Today, Bill Gates is known as one of the most intelligent people in the world whose contributions to computer software and technology are unrivaled. But once upon a time, he was a pasty high school student who struggled to focus, got bullied, and ended up with a 2.2 GPA.
Unhappy with this 2.2 GPA, Bill Gates spent an entire summer studying to up his GPA to an impressive 4.0. Bill was a gifted scholar whose favorite subject was math, but he didn’t apply himself properly as he grew bored easily and so his parents had to move him to a more challenging school.
Would you like to learn more about Bill Gates’ GPA, what he was like in school, and whether he really is a genius? Today’s article will discuss all of this in detail, so be sure to keep reading.
Big Gates’ Time in School
As a child, Bill loved playing board games and had a competitive streak of note. This competitiveness would stick with him all throughout his school-going years.
Bill’s favorite subject in grade school was math and he excelled in this area. However, as is the case with many people who have such high levels of intelligence, Bill was easily bored and found himself getting into trouble often.
His parents William H. Gates II and Mary Gates did their best to deal with his behavior by keeping him occupied. They encouraged him to read science fiction books, join the Boy Scouts, see a psychologist and pushed him to take part in things that he wasn’t naturally good at like football, swimming, and playing the trombone.
Eventually, they pulled him from View Ridge Elementary School in Seattle and placed him in Lakeside Preparatory School, hoping it would be a more challenging environment for the thirteen-year-old Bill. It worked, and he thrived at the school and went on to attend Harvard University.
Bill focused entirely on his academics at the school and didn’t spend much time socializing with other students, which he would come to regret later in his life. In a Q&A with Mark Zuckerberg, he says “I wish I had gotten to know more people. I was just so into being good at the classes and taking lots of classes.”
He goes on to say “I was so antisocial, I never would have even known the social clubs existed, but Steve Ballmer decided I needed to have some exposure to, I guess, drinking… He got me punched through the Fox Club, so I would go to those events, and that was highly educational.”
Bill Gates’ GPA
Bill started out with a GPA of 2.2 but pushed himself to almost double this. When speaking of his GPA, he says “My grade point average went from a 2.2 to a 4.0 over the summer. I wanted to get straight A’s. I decided to get straight A’s. I didn’t want people to think I was dumb. And when you get straight A’s once, it’s easier.”
At Microsoft, tuition scholarships are awarded based on merit to students who plan on majoring in a STEM field. This scholarship, which covers the entire tuition of the recipient, has a minimum 3.0 GPA requirement.
Bill Gates’ Genius
With his 1590 SAT score, his 4.0 GPA, and his reported IQ of 160, coupled with all of the incredible work he has done at Microsoft, the general consensus is that Bill is a genius. He is not just thought of as a genius in the tech world, but in the business world too.
But if you ask Bill if he thinks he’s a genius, his answer is a little different. When he was 28-years-old he was asked by CNBC if he saw himself as a genius and he said “Well, I wouldn’t say ‘genius’. I enjoy working with the people, talking about what we’re gonna get done and getting real excited, making sure that the structure is there, that the ideas get measured properly, and leading the company. Really, that’s exciting.”
Bill might not see himself as a genius, but he does think of Steve Jobs as one. In an episode of Armchair Expert, Bill said of the late Steve Jobs “Jobs was a genius, what he did, particularly when he came back to Apple… no one else could do what he did there. I couldn’t have done that… I was so jealous.”