UNDERSTANDING YOUR GPA
Your grades are the most important factor for schools. Your grades are cumulative. That means everything counts and is weighted into your average. The grades you earn each semester are recorded on your permanent record transcript. Your permanent transcript record gets submitted to colleges, not once, not twice, but three times to all of the colleges you apply to. Contrary to what most students think. Your most important year of high school is not junior year. It is your first three years of high school. Your freshman year, sophomore year, and junior year grades make up your initial transcript. Your initial transcript is submitted to colleges during the fall semester of senior year. Your mid-year transcript is sent to colleges at the start of the spring semester of your senior year. It contains: freshman year, sophomore year, junior year, and fall semester senior grades. Again, note that your entire high school performance is being reported. After graduation, your final transcript is sent to colleges and contains your entire high school career which now includes senior spring semester. Colleges generally like to see an upward trend of grades; not a rollercoaster. If there is a semester of low scores, make sure to speak with your counselor.
WHAT IS YOUR G.P.A.?
Let’s start with the basics! Your GPA is just a way of converting your grades into a numerical scale. The grades that you receive in your high school classes are all averaged together to arrive at one cumulative grade, which is then converted into your GPA. The traditional GPA scale ranges from 0.0 to 4.0.
Colleges use GPA as a measure of your engagement in learning and willingness to work hard to meet academic standards and expand your knowledge. GPA is very important because it provides a comprehensive look at your academic strengths and weaknesses and ability to challenge yourself. GPA and standardized test scores are given relatively equal consideration in the application processes for most schools. At schools that don’t require standardized test scores, GPA takes on an even more critical role in your application.
Here’s a conversion chart that shows all the possible GPAs and their corresponding letter and number grades and percentiles:
DOES YOUR G.P.A. MATTER?
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