GPAs: Unweighted vs. Weighted and What Makes the Difference 

When working on a grade point average (GPA), students should keep in mind that there is both weighted and unweighted scales, and understand what makes the difference. With the beginning of a new decade, high school students should feel inspired to raise their grade point average so they can get into their dream universities, whether they are freshmen, sophomores, or juniors. Starting fresh and creating new goals, or getting back on track with prior goals, are healthy habits to keep in mind this new year. It is essential to remember that the number one thing universities look at when accepting new students is their GPA.

So what exactly is a GPA? What makes a good GPA, and what makes a bad GPA? Do harder classes count for more than easier classes? What makes up both unweighted and weighted scales? Boston Tutoring Services is here to answer all these questions, as well as help your high school students raise their grades with our variety of multifaceted tutors. 

A GPA is the numeric value given to your student’s academic achievements in school. On an unweighted GPA scale, an A+, which is typically a 95-100, correlates to a 4.0, and a D, which is typically 60 and below, is a 1.0. The following table provides you with all of the numeric values in between:


Letter Grade GPA Scale
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


Typically, a good GPA is a 3.5 and up. If you are a junior and have an idea of what schools you would like to apply to, you can typically access the average GPA acceptance rate on each college website.

GPAs typically follow both an unweighted and a weighted scale. An unweighted scale follows a 4.0, but it does not take into account the levels of your course load, such as general vs. honors and AP. A weighted scale follows a 5.0 and takes into account the level of the course. For example, If you receive a B in an honors class, in a weighted scale, the grade will affect your GPA more. Colleges typically ask for both weighted and unweighted, in order to take into account your course load and class difficulty in their acceptance decision. For more information, you can read about scaling here.

Do you know your GPA? Your school counselor will be able to provide it for you, or you can access it through your school’s online student portal. If you want to raise your GPA, but are not sure what grades you need to aim for, you can use this GPA calculator. 

Boston Tutoring Services is here to help. With one-on-one tutoring, and tutors in all academic areas, we are trained to help you raise your GPA so you can get into that dream school! To find out more, click here.

-Annika Ketchum

Boston Tutoring Services

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