GPA Question (4.33 vs. 4.00 scale)

lydi.neumannlydi.neumann Member
edited July 2017 in Law School Admissions 5 karma

Hey, I see that GPA is calculated out of 4.33 but on the "top law schools graph" ( it seems like the scale is out of 4.00. Also - when schools report their admission stats are they out of 4.33 or 4.00 (e.g. Berkley reports the median as 3.79)? Could someone explain what I am missing here?


  • tunkuretunkure Member
    8 karma

    I was wondering the same thing!

  • Seeking PerfectionSeeking Perfection Alum Member
    4423 karma

    I'm not sure I fully understand your question, but my understanding is that LSAC reweights everyone's GPA's counting all the college classes that we have taken before the awarding of our first Bachelors degree.

    If your school awards A+'s, they are weighted at a 4.33. Most schools where A+'s are awarded award them infrequently so few people actually graduate with GPA's LSAC will weight significantly above a 4.0. Undergraduate schools like mine which do not give out A+'s result in LSAC GPA's which are a maximum of a 4.0.

    This LSAC GPA is the GPA which law schools report, which people post on law school numbers, and which US News uses in its ranking system. It is the GPA referred to in this graph.

    The reason the graph might seem to be out of a 4.00 is that it is a graph of the median GPA's. Even the 75 percentile undergraduate GPA for students at Yale is a 3.97 for their most recent class so no school has a median above a 4.0 since that would mean 50 percent of their admitted students both went to schools with A+'s and then got a GPA above a 4.0. A handful of students do have LSAC GPA's above a 4.0. The student with the highest GPA admitted at Yale last year had a 4.29.

    There are resources to estimate your lsac GPA. It can vary from the GPA your school reports significantly if your college weighs grades differently on the 4.0 scale, you have retaken classes for a grade boost, you took courses at a community college, you took college courses in high school, or a variety of other situations. Once you have that estimare or your actual LSAC GPA from your undergraduate summary report from lsac you should use that number to compare yourself to see if it is above or below students with the outcomes you are seeking. If yours is low you can try to make up for it with a great LSAT. If it is high, don't waste a great GPA with a mediocre LSAT. Law school numbers is a great resource for seeing where you stand.

    Source for data on Yale's GPA's

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