Weighted vs Unweighted GPA
GPA or the Grade Point Average is a tool that is used by schools and colleges, to judge the performance of students. Students receive grades at the end of a unit in any study course, and the grade point average or the GPA is the average of these grades obtained in a term (term GPA) or over the entire course (GPA). There are two different types of GPA called weighted and unweighted GPA. Though there are many similarities between these two types of GPA, there is the difference between Weighted and Un-weighted GPA. Knowing the difference can be important for both students as well as those in admission committees screening students for admissions. Let us take a closer look.
What is a Weighted GPA?
There are courses and classes that are different from regular classes. Some classes are accelerated and harder than regular classes. There are schools who want the GPA of a student reflect this fact. This gives rise to the practice of weighted GPA that takes into account the hardness or the challenging nature of a course or class. Not all grades are considered the same by those in admission committees. If you have an A in introductory classes of pottery and a B in advanced math or geometry, you might be tempted to think that an A is superior to B. However, a B in advanced geometry is better than an A in an introductory class of pottery.
The American grading system is on a scale from 1-4 where grade points 4 reflect excellent performance, 3 reflects a good performance, grade 2 refers to pass marks while 1 grade point means the student has failed in the class or course.
The thing to remember with weighted GPA is that it will be at least equal or higher than traditional or unweighted GPA as additional marks are given for having passed tougher or challenging classes. Whether it is an honors course, advanced course, or an upper level course, grades are calculated on a scale of 1-5 and not 1-4 which is the case with traditional unweighted GPA. So an A in weighted GPA means the student gets 5 and not 4 as is the case with unweighted GPA.
What is an Un-weighted GPA?
This is the grade point average that is used for ordinary classes and courses and makes a use of a scale from 1 to 4. The unweighted GPA may not tell how intelligent a student is, but it certainly indicates the level of performance of the student over a period of time while pursuing a course. Unweighted GPA is a good indicator of the performance of a student as it does not confuse the scholarship provider or a person in admission committee.
What is the difference between Weighted GPA and Un-weighted GPA?
• Unweighted GPA is on a scale of 1-4 whereas weighted GPA is on a scale of 1-5.
• Extra credits are given in a weighted course as it may be more difficult or advanced than an un-weighted course.
• Weighted GPA reflects the level of difficulty of the course along with the measure of performance though it also confuses those in charge of granting scholarships and admissions.
• Some students and teachers make use of weighted GPA to bump the scores or grades.
• Unweighted GPA is considered to be a better indicator of the performance of a student in a course.