What Is a Good GPA in High School?

Are you a high school student applying for college? If you are, you should be aware of the importance of a good GPA in high school. Therefore, take the time to learn what is a good GPA in high school, and how it affects your college application.

The Grade Point Average (GPA) uses a 4-point scale from 0.0 to 4.0 to track your high school progress. Your high school letter grades have numeric equals that point out how high you scored in your courses on average.

Each college has its requirements regarding students’ GPA. Therefore, as a college applicant, you must determine what is a good GPA for the college or university of your choice. Top universities usually go for students with a GPA higher than 3.5, while Ivy League schools want near-perfect GPA of 3.9 or 4.0. But there are also less-demanding academic institutions where you can apply with a 2.5 GPA, or even 2.0.

We’ve done some research on your behalf to help you understand what is a good GPA in high school, and whether you have a chance of getting accepted to the college of your choosing. Read on to find out the answers to your high school and college dilemmas regarding GPA. See how the GPA impacts your future education and use our tips to raise your GPA in high school and be one step closer to admission to the college of your dreams.

What Is a Good GPA in College?

When it comes to college, a good GPA is what determines your eligibility for scholarships, and financial and other support programs. A good GPA is what helps you apply for a Master’s or Ph.D. degree, and helps your admission to clubs, organizations, and extracurricular activities. Don’t fall below a 2.0 GPA if you don’t want to miss the academic opportunities awaiting you in college.

It’s difficult to give a simple answer to what is a good GPA in college. GPA, unlike SATs and ACTs, are calculated differently from one school to another. When calculating a GPA score many factors are taken into consideration, factors that vary considerably between schools and states. What’s supposed to be a good GPA in high school may be considered not stimulating in college. The GPA requirements even vary within a university, depending on your major and department of study.

Once again, we realize that a good GPA is determined by the college and the program type you apply for. Therefore, to understand what is a good GPA in college you must be familiar with the following:

Generally speaking, if you’re planning to apply to graduate school you should obtain at least a 3.5 GPA for the top-tier college programs. That said, a good GPA in college is similar to the one in high school, 3.7 or above. If we consider GPA from a broader perspective in terms of honors, we’ll come to the following numbers:

  • With a 3.5-3.7 GPA,you’ll graduate cum laude(with praise)
  • With a 3.7-3.9 GPA, you’ll graduate magna cum laude (with great praise)
  • With a 3.9 GPA or higher, you’ll graduate summa cum laude(with the highest praise)

Another approach to a good GPA in college is the one regarded as positive by your future employers. The best way to understand the concept of a good GPA in college is to choose the college of your preference, review its requirements, and start building the desirable GPA, a GPA that will look good both on your college application and your job resume.

Also Read: 4.0 vs 5.0 GPA Scale (Ultimate Guide In Calculating Your Gpa)

Is a 3.0 GPA Good in High School?

Yes, and no! A 3.0 GPA is good enough to graduate from high school, but for greater admission chances in college, you’ll need a higher GPA, especially if you’re considering a more prestigious educational institution.

To stand out among your other college applicants and have more chances of getting into the college of your choice you need to step up and work harder for a higher GPA score. Generally, a good GPA in high school is closely connected to the college or university you want to apply to. So the answer to the question is a 3.0 GPA good in high school depends on your future college.

Even though it’s expected of college applicants to meet a 2.5 GPA standard, top-ranked colleges require a minimum GPA of 3.5, while others accept students with a GPA lower than 3.5. Also, few colleges receive students with a GPA as low as 2.0. Therefore, be sure where you want to continue your education. Once you choose the college or university, get your GPA score in synch with the college requirements.

Bear in mind that the best colleges require the highest GPA. Be the best and don’t settle for a 3.0 GPA, go for 4.0!

5 Tips on How to Get a 4.0 GPA in High School

Maintaining a high GPA in high school is hard. Earning a 4.0 GPA in high school is even harder, but it’s the intended goal for every high school student. To help you achieve that goal, we’ve prepared 5 tips on how to get a 4.0 GPA in high school:

1. Choose as Many Honors and AP Classes as You Can

Almost every high school in the US offers honors and AP (advanced placement) classes, or both. Taking these classes will help you boost your GPA score. If you’re thinking that taking all AP and honors classes is too much for you and that you might not be able to get all A’s, think again! You should know that honors and AP classes are weighted differently GPA-wise. For example, a B in an honors class is almost the same as an A in a non-honors class. Colleges choose students that take AP classes rather than the ones taking easy classes. The college board wants to see that you’re challenging yourself by taking the hardest classes. Universities are looking for students who challenge themselves academically because they believe you will continue to do so after high school. Therefore, getting a B in an honors class is way better than getting an A in a regular class. The bottom line is don’t take only easy classes, find a balance between AP’s/honors and less demanding classes, and you’ll be one step closer to the desirable 4.0 GPA.

2. Ask Questions During and After Classes

This tip is vital because it’s of the greatest importance to have every teacher on your side. Teachers love students who are interested in the subject and ask questions to satisfy their curiosity and hunger for knowledge. If you become one of those students, teachers would like you to succeed, and they’ll do anything in their power to help you out. So, when they grade your test they’ll presume that you worked hard, and studied a lot to prepare for the test, and they’ll be more sympathetic and less harsh. Therefore, ask at least two questions per class, per day. But not any questions, just relevant ones. Then once a week, or once in two or three weeks go to the teacher after class and ask some profound questions. The teachers will appreciate you and think highly of you, once you start using this tip. Asking questions during and after classes will help you not only for your grades but also for teachers’ recommendations which are important for your college application.

3. Do Your Homework

This may seem like a simple and a bit boring task, but it’s another key element in the grading process. Don’t stop doing your homework because you feel like you already know the material, and you think it’s a waste of your valuable time. Don’t stop doing your homework if you think you’re too smart, and it “insults your intelligence”. Stay grounded, and think about the fact that 10%-15% of the entire grade in a lot of classes is reserved for your homework. Work hard, do your homework, and don’t miss out on this huge chance to boost your grade. Homework is indispensable in AP classes where the teachers move very fast through the material. Make sure that you’re working hard and doing all of your homework, so you can catch up, and stay on course. Also, if you flunk a few tests you’ll have homework as your safety net. So, do your homework and make a difference in the long run!

4. Concept First, Details Later

This tip is especially important and useful when you’re preparing for a test. Teachers will appreciate you a lot more if you get the concept first and the details later. Let’s say you’re studying for a physics test, don’t just look at the formula sheet and memorize every single formula. First, grasp the entire concept and try to comprehend why each formula exists, what are its core elements, and how can it help you solve real-life problems. To learn how to understand the entire concept and then concentrate on the details use one of many free educational online resources like Khan Academy, LitCharts, and Crash Course. Once you use these resources and grasp the big picture, you can focus on your notes, and concentrate on the little details of each lesson. It’s much easier to memorize the details when you understand the concept.

5. Never Give Up

Everyone knows that high school success is about 90% hard work and only 10% talent. Nevertheless, no matter how hard you try there’s always going to be some test that you’re bound to fail. At that point, you might feel like dropping out of class, or switching to another one, especially if it’s the first test, and you’ve already done it badly. No matter how you feel, don’t give up, and don’t drop out of an AP one month into classes. It’s a bad decision that’ll look worst to colleges than simply getting a B in that class. Also, one test in the grand order of things won’t have an enormous effect on your grade, especially if later on you can get on the teacher’s good side and work to overcome that mistake. If you failed your first test in AP biology, follow tip number 2, and ask your teacher relevant questions to let him/her know that you’re here to learn, and you’re interested in biology. Now, as teachers realize that you’re a hard-working student they’ll be more than happy to go over the test answers with you and maybe help you win some points back. Also, you can always ask your teacher if there are other ways to pursue, an opportunity for extra credits to make up for some lost points on the test. If you’re sincere in your intentions and your teacher sees that you really try hard to succeed, they might take you upon it! So, work hard, implement these tips and never give up!


Whether your GPA is good or not depends on your future goals regarding your education, and the colleges you’re planning to apply for. If your GPA is 3.5 or higher you’re probably good to go. Still, it’s always easier to have a GPA of at least 3.9, ideally 4.0 to have as many college opportunities as you like. It’s easy to choose when you have plenty of options. Don’t limit yourself to one or three colleges, when you can have endless possibilities.

Universities may review your GPA as far as the age of 14, so start using our 5 tips on how to get a 4.0 GPA in high school as soon as you can. Selective educational institutions choose students who can follow and succeed in their demanding classes, hence the high GPA requirement. Prove to yourself and your teachers that you’re an intelligent, hard-working student with an ambition for greatness. Show them how smart, disciplined and creative you are and can be. Improve yourself over time, and work hard to earn the best grades. Boost your GPA and make it look good on your college application and your job resume!

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