College GPA Requirements: How Does Your GPA Factor Into College Admissions?

Your GPA is one of the most important elements of a college application — one admissions officers review when making admissions decisions. However, the way grade point averages factor into college admissions decisions is not straightforward or uniform from school to school. Since different high schools use different systems to grade and rank their students, most colleges take several things into account when assessing an applicant’s GPA. From there, every college has different standards in terms of GPA requirements. In this article, we’ll break down how colleges calculate GPA, what admissions officers are looking for, and why your GPA is one of the most significant pieces of your applicant profile. Translating your GPA scale Every high school has a different method of calculating GPA, but most American universities subscribe to the 4.0 standard. This means that your letter grade in each class will translate to a scaled score that is then multiplied by the number of credits the class is worth; the resulting number is your cumulative GPA. However, not every high school uses a 4.0 GPA system. Particularly in charter or independent schools, grading might be calculated on a scale of 0–100 or a grade letter system not attached to a numerical value. In these cases, you can use the below table to translate your grades to the 4.0 system. 4.0 A+ 97–100 4.0 A 94–100 3.7 A- 90–93 3.3 B+ 87–89 3.0 B 84–-86 2.7 B- 80–83 2.3 C+ 77–79 2.0 C 74–76 1.7 C- 70–73 1.3 D+ 67–69 1.0 D 64–66 0.7 D- 60–63 0.0 F 0–59 Some schools also use a 4.3 GPA system. In these instances, an A+ corresponds to a 4.3 instead of a 4.0, but the rest of the scale above will remain the same. Grading systems aren’t just about scales, however. Some schools won’t include nonacademic classes like physical education (PE) when they calculate total GPA, while others might, and some schools don’t give out pluses or minuses as part of their grading system. Weighted vs. unweighted GPA If your school offers Advanced Placement (AP) classes, you’ll have two GPAs to keep track of: weighted and unweighted. Weighted GPAs are a school’s way of rewarding students for taking extra challenging courses, usually calculated on a 5.0 scale instead of 4.0, with a 5.0 corresponding to straight As in all AP classes. In this way, a high weighted GPA demonstrates how well you performed in your classes and how difficult those courses were, to begin with. You’ll have a place on your college application to list both GPAs, but keep in mind that most colleges refer to unweighted GPA when describing their average GPA statistics for admitted students. Class ranking and GPA Colleges recognize that every school is different, and a 4.0 at one school might mean something very different than a 4.0 at another school. This is why they take into account other academic factors when considering your GPA. For instance, many colleges will look at your class standing or percentile (e.g., [...]

By |2022-11-14T19:06:49+00:00December 16, 2021|AP Exams, Assessments|0 Comments

Modified AP Exams and Extended School Closures

Dear Academic Approach Families: As we close the week, we have updates from the College Board re: AP exams and from school districts on extended school closures Modified AP Exams This morning, the College Board announced that AP exams this year will be administered as 45-minute online exams for students to take at home. The content tested has been revised to exclude content that could not be taught before schools closed, and the question types will only include free-response questions. A detailed breakdown of what content will be included on each test can be found here on the College Board’s website. Beginning next week, the College Board will offer free materials for self-study. Our instructors are available to tailor these materials and others to a student’s specific academic needs. Extended School Closures for Illinois For our Illinois families, please note that Chicago public schools’ closure was extended to April 20th, and the state-wide school closures have been extended to April 8th. In addition, the spring NWEA-MAP test for high school admissions has been cancelled. Going Forward For your convenience, we have compiled our daily updates on this website for you to review and share with others. We will continue to update you as we learn more.  Be well, Matthew Pietrafetta, Ph.D., Founder & CEO

By |2020-03-20T17:26:56+00:00March 20, 2020|AP Exams, Letter|Comments Off on Modified AP Exams and Extended School Closures

Preparing for AP Exams

Dear Academic Approach Families:For those students enrolled in Advanced Placement (AP) Courses, it appears College Board is nearing a solution for AP Testing.College Board, which manages AP Exams, will be posting its next update on Friday, March 20th with a plan for what is next in terms of the testing format for students and the materials for teachers who are teaching AP curriculum through e-learning. The most interesting option College Board references is in-home testing.If your student would like supplemental instruction to partner with your school’s e-learning, do not hesitate to reach out to us at 773-348-8914. Our directors can walk you through the process and match you with one of our AP instructors.Visit the College Board's AP webpage for more updates. We will continue to keep you updated as more information is released.Be well,Matthew Pietrafetta, Ph.D., Founder & CEO

By |2020-03-18T16:44:56+00:00March 18, 2020|AP Exams, Letter|Comments Off on Preparing for AP Exams
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