GPA (Grade Point average)
Your GPA is a way of converting your grades into a numerical scale. The grades that you receive in high school are all averaged together to arrive at one cumulative grade, which is then converted into your GPA. The traditional GPA scale ranges from 0.0 to 4.0.
Weighted GPAs are a bit more complicated. Many high schools now record weighted GPAs instead of standard unweighted GPAs. Weighted GPAs are measured on a scale that goes up higher than 4.0 to account for more difficult classes (AP, dual credit, and IB). For many schools, this means a 0-5.0 scale, but some scales go up higher (like 6.0).
In the lowest-level classes, grades will still stand for the same numbers as they would on an unweighted GPA scale (i.e., an A is a 4.0, a B is a 3.0, etc.). However, in honors or AP classes, an A will translate into a 5.0 GPA, a B will be a 4.0, and so on. If your school has mid-level classes, an A might translate into a 4.5 GPA.
Here’s a conversion chart that shows all the possible GPAs and their corresponding letter grades and percentages:
Cumulative GPA is the average of all of your semester GPAs during high school or college. Essentially, it's an average of averages that combines these semester GPAs into one representative GPA.
Cumulative GPA refers to your grades for all of your combined semesters.
Your school district's GPA policy can usually be found in the district course guide on their website.