How to Get Into College – The Importance of GPA


Your grade point average (GPA) is one of the main factors that colleges take into account during admissions. It is a clear indicator of your work habits, your academic ability, and your persistence. You will need to maintain a high grade point average throughout your four years of high school if you want to get into a good college right after graduation.

What is a good grade point average?

A good way to tell if you have a competitive GPA is to check out the average GPA for matriculates of your desired college. This data is available on collegeboard. Just do a search for the college you’re interested in and check out the average GPA of the latest class admitted. You can also talk to your college counselor, or students who are actually attending the college you want to get into.

How do I determine my un-weighted GPA?

In order to determine your un-weighted GPA, simply assign these scores to each of your grades

A: 4
B: 3
C: 2
D: 1
F: 0

Total up all your scores and divide that number by the number of grades. This is the most simple method, though some schools may use a (+) and (-) system. The number you get should be between 0.00 – 4.00. If you have taken AP or IB courses however, you will also have what is called a “weighted GPA”

How do I determine my weighted GPA? Why do some people have over 4.0?

You may notice that sometime people have over a 4.0. How is this possible? Many colleges look at what is called a “weighted GPA”, which takes into account AP or IB classes. The way in which they factor it in may vary, but the most common way is simply adding an extra point to the numbers above if the grade received was in an AP or IB class.

Do I really need to get over 4.0?

As competition continues to increase, it is recommended that you have over a 4.0 to be competitive for many colleges, so make sure you take as many AP/IB you can handle! They will also benefit you when you get into college because you will get credits if you pass the AP/IB test. Simply taking AP and IB classes also looks good when applying to colleges and the challenges you will encounter may help you adjust in to the workload when entering college.

Final Words

Anybody can earn a great GPA as long as they work hard and persist. This is a quality colleges are looking for, so show them you have it! Show them you can handle high school and that you are ready to study at their school. It is also important to realize that GPA is not the only thing you should be worrying about. Many people think they can get into any college because of their superb GPA. These are the same people who are miserable during acceptance season. Don’t let that person be you!

I hope you gained some valuable information from this article.

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