How to Calculate and Improve High School GPA

High School GPA Calculator & How To Raise Your GPA


What if instead of a paper with an “A” written on the top, your teacher handed you $103,800? Wishful thinking right? 

Actually, no. Because that A on your paper is actually worth…

Your grades are potentially worth hundreds of thousands of dollars in money toward college… and the best part about it?

You don’t need to have a 4.0 GPA.

Before You Use Our High School GPA Calculator…

Let’s first understand the difference between weighted GPA and unweighted GPA.

Weighted GPA and Unweighted GPA

The standard formula for calculating High School GPA is this:High School GPA formulaHowever, as you may know, there are 2 different KINDS of GPA:

  1. Weighted
  2. Unweighted

Ok, so what’s the difference? Mainly, they assign different grade point values to each grade you receive. Here’s a quick, eyeball comparison of the two!

High School GPA Calculator: Weighted GPA vs. Unweighted GPA

What does this mean for how I calculate my High School GPA? 

First and foremost you need to know what your High School goes by. That will determine the GPA that shows up on your transcripts to college.

THEN, you need to know what the college you’re applying to is looking for in terms of High School GPA.

Which brings me to why you are reading this article!

Using our High School GPA Calculator

There are several High School GPA calculators out there that you can use.

To try one, from GPA Calculator.

This particular GPA calculator calculates both your weighted AND unweighted GPA — see here?


When you’re calculating your High School GPA, it’s also important that you keep in mind the colleges you plan on applying to…

Because different colleges look at different things! The majority of schools look at unweighted GPA. Some schools look at both. UC Berkeley, for example, looks at both weighted and unweighted GPA in their admissions.

California schools overall have a unique structure. Here we wrote an article that explains 8 steps to get into a CSU school in case you were interested. 

As a rule of thumb, you should always aim for a high unweighted GPA. But you’ll want to research the college you’re interested in.

Go to their website or call their admission’s office to ask about weighted and unweighted High School GPA for admissions.

If you really want to go above and beyond join our FREE webinar to learn how AP/Honors classes could be RUINING your college chances, how to get a $100,000 scholarship with a 3.5 GPA and more! Very helpful + you will get the chance to meet me! 🙂

Click here to learn more! 

5 Tips for How to Improve High School GPA

Remember when I said you could get $100,000 dollars to the University of Alabama or a full tuition + room and board scholarship to Alfred State College in New York? 

Well, these scholarships are ONLY available if you maintain a strong GPA. Lucky for you, it is NEVER too late to increase your GPA.

Starting strong is always optimal but if your student is getting ready to apply to college with only a 2.6 GPA, don’t give up just yet!

Check out step 4 to learn how even they can increase their GPA in order to get a piece of that scholarship pie.

1. Start Strong

Your first 2 years of High School set the foundation for your High School GPA. To make them count, students need to:

What's going on Baxter?Essentially, you want to avoid damage control (a bad grade that you have to scramble to raise). Some colleges will drop your Freshmen grades, but don’t get stuck pulling straws — put in the work NOW so you don’t have to later.

2. Get a Tutor

This is a classic scenario with High School students their Freshman year (and one we actually experienced with Baxter Chapman!). Odds are your student may say something similar, even if their grades aren’t doing so hot.

Ok, so how do I know if my student needs tutoring? 

Look for these 6 signs that your child needs tutoring.

But if my child is smart enough, can’t they just figure it out on their own? 

Well, first-off, tutoring isn’t just for students who are struggling. Think of it this way: Even the most accomplished novelist still needs an editor to go over their work. Even the most accomplished athlete still hires a personal trainer.

How expensive is tutoring?? 

Let me show you something.

improve high school GPA


Here’s an example of what it can mean to pay for academic tutoring: With a little help, your student can boost their High School GPA and unlock hundreds of potential scholarships and college admissions.

Click here to request tutoring information and get started today!

3. Talk to your Teachers

Trust me when I say you should always, always, always talk to your teachers about how to do well in their class. It’s a no-brainer — It’s THEIR class, and THEY are the ones giving you grades for the assignments. Plus, they want you to succeed.

Here are a few ways you can utilize this:

  • When you get a bad grade, ask them to show you what you did wrong. (Pro-tip: Use our Teacher Evaluation sheet! :))

Screen Shot 2015-07-21 at 9.23.49 AM

  • When they mention an upcoming assignment or test, stay after class to get more info — ask What can I do to receive a high grade on this?
  • If you don’t understand a concept or instructions, RAISE YOUR HAND. And if you still don’t, stay after class to sort it out

Any time your teacher says something more than once about a quiz or assignment, write it down. They’re not just talking for their health!

This goes for anytime you have something clarified or ask for further instructions from your teacher. Write it ALL down. You can reference it later if you forget it.

4. Re-Take Classes for Better Grades

Bad grades happen. If you get one, don’t give up! There are several ways for you to ditch that ugly letter and get a newer, shinier one to take it’s place:

  • Re-take classes during the school year (Talk to your counselor about fitting in a make-up class in place of an elective)
  • Make it up in summer school
  • Work with a teacher to bring up individual assignment grades

Now typically, students apply to college early in their Senior year of High School. While senior grades DO still count towards your admissions, colleges will definitely look at your GPA for Junior year.

What happens when you finish out your Junior year with a 2.6 GPA? Is all hope lost?

Not at all! Check out this miniature case study:casestudy-breakdownWondering what other automatic, merit-based scholarships are out there?

Check out the top 10 Merit-Based Scholarship schools.

5. Rack in bonus points where you can

Here’s the thing. If you took a class in Middle School that was taught at a High School level, there’s a chance you can pull that grade up to your High School GPA. But you ONLY want to do this if you got an A.

It makes no sense to pull up a B if you could try again for an A, right?

How do you do this?

First, check to see if you earned any A’s in High School level courses. If you did, talk to your counselor about pulling that bad boy up!

The Benefits of a High School GPA

Remember how I showed you that you can pay $196 a month for tutoring and receive $887 in the same month?

That’s because of the ASU Presidential Merit Scholarship that you would AUTOMATICALLY receive when you applied to Arizona State University with a High School GPA of 3.6 and at least 1350 on the SAT.

If a 3.5 sounds too high, remember that you don’t NEED a high GPA to earn scholarships. In my example above, Johnny Student only had a 2.6 GPA to start raised it to a 3.0 with some grade improvement strategies, and still received a total of $48,000 towards his college years.

Want to learn even more? Check out our free college planning & scholarship webinar here!  (PS: You will get the chance to ask me any questions on your mind!)


To summarize, your GPA can earn you hundreds of thousands in money for college. When your teacher hands you back an assignment or quiz with an A on it, it’s like they’re handing you money. So rake in the green by using this tips for how to calculate and improve your High School GPA!!

To review, what I talked about was…

1. How to calculate High School GPA:

  • Unweighted GPA and Weighted GPA
  • How to use a High School GPA Calculator

2. How to improve High School GPA:

  • Start strong (build a foundation with freshman and sophomore year)
  • Find out how your High School’s GPA is scored
  • Talk to your teachers (They want to help!)
  • Re-take classes for better grades
  • Rack up bonus points where you can

3. The Benefits of a High School GPA!

Want more help? Try our # 1 private tutoring program guaranteed to take away your stress and maximize your scholarships.  Click here to start today!

Co-authored by Renae Hintze

The following two tabs change content below.

Todd VanDuzer

Co-Founder & CEO at Student-Tutor
Hello! My name is Todd. I help students design the life of their dreams by ensuring college, scholarship, and career success! I am a former tutor for seven years, $85,000 scholarship recipient, Huffington Post contributor, lead SAT & ACT course developer, host of a career exploration podcast for teens, and have worked with thousands of students and parents to ensure a brighter future for the next generation. I invite you to join my next webinar to learn how to save thousands + set your teenager up for college, scholarship, and career success!

Latest posts by Todd VanDuzer (see all)

Leave a Reply

newest oldest most voted
Notify of

I am in my sophomore year and i have a 2.6 gpa is it possible for me to bring it up

Karina Nunez

I am a junior this year,I have a gpa of 2.6176 is it bad for a junior year? And I have 17.00 credits. I just want to know if my gpa is too low for a junior year ?

Sally Vogel

I am a junior this year and right now my unweighted gpa is a 3.88 or a 3.93 weighted. I am taking 3 ap classes this year and I was wondering if I take 3 ap s this year and next year if I can get a 4.2 weighted or unweighted gpa


My son is now a senior but finished out his junior year with a 2.6 GPA. Is it possible for him to improve to at least a 3.0?


Hello, I just finished freshman year and I ended with a 3.5 gpa or around that. Is it possible to pull it up to a 3.8-3.9 at the end of my senior year? I’m trying to get into Rice University, and it will be very challenging with a 3.5 :(. Please help!


Hi! Starting this 2017-2018 year I will be a Junior and my current unweighted gpa is a 3.0 while my weighted is a 3.7, I understand that the unweighted gpa is more important than the weighted and my goal is to have at least a 3.5 unweighted by the end of my senior year, is this possible? My dream school is Carnegie Mellon located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.


Currently, my Gpa is at an 2.8 I’m going to be starting my Junior year of high school in September, I am in this Charter school and they stated to give extra credits than normal school. I also have been put into Ap classes. I need to know if my Gpa would be able to reach an 3.5 or higher. Is it possible? If so I would like to get help on what I should do. It may be hard task to reach. However, I willing to do anything. I really need to know if my goal can be achieved?


Hi I just finished my sophomore year with a 3.0 and I’m not happy about it is their any way I can bring my gpa to a 3.6 in junior year thank you


My son just started his junior year with a 3.17 GPA. He is retaking a class that he did very poorly in last semester and did not choose any Ap classes this year. Is it possible for him to end the year with a 3.5 or better? If so what s the best route?


I am going to become a senior in high school this summer I am currently at a 3.28 GPA I was wondering how far i could get by the end of my 4 years if I were to work hard and from here on got straight As for the most part id be very thankful for help as I have no idea on how to calculate this.

Hello, I am a soon to be Junior starting 2017 Fall. My cumulated GPA is a 3.8! I was wondering if there was a possibility by the end of my Senior year if I could reach a cumulated GPA of a 4.0? I do take AP & Honors classes and plan to get A’s. My dream school is Uc Santa Barbara, and hopefully my chances of acceptance would be higher if I had a 4.0! Any UC College would be wonderful to get accepted in ! Also are there any scholarships that could apply to me with my GPA. Please… Read more »
Lam Nguyen

Hi Todd! I’m from Vietnam. I have been here 1 year. I just finished my 10th grade. My English is not well. I really want to have good GPA to get in the college. But there are many things I don’t know how to have good grade to be successful . Can you give me some advice please. I want to be a software engineer or pharmacist.


hello I just finished my junior year with a 3.39 gpa is there by any chance I can raise it to a 3.6 end of senior year?


Hi, I have several questions about gpa transformation

Freshman year I ended semester 1 with a 3.43 and semester 2 with a 3.86
Sophomore year I ended semester 1 with a 3.52 and semester 2 with a 2.7

Do you think I can manage to pull my gpa by the end of high school to a 3.86, if i did really well junior and senior year (4.0 range…?) ?


Hello, I currently finished my freshman year with a 3.5 GPA. I would like to maintain this, or bring it up to a 4.0 or higher. Is this possible, if so do you have any pointers?

christian J Saucier

i have a 3.04 gpa right now im finishing up junior year i have only 1 semester left and this is what im taking for my last semester Alg 3, AP Chemistry English IV and US Govt and Economics honors. is there anyway i can get my gpa to a 3.4 by the end of this semester

Kyle Czeck

Hey I just finished my 2 year and I ave a 2.8. Can I get to a 4.0 at the end of my 4 year? I did some calculations and I believe its possible because I finish my 1 with a 2.1.


I am a senior in high school with a 2.7 gpa. I am also taking a ap English class as well. Is there a chance to get a 3.0?


I have a 3.4 weighted gpa and its the end of my junior year right now i want to get at least a 3.9 by the end of my senior is it possible ?


im also in the International Baccalaureate program so would it help?


Hello Todd Im a freshman in highschool and im really shooting for a 4.0 gpa but its hard. what do you suggest.

Daniel rivers

Right now I have a Gpa of 2.8 unweighted and am a Junior in the second semester of highschool and I was wondering if there is any way I could pull my grade up to 3.6 unweighted.


I am a senior in high school. I have one more semester to go. Can I raise my cumulative GPA from a 2.1465 to a 2.300 in one semester?


I currently have a 3.6 ish gpa and im a sophmore. How can I improve to 3.8 or 3.9 overall?

Ellie Prendes

Hi there!
My name is Ellie and i am a junior this year. I had a good freshman year, a horrible first semester of sophomore year, an ok second semester of sophomore year, and am working really hard my junior year to be back on top. I have have a GPA of about 3.67 but I need to raise it about 2% to ensure my place in the college of my choice. Help?


Hi I have 2.8842 gpa and I’m starting right know junior year I have six A’s and one B can I raise my gpa during junior and senior year ? Does college look to senior year ? Does senior year matter ? I want to apply to VCU and George mason university can you help me please thanks you 🙂


Hello I have 3.0 right now and I’m in my 1st semester of my sophomore year if I get all As this whole school year would I be able to have a 3.5 or 3.9 at the end of the school year.


Im a Junior in high school with a 3.3 gpa uw and 4.2 w, if i plan on getting all A’s this year with hard work and dedication how much do you think i could raise my gpa by, im in the top 20% of my class and i want to do better to get into UNC!!!


I have a 2.6 unweighted and a 2.9 weighted I’m in my first semester of my junior year of high school. What do I need to do to get to a 3.0 by the end of high school


I took Geometry Honors in 8th grade and got a B. It is dragging my GPA down, and it sucks because I didn’t even take it in high school. Do you think there is any way I could retake it this year and replace it with an A? I am currently in 10th grade. This is a great article, thank you!


I am senior in high school. My gpa is 3.3125. I don’t think I will be able to get into a good college. My class ranking is 58 out of 340, which means that i am not in the top ten percent, which means i don’t receive the scholarship money that comes with that. Is it too late to get my gpa up before I apply to college?


Hi! I have a 3.3 GPA right now and I am an upcoming junior in high school. I will be taking two AP courses and one pre AP course. If I do well junior year, how high do you think my GPA will raise? Do pre AP courses affect my GPA the same way AP courses do?


Hello, I am going into my sophomore year in high school and my GPA is a 1.25. What grades should i get and what can i do to boost my GPA up?


Hi , I have around a 2.0 gpa & I am currently a sophomore about to be a junior this semester , I would like to know if it is possible for me to receive a 3.0 & higher in my remaining years ? The ending of freshman year & sophmore year was a low point in my life & I wanted to know if I can fix it and turn it all back around

Thank you


Hello, I have a weighed GPA of a 3.7 and a unweighted of a 2.9. I’m a Junior going into my senior year and I’m taking 3 AP courses for the summer. I want to know is it to late to raise my GPA. However I am going to take 3 more after I’m done with the first 3. I want a 3.5 unweighed so I wanted to know if its too late to get that. I’m also taking IB courses when school starts

Im not sure what my gpa is right now. I going into my junior year. As a freshmen, I took all honors classes except for french. My average in all the classes was a B+ and in french it was an A-. In my sophomore year, I took all honors classes except for french as well. My average in all the classes was a B- except for math (i got a 79 percent average). For my junior year, I am taking honors pre calc, academic french, academic english, academic physics, academic human biology, and honors gov and economics. Sophomore year… Read more »
Isabelle Anna (Izzy)
Hi, I’m Izzy! So I had an outstanding Freshman year and finished with a GPA of like 4-point-something and I was really proud of myself. But now that Sophomore has hit me, it has taken me on a rocky road… But I’ve been on all Honors (with the exception of Math,) and/or AP classes. I actually got recommended for AP English but decided not to take it because I fell behind in my History this year and need to catch up on that my Junior year. *Yea…* ANYWAYS,I guess my point is, my GPA will not be great this year…… Read more »
Isabelle Anna (Izzy)

OH, and I forgot to mention… I want to Major in English and Minor in Theatrical Performance or Music… (I might think about switching things up and Majoring in Music and Minoring in English, I don’t know hahaha.) But I still want as good as a GPA that I can get so I’m more likely to get scholarships and all that; because I live in North Carolina and I am most likely to go to an our-of-state college, and my family does NOT a=have a lot of money, so I need all the scholarship opportunities that I can get.


im a freshmen and have two C’s and those two c’s are in my honor classes . so basically I’m wondering if thats going to affect my overall grade later on ?


I have a 2.9 GPA right now and I’m a sophomore, I’m taking 2 honors classes this year and 2 regular classes, exams are coming up in a few weeks, I’ve already taken care of my missing work but I’ve recently been getting low test grades in one of my honors classes, and in my other honors class I have high test grades but 70s – low 80s for homework, which has brought me down from a 95 to an 88. Is there anything I can do?

Laura Petersen
Hi Lucas, Laura jumping in here. I used to teach Honors Math & AP Psychology at a high school in Arizona and am also certified in California. So it sounds like you are asking about maybe how to perform better on exams? Do you feel like you understand the homework but then do not do as well when it comes to the test time? One thing I can advise is that since you are getting low 80’s for your homework grades, it would be a good idea to schedule more time in your planner for the homework. It sounds like… Read more »

Hi, i have a 2.8 (10-12) GPA (the GPA required to apply to colleges) and i am a Junior, what grades should i get this semester to get a 3.0? I plan on going to UCLA and UC colleges.

David Schertzer

Hi Todd, thanks for the article. I wanted to point out the many varieties of GPA scales. While most are based on a 4.00 scale, many also give a 4.33 value to an A+. Honors and AP courses vary from 0.5 to 2 quality points. That’s why some schools grant max 6.0 GPAs. You posted a link to a decent GPA calculator, but I’d also suggest you take a look at, which allows students to use a huge variety of common GPA systems. That’s all!


I have a GPA of 3.6 what opportunities do I have.

Does It Matter?
Knowledge is power; or so they say, but is it really true? You could have knowledge on subjects no one else does, but if you cannot utilize it properly, what is its value? Before, I was concerned by how one assignment, one added B to my overall grades; would drop my GPA, from a 4.0 to a 3-point something. I have come to realize now, that no matter how hard I try, it does not matter. My GPA does not influence my future, so much as the amount of stress I undergo while concerning myself with it. However, the lack… Read more »
Jessica Sanchez

I have a 3.3 GPA and I want to know if that’s a good GPA. Also, I want to start applying for college but I failed the first semester for Anatomy. Is there a possibility to start applying for college without a half of credit for science?


I have a 2.6 gap and I’m a junior in high school I’m taking elective classes and I’m hoping to get bs $ As in them for two quarters and then my senior year I plan on taking more elective classes. Will I have to take the community college route or do you think I’ll be ok.


I’m a senior in highschool and i’m starting the college application process is their still hope for money and acceptance with colleges if i have a 1.9 GPA?


Yeah! you Gave Such a Wonderfull Information

Laura Petersen

Thank you for your kind words, Ramakanth! 🙂 We do try to write posts that will be helpful!


I love this article! Knowledge is power when it comes to GPA’s. Even the best need support, from athletes to famous musicians, there is always someone checking in and making sure that they’re doing exactly what they need to in order to succeed. Great article