# 3.98 GPA vs 4.01 GPA

## Main Question or Discussion Point

When I apply to colleges, do you think a 4.01 GPA will make a big difference, compared to a 3.98?

I know it's only like 0.03 difference, but it would be over 4!

Input?

1) Don't think so.

2) If you are so worried about getting into colleges, my advice is to just take the most challenging coursework available and appropriate for you and get the highest grades possible by working hard and diligently rather than be worried about the actual numerical value of your g.p.a.

ZapperZ
Staff Emeritus
When I apply to colleges, do you think a 4.01 GPA will make a big difference, compared to a 3.98?

I know it's only like 0.03 difference, but it would be over 4!

Input?
How would you explain a 4.01 GPA if the maximum is a 4.0?

And why are we playing this "what if" number game again? Are you able to "dial in" your GPA at will, like setting a price on a merchandise?

Zz.

My response to this is:

1) how does one obtain a 4.01 gpa on a 4.0 scale?

2) How many classes are you planning on doing poorly in to allow it to drop .03?

3) To answer your question, no a .03 difference makes very little difference to colleges. It would be beneficial though to have tried more difficult courses in exchange for the lower gpa.

Some schools have a 4.3 scale. Meaning A+ is 4.3--A is 4.0--A- is 3.7 etc...

How would you explain a 4.01 GPA if the maximum is a 4.0?

And why are we playing this "what if" number game again? Are you able to "dial in" your GPA at will, like setting a price on a merchandise?

Zz.
It would appear that the OP is in high school and my understanding is that American high schools have adopted a new scaling system. By the time junior and senior rolls about, students are taking very different classes and some could be in "regular" classes, the "honours" variant or AP classes. If I'm not mistaken, an A on an AP class is a 5.0. (I could be wrong seeing as I have no first hand experience with that system)

OP, I too will apply to college next year, and my understanding is that if you're doing well in classes that are deemed as "hard", such a difference in GPA is really negligible. It would appear, as far as the selective colleges are concerned, that what the individual described through your essays, activities and recommendation letters, could contribute to the incoming freshman class.

As Zz implied, there is no telling what may happen. Each admissions committee will do things their own way. When you consider the sheer amount of applications that most colleges get, using GPA as a major selection factor is not very useful.

russ_watters
Mentor
Some schools have a 4.3 scale. Meaning A+ is 4.3--A is 4.0--A- is 3.7 etc...
For the purpose of ranking, they can use whatever scale they want, but not for the purpose of providing the data to colleges.

For the purpose of ranking, they can use whatever scale they want, but not for the purpose of providing the data to colleges.
This. In fact when filling out most applications, they specifically ask for your gpa on a 4.0 scale.

my GPA was 2.52
in my country grades are very low. I was the best among physics students.
we use 4.0 scale, too.

jtbell
Mentor
Different countries have different grading practices and standards.

Students in one country who apply to a school in another country need to make sure that their GPA is "converted" appropriately so that it can be compared fairly with other applicants. I think sometimes the "old" school does the conversion when they send a transcript, and sometimes the "new" school knows enough about schools in the "old" country to do the conversion themselves.

Dr Transport
Gold Member
Colleges are getting wise to grade inflation, they recalculate all grades based on a 4.0 scale. I actually know of one school that discards all course grades and looks at the courses themselves via syllabi to ascertain whether or not the material was appropriate for the course (it is a little liberal arts school who has not more that ~750 freshman total) and admission purposes.

Are you talking about a weighted GPA? My high school gave a 5.0 for every A in an Honors class and a 6.0 for an A in an AP class, so there were a lot of people with GPAs above 4.0, and a few who managed to pass 5.0.

I think that the difference between a 3.98 and a 4.01 is probably pretty trivial. Grades are only one aspect of admission anyway. But congrats on your excellent academic record!

Yes, this is my weighted grade; my school grades on a 4.0 scale, with each AP or Honors class getting an additional 1.0, so an A would be 5.0, a B would be 4.0, etc..

I'm currently at a 3.94 and that is around 11% in my class. I'm worried this won't be a high enough class rank (for UIUC especially), and I'm worried about getting into the top 10%. It all depends on what other students get, but I could be top 10% with a 3.98 and then jump to top 2% with a 4.01 (probably not, but there could be a bunch of kids sitting at a 4.00).

IDK, I feel like I'm putting to much weight on my GPA. After all, I still have the ACT, extracurricular, and essay to write.

I think where your GPA puts you in your class rank is more important than the raw score. But yes, the ACT, essay, and extracurriculars will also matter.