Grade Point Average 101

Shadow Hills High School GPA Explanation


Overview: GPA stands for Grade Point Average. It is a mathematical calculation of the average grades of a student using various factors. A student can have multiple versions of their GPA based on the factors included. The most common factors include weighted/unweighted and current/cumulative. This page will explain the common factors, as well as the differences affecting Unweighted, Weighted and DSUSD Weighted GPAs.


Time Factors

Current GPA: A student’s current GPA is based off the last posted grading period only. For instance, an 11th grade student who just finished first semester would calculate their Current GPA using only the grades that were earned first semester. No other grades in previous years would be included. Current GPAs can be calculated as weighted or unweighted.


Cumulative GPA: A student’s cumulative GPA is based off the average grades of all coursework completed during high school. For instance, an 11th grade student who just finished first semester would calculate their Cumulative GPA using the grades that were earned first semester, as well as the grades from 10th grade and 9th grade. Cumulative GPAs can be calculated as weighted or unweighted.


Weight Factors

Unweighted GPA: A student’s GPA that uses a traditional scale of averaging grades, with no “weight” or points added for grades in Honors/AP classes. The highest unweighted GPA possible is a 4.0.


Weighted GPA: A student’s GPA that adds “weight” or points to Honors/AP level classes. Regular classes are given points using the traditional scale. This makes it possible for students taking advanced classes to receive higher than a 4.0 GPA.


DSUSD Weighted GPA: This GPA is only used for calculating Honors received at our graduation ceremony (Valedictorian, Salutatorian and Senior Scholars). This formula for weighted courses approximates one extra grade point for each weighted course. The DSUSD Weighted GPA is not recognized by Colleges or Universities. This GPA calculation also makes it possible for a student to receive higher than a 4.0 GPA.


GPAs Posted: On a student’s transcript all three types of GPA (Unweighted, Weighted and DSUSD Weighted) are posted. The DSUSD Weighted is the only GPA posted on a student’s report card.



Which GPA is used for which purpose?


College Admissions: Differs by institution, however, they typically utilize Cumulative Weighted GPAs.


SHHS Honor Roll: Calculated using a student’s Current Weighted GPA.

SHHS Senior Scholars: Calculated using a Senior’s Cumulative Weighted DSUSD GPA.

SHHS Top Ten Sr. Ranking: Calculated using a Senior’s Cumulative Weighted DSUSD GPA.

SHHS Valedictorian and Saluatorian Ranking: Calculated using a Senior’s Cumulative Weighted DSUSD GPA.


SHHS Athletics: Unweighted Current

NCAA (College) Athletics: Unweighted Cumulative


How to Calculate Unweighted and Weighted GPA’s:

Regular Classes AP/Honors

A Excellent 4 points 5 points

B Above Average 3 points 4 points

C Average 2 points 3 points

D Passing 1 point 0 points

F Failing 0 points 0 points

I Incomplete 0 points 0 points

P Pass 0 points 0 points


Add the designated grade point for each letter grade given and then divide by the number of courses taken.


How to Calculate the DSUSD Weighted GPA:


1. Compute number of grade points (unweighted) all semesters

2. Divide by total number of courses taken

3. Multiply number of weighted courses by 0.2

4. Divide by number of semester completed

5. Add values calculated in #2 (unweighted GPA) and in step 4 (weighting formula) to obtain DSUSD Weighted GPA