Many high schools record your academic performance using unweighted GPA. But what does your unweighted GPA mean in the eyes of colleges? And how can you calculate it yourself? In this article, I’ll tell you what an unweighted GPA is, how to interpret it, and how to calculate it based on your letter grades.

## What Is an Unweighted GPA?

Unweighted GPA is the most common way to measure academic performance in high school.**Unweighted GPAs are measured on a scale of 0 to 4.0 and do not take the difficulty of your courses into account.**This means that an A in an AP class and an A in a low-level class will both translate into 4.0s.A student who takes all honors and AP classes and earns all As and a couple Bs will have a lower unweighted GPA than a student who takes all low-level classes and earns all As.

This may seem incredibly unfair, but it’s not as simple as that when it comes to college admissions.**Colleges are aware that the numbers often tell a skewed story in the case of unweighted GPAs, and they will investigate further to see whether unweighted GPA is truly an accurate reflection of a student’s academic potential.** Unweighted GPA is where the idea of a 4.0 as the gold standard of GPA comes from, but as we’ll see in the next section, this isn't always the most accurate achievement benchmark.

## What Does Your Unweighted GPA Mean? Will Colleges Use It?

There’s a lot of advice out there about unweighted GPAs because the unweighted scale is the most commonly used GPA scale. However,**all of this advice is contingent on the difficulty of your classes.** Colleges won’t be nearly as impressed by your 4.0 if it was earned in low-level courses.

Though it may be difficult to make the switch, you should **try to move up a level in your classes if you’re doing very well.**Even if your unweighted GPA goes down slightly, you’ll ultimately be doing yourself a favor in the college application process. Colleges are interested in your GPA, but they also look further into how you earned it. **Don’t expect to game the system by taking easy classes and getting As.**

If your high school uses solely unweighted GPA, this may result in your class rank being lower than someone who takes easier courses than you. You shouldn’t worry too much about this.Again, **you’re more likely to get into a good college with a slightly lower unweighted GPA that was earned in high-level classes than with a high unweighted GPA that was earned in low-level classes.**

*Your A+ in gym won't give you a competitive edge in college admissions. Then again, maybe I'm just bitter because I always sat in the back of the court during dodgeball and pretended to be out so that I wouldn't have to embarrass myself by attempting to throw anything.*

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## How Is Unweighted GPA Calculated?

Unweighted GPA is simple to calculate because only your grades matter, not the levels of your classes.**Here is a chart that shows how each letter grade translates into unweighted GPA.**

Letter Grade | Unweighted GPA |

A+ | 4.0 |

A | 4.0 |

A- | 3.7 |

B+ | 3.3 |

B | 3.0 |

B- | 2.7 |

C+ | 2.3 |

C | 2.0 |

C- | 1.7 |

D+ | 1.3 |

D | 1.0 |

F | 0.0 |

With this in mind, **I’ll go through how to calculate unweighted GPA with an example.** Let’s say you’re towards the end of your sophomore year in high school, so you’ve completed 3 semesters so far.In each semester, you took five core classes, which are the classes we'll use in calculating your GPA. Here are some charts of hypotehtical grades for each semester:

### First Semester Freshman Year

Class | Letter Grade | Unweighted GPA |

1 | B | 3.0 |

2 | B | 3.0 |

3 | B+ | 3.3 |

4 | B+ | 3.3 |

5 | A- | 3.7 |

Your unweighted GPA for this semester would be an average of the five values in the last column. **This gives you a 3.3 so far.** Now, let's do the second semester. This time, we'll say that your grades increased slightly.

### Second Semester Freshman Year

Class | Letter Grade | Unweighted GPA |

1 | B | 3.0 |

2 | B+ | 3.3 |

3 | B+ | 3.3 |

4 | A- | 3.7 |

5 | A- | 3.7 |

**Your GPA for this semester would be a3.4** based on an average of the values in the last column. Finally, let’s calculate GPA for the first semester of sophomore year assuming your grades increased slightly once again.

### First Semester Sophomore Year

Class | Letter Grade | Unweighted GPA |

1 | B+ | 3.3 |

2 | B+ | 3.3 |

3 | A- | 3.7 |

4 | A- | 3.7 |

5 | A- | 3.7 |

**Your average unweighted GPA for this semester would be a 3.5.**Now we can calculate your overall GPA by averaging the three GPAs from each semester.

Semester | Unweighted GPA |

First - Freshman | 3.3 |

Second - Freshman | 3.4 |

First - Sophomore | 3.5 |

Cumulative | 3.4 |

Note that **this method of averaging semester GPAs only works if you took the same number of classes every semester.** If you didn't, it's best to just translate all of your grades so far into unweighted GPAs, add them up, and divide by the total number of classes you've taken. If your school gets more specific with its GPAs for different grades (for example, a 90 average in a class would translate into a lower GPA than a 92 average even though they’re both A-s), look at this more detailed conversion chart to get a more accurate result.

## Conclusion

The unweighted GPA is GPA in its purest form: **it only considers your grades and not the levels of your classes.** It’s important to keep things in perspective when assessing your unweighted GPA because colleges will be able to tell whether you earned it in difficult classes or not.**Having a 4.0 unweighted GPA doesn’t automatically mean you’ll get your pick of top colleges.** You need to challenge yourself academically in AP and Honors classes so you can rise above the crowd.

**Unweighted GPA is relatively easy to calculate** because you don’t have to account for the levels of your classes. If you want to figure out your unweighted GPA, just consult the conversion chart in this article to translate your grades into the appropriate numerical values.

## What's Next?

Now that you know all about unweighted GPA, you may be wondering whether colleges place more emphasis on unweighted or weighted GPA statistics in the admissions process. Learn more about which GPA measurement will be most important for college.

You should also check out this article on what constitutes a good or bad GPA for college admissionsif you're not sure whether your GPA is high enough for your college goals.

With unweighted GPA, it can be difficult to figure out whether your course load is advanced enough for selective colleges. Read this article to find out what constitutes a rigorous course load in high school.

**Want to improve your SAT score by 160 points or your ACT score by 4 points?**We've written a guide for each test about the top 5 strategies you must be using to have a shot at improving your score. Download it for free now:

**Have friends who also need help with test prep?**Share this article!

Samantha Lindsay

About the Author

Samantha is a blog content writer for PrepScholar. Her goal is to help students adopt a less stressful view of standardized testing and other academic challenges through her articles. Samantha is also passionate about art and graduated with honors from Dartmouth College as a Studio Art major in 2014. In high school, she earned a 2400 on the SAT, 5's on all seven of her AP tests, and was named a National Merit Scholar.

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## FAQs

### How do you figure out unweighted GPA? ›

Once you have the grade point for every course, the unweighted GPA is calculated by **adding all of the grade points together, then dividing the sum by the number of courses that were added**. This is how averages are calculated, which is why this is called a grade point average.

**What is my unweighted GPA scale? ›**

The traditional unweighted GPA scale ranges from **0 to 4.0**, while the weighted scale spans from 0 to 5.0. Schools that use a weighted scale assign more points to honors and AP classes. For example, students who earn an A in AP Calculus would receive a 5.0 on a weighted scale and only a 4.0 on an unweighted scale.

**What is a 4.7 GPA unweighted? ›**

For example, if you had a 4.7 weighted GPA for an AP class, then subtract the 1.0 that was added to weight it, and it'll bring it down to a 3.7 on an unweighted scale.

**What is a 3.7 GPA unweighted? ›**

According to College Board, the 4.0 unweighted scale is often used by colleges and high schools. A 3.7 GPA as a letter grade is A-. Converted to a percentage, **a 3.7 GPA shows you've scored an average of 90-92% in all your classes**. An unweighted GPA doesn't consider the difficulty of your classes.

**What is my unweighted GPA on a 4.0 scale? ›**

...

Unweighted 4.0 GPA Scale.

**Is GPA out of 4 unweighted? ›**

Unweighted GPA. **An unweighted GPA is the average of all your grades on the 4.0 scale above**. Some high schools use a weighted GPA scale, which gives more points (greater "weight") to grades in accelerated courses like Honors Biology or AP French.

**What is a good unweighted GPA? ›**

The average GPA may be higher, especially in the higher-end schools in the system, but this gives you an idea of what to expect. Simply put, a good unweighted GPA is usually around 3.5 or higher.

**Does my unweighted GPA matter? ›**

**A high unweighted GPA indicates an academically successful student**, and a high weighted GPA demonstrates they can maintain that level of success when faced with rigorous coursework. Institutions value both of those indicators when they consider students for admission.

**What is the average unweighted GPA? ›**

The average high school GPA in the US is 3.0, which also accounts for roughly 35% of students who don't end up applying for college. However, for college applicants, the average GPA is more likely **between 3.5 and 4.0**.

**What is a low unweighted GPA? ›**

First off, you should know what constitutes weighted and unweighted GPA in high school. Traditional GPAs are unweighted, which means they're measured on a scale from 0 to 4.0. A 4.0 is an A average, a 3.0 is a B average, a 2.0 is a C average, a 1.0 is a D average, and **anything below that represents a failing grade**.

### What is a 7.3 GPA on a 4.0 scale? ›

...

Converting 10 point CGPA to 4 point GPA (S to cgpa converter)

10 Point CGPA | Equivalent 4 Point GPA | USA Grade Equivalent |
---|---|---|

7.4 | 3.17 | A |

7.3 | 3.14 | A |

7.2 | 3.10 | A |

7.1 | 3.07 | A |

**Is unweighted GPA out of 4 or 5? ›**

One is an unweighted GPA, which calculates your overall average grade **out of 4.0**, without regard to the difficulty of your coursework. The other is a weighted GPA, which reflects both grades and course levels.

**Will Harvard accept 3.7 GPA? ›**

Continue to work hard, take difficult classes, and show your passions outside of school! **To get to Harvard your GPA has to be at least a 4.0** and even then if you get in your lucky but they require at least a 4.18 GPA only .

**Is 3.2 A good unweighted GPA? ›**

Is a 3.2 GPA in high school considered good? Earning a 3.2 GPA, two-tenths above the national average GPA is **generally considered a good GPA**. It shows academic proficiency and consistency, as well as makes you eligible to apply to a high number of colleges.

**Is a 2.3 unweighted GPA good? ›**

The answer is No. The national average for a GPA is around 3.0 and **a 2.3 GPA puts you below that average**. A 2.3 GPA means that you've gotten only C-s and D+s in your high school classes so far. Since this GPA is significantly below a 2.0, it will make things very difficult for you in the college application process.

**Do colleges look at unweighted GPA? ›**

**Colleges will look at either weighted or unweighted GPAs in your application**. They do tend to prefer weighted, because it gives more information about the difficulty of your classes, but don't worry if your school uses an unweighted scale.

**Is 4.2 a good unweighted GPA? ›**

A 4.2 indicates that you are earning Bs and B+s in high level classes or As and A+s in mid level classes. **This is a very good GPA**, and it should give you a strong chance of admission at most colleges. 99.36% of schools have an average GPA below a 4.2. You can apply to colleges and have a good shot at getting admitted.

**What is a 93 unweighted GPA on a 4.0 scale? ›**

...

Search for Colleges Using Your GPA.

Letter Grade | Percent Grade | 4.0 Scale |
---|---|---|

A | 93-96 | 4.0 |

A- | 90-92 | 3.7 |

B+ | 87-89 | 3.3 |

B | 83-86 | 3.0 |

**How bad is a 2.7 unweighted GPA? ›**

A 2.7 GPA, or Grade Point Average, is equivalent to a B- letter grade on a 4.0 GPA scale. This means is equivalent to a **80-82%**. The national average GPA is 3.0 which means a 2.7 is below average, but is getting close.

**What is a 7.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale? ›**

Original Scale | Multiplier | EX. GPA on 4.0 Scale |
---|---|---|

6.0 | 0.6667 | 3.000 |

7.0 | 0.5714 | 3.257 |

8.0 | 0.5000 | 3.250 |

9.0 | 0.4444 | 3.644 |

### What is the highest unweighted GPA? ›

The unweighted scale is most common, and the highest possible GPA on this scale is **a 4.0**. The unweighted scale doesn't take the difficulty of a student's classes into account. Weighted scales are also used at many high schools. Typically, they go up to a 5.0.

**Do colleges look at unweighted or weighted? ›**

Many students have questions about weighted GPAs vs unweighted GPAs. Once they learn colleges primarily look at unweighted GPA's, a common follow-up question is how big the difference between, say, a 3.85 GPA and a 3.9 GPA actually is.

**What is a 2.4 unweighted GPA? ›**

A GPA, or grade point average, is an average of all high school grades. A 2.4 GPA is considered **a C+**, and is right on the cusp of a B- average, which is much more marketable to colleges and universities.

**Can an unweighted GPA go up? ›**

The main way to raise your unweighted GPA is to **get better grades**. There are several ways to go about this, such as studying more, working with your teacher, and improving your test-taking skills.

**Is a 2.95 unweighted GPA good? ›**

A 2.9 GPA is equivalent to 84% or a B letter grade. The national average GPA is 3.0 which means **a 2.9 is an okay GPA**, just a tiny bit below average and with a few quick tips can easily be improved to stand out from the crowd.

**Is it better to put weighted or unweighted GPA? ›**

One is not better than the other. **The only rule of thumb is to report the GPA that is higher** and that makes you look like a better student. As long as you report the higher GPA accurately and make sure that you label it as the correct type of GPA (weighted vs. unweighted), you're good to go.

**Is a 3.0 GPA unweighted good? ›**

Is a 3.0 GPA in high school considered good? A 3.0 GPA indicates a grade average of “B” and makes you eligible to apply to a wide range of schools, so yes! **A 3.0 GPA is generally considered “good.”**

**What is the lowest unweighted GPA for Harvard? ›**

In truth, you need close to a **4.0** unweighted GPA to get into Harvard. That means nearly straight As in every class.

**Is a 2.5 unweighted GPA good? ›**

Is a 2.5 GPA good? The answer is No. The national average for a GPA is around 3.0 and **a 2.5 GPA puts you below that average**. A 2.5 GPA means that you've gotten only C-s and D+s in your high school classes so far.

**What is a 2.5 unweighted GPA? ›**

A 2.5 GPA means that you've earned high Cs and low Bs across all of your classes. This GPA is below the 3.0 national average for high school students, and it will most likely make it difficult for you to get into all but the least selective colleges. 2.12% of schools have an average GPA below a 2.5.

### What is a 95% GPA on a 4.0 scale? ›

What is a 95 GPA on a 4.0 scale? It's a 4.0, normally. 98-100 is 4.3 (A+) in many schools. 91-93 is A- (3.7).

**What is an 80% GPA on a 4.0 scale? ›**

To convert percentages to GPA, you must assign each percentage a letter grade. Typically, 90-100% is an A. 80-89% is a B. 70-79% is a C. 60-69% is a D. 0-59% is an F. An A is worth 4 points.

**What is a 5.0 GPA? ›**

A five-point weighted average is given to students in an AP class that uses weighted grading for each of the four letter grades: As, Bs, Cs, and Ds. **A student who only enrolls in AP courses and earns As** will therefore have a GPA of 5.0.

**How do you convert unweighted to weighted GPA? ›**

Unweighted to Weighted GPA

**Multiply your unweighted GPA by the count of classes you have taken**. Add 0.5 for each mid-level course you've registered for and 1.0 for each high course. Divide the outcome by the total number of courses you have taken.

**Can you have a 4.0 with an A unweighted? ›**

On the unweighted scale: **absolutely!** This is especially true if your school doesn't distinguish between an A and an A+. Many dedicated students will be able to earn a 4.0 GPA by taking a variety of classes (regular → advanced) and earning an A in each course.

**Is an unweighted GPA of 3.5 bad? ›**

Is a 3.5 GPA good? A 3.5 unweighted GPA means that you've earned an A- average across all of your classes. **You're well above the national average for GPA and should have a solid chance of acceptance at a wide variety of colleges**. 76.4% of schools have an average GPA below a 3.5.

**What is the lowest GPA to get into Ivy League? ›**

**None of the Ivy League schools have a minimum GPA requirement for applications**, which means anyone can apply regardless of their GPA.

**What is the highest GPA ever? ›**

A GPA higher than 5.0 is rare, but school point systems are occasionally structured so that students taking advanced classes can rack up bonus points. One student even managed to land a stunning **10.03 GPA** by taking 17 advanced classes at a school that awarded bonus points.

**What is the lowest GPA accepted to Yale? ›**

You should also have a **4.14 GPA or higher**. If your GPA is lower than this, you need to compensate with a higher SAT/ACT score. For a school as selective as Yale, you'll also need to impress them with the rest of your application.

**Is 2.8 a good unweighted GPA? ›**

Is a 2.8 GPA Good? Because a 2.8 is two tenths of a point from a B average, **a 2.8 GPA indicates several grades that are of above average quality and that your performance on homework and exams was up to par**.

### Is a 2.8 unweighted GPA bad? ›

A 2.8 GPA is **just below the national average**. Most colleges and universities look for a GPA of at least 3.0 on your application.

**What is a 2.8 GPA? ›**

A 2.8 GPA, or Grade Point Average, is equivalent to a B- letter grade on a 4.0 GPA scale, and a percentage grade of 80–82.

**Can I get into Harvard with a 2.3 GPA? ›**

**You should also have a 4.18 GPA or higher**. If your GPA is lower than this, you need to compensate with a higher SAT/ACT score. For a school as selective as Harvard, you'll also need to impress them with the rest of your application.

**Do any colleges accept a 2.3 GPA? ›**

With a 2.3 GPA, admission in 4-year colleges or universities will be difficult. However, you can take a closer look at institutions such as **Livingstone College, Southern Vermont College, and Southern University at New Orleans**, all three of which accept students with an average GPA of 2.3-2.4.

**Is a 1.9 unweighted GPA good? ›**

Is a 1.9 GPA good? The answer is No. The national average for a GPA is around 3.0 and **a 1.9 GPA puts you below that average**. A 1.9 GPA means that you've gotten only C-s and D+s in your high school classes so far.

**How do you calculate weighted or unweighted GPA? ›**

...

Unweighted GPA.

Letter Grade | Percent Grade | Grade Point |
---|---|---|

A- | 90-92 | 3.7 |

B+ | 87-89 | 3.3 |

B | 83-86 | 3.0 |

B- | 80-82 | 2.7 |

**How do you calculate unweighted GPA from weighted? ›**

That being said, all you have to do is **subtract whatever was added to the final grade for each class and adjust accordingly**. For example, if you had a 4.7 weighted GPA for an AP class, then subtract the 1.0 that was added to weight it, and it'll bring it down to a 3.7 on an unweighted scale.

**How do I know if my GPA is weighted or unweighted? ›**

The main difference between the two is that weighted GPAs take into account the difficulty of your coursework and unweighted GPAs don't. Most unweighted GPAs are recorded on a scale of 0 to 4.0, and most weighted GPAs are recorded on a scale of 0 to 5.0.

**What is a 3.8 weighted to unweighted? ›**

What's the Difference Between a Weighted 3.8 GPA and an Unweighted? A weighted 3.8 GPA takes the difficulty of your courses into account and is typically measured between 0 to 5.0. **An unweighted GPA of 3.8 is considered “higher” because it's on a 4.0 scale.**

**Is my unweighted GPA my cumulative? ›**

Cumulative (Unweighted)-**This GPA includes grades from all of the courses listed on the transcript grade 9-12**. Unweighted means that all courses are considered equal in weight regardless of AP, IB, or Honors level.

### How do you get a 4.0 unweighted? ›

But to achieve an unweighted 4.0 GPA, which doesn't offer extra credit for advanced courses, you'll need to **earn straight A's**. Some schools do award a 4.3 for an A+, meaning you could theoretically get an A- if you also have an A+ on your transcript, but this is not the case across the board.

**What GPA do you need to get into Harvard? ›**

What GPA do I need to get into Harvard? To be considered for admission to Harvard, you must earn top grades in high school. The Harvard Crimson reports that the average reported GPA of entering freshmen in the class of 2022 was **3.90 on a 4.0 unweighted scale**.

**How many B's is a 3.9 GPA? ›**

A 3.9 GPA can be composed of three years of two semesters, each semester containing 5 classes, and **all grades equal to As except 3**, which are Bs. A 3.85 GPA is the same but 1 or 2 more Bs.

**Is a 2.5 unweighted GPA bad? ›**

Is a 2.5 GPA good? The answer is No. The national average for a GPA is around 3.0 and **a 2.5 GPA puts you below that average**. A 2.5 GPA means that you've gotten only C-s and D+s in your high school classes so far.