Your GPA is not really used in the Academic Portion of the WCS. They use a formula that looks at class rank and school profile......
Of course their GPA is used in the academic portion of the WCS. But the "Concept" you speak of is correct. The academy has to be able to compare apples to oranges to come up with a fuel injector. There's a lot of variables with different schools. Some have all the AP classes and no IB. Some have the IB and some AP. Some have honors; and no IB or AP. Some have none of ANY of them. Some are home schooled. And the list goes on. It's hard to make everyone a fuel injector. So they use the school profile, what classes you had available, what classes you took, YOUR GRADES, (Compared to the rest of your class = Class Ranking); and they can then formulate your GPA for academy purposes. All of this, added to your ACT/SAT and any other academic input on your application, and they can formulate the academic section of the WCS.
So, your GPA is most definitely used in the academic portion of your WCS. It's just that it is weighted based on all the things I mentioned in the previous paragraph. So a 3.4 gpa isn't a problem. If the rest of your high school class received a similar gpa and you were ranked #1-#5. But if you have the 3.4 gpa and many in your class received a 3.85-4.0 and you are ranked at the 50 percentile, then that's NOT a good gpa.
This also applies to all those people who feel that they or their children "Attend a Competitive School". Or any of the other adjectives people use to believe they attend a school that is better and harder than most others. In the end, it's a NUMBERS game. I mentioned above, and in many other posts, how the academy goes through comparing the apples to oranges and getting fuel injectors. You can believe that your school is competitive, but so are many others. Too many people FORGET THE HUMAN FACTOR!!! If you come from a "Competitive" school, but take the bare basic classes to graduate; and a competitor for the academy goes to PS-401 public school and is taking all of the advanced classes they can get their hands on; who do you think the academy is going to give preference to? The one with the most challenging classes available to them that they took. Even if the gpa is slightly lower. But again; that GPA does matter. That's how the class profile and class ranking qualifies your position.
So yes. If your class ranking is in the top 1-2% meaning #1-#8 in a class of 400; and your gpa is 3.5, that that's fantastic. But if your class ranking is 50% meaning #200 out of 400 and your gpa is a 3.85, then that SUCKS. So in that regard, gpa doesn't mean much. But don't "RATIONALIZE" a lower than average GPA unless you can offset it with a HIGH CLASS RANKING and/or a MEGA ACT/SAT Score.