How Colleges Look At Your GPA Scale Philadelphia PA

This is one of the most confusing topics for students planning their college applications. Partly, it's an issue of translation. If every high school utilized the same grading system, we would have a lot less trouble comparing Grade Point Averages (GPAs) from different schools!

How Colleges Look At Your GPA Scale

How Colleges Look At Your GPA Scale

By Howard and Matthew Greene

How do colleges look at grades from different high schools? How do you translate a 4.0 (or 4.3) to percentile or letter grades? What about weighted and un-weighted grades? What are the typical college GPA requirements?

The GPA and college admission: different systems require translation
This is one of the most confusing topics for students planning their college applications. Partly, it's an issue of translation. If every high school utilized the same grading system, we would have a lot less trouble comparing Grade Point Averages (GPAs) from different schools!

Of course, high schools don't use the same GPA scale — and even when they do, many use weighted systems (perhaps giving extra ""points"" to grades from honors, accelerated, International Baccalaureate, or Advanced Placement classes), and employ varying methods of calculating a cumulative GPA.

Apart from some independent day and boarding schools that continue to use grading systems based on a 6-, 10-, or 11-point scale, there are three prevailing grading systems:

  • The 4.0 scale
  • The percentile system
  • Letter grade methods

That is, unless you step outside the United States…but that's a topic for another time.

The 4.0 standard
The 4.0 system has become the standard at most colleges, and many high schools have adopted this GPA scale as well. Teachers typically award a letter grade, which is then translated into a sc...

Author: Amy Ambler

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