courses that you don’t need. 
  • Be regular in class and actively participate in different events that help you raise your score.
  • Set your academic goals at the beginning of the semester and work enthusiastically to achieve them.
  • Seek help from teachers and follow their precious advice.
  • Take up challenging courses and prepare by staying focused.

It will tremendously help if you prepare by focussing on your learning rather than achieving a certain score.


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