Apr 23, 2019

What is GPA and How to Calculate it? All You Need to Know

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If you are someone who is looking forward to study abroad, you might have come across the words like GPA, CGPA, and other grading systems in the countries like France, Germany, USA, Hong Kong, Indonesia, and many more. Often when students have their results in the percentage or grades, they are confused about what is GPA and CGPA. Here is the answer to all the questions about what does GPA stand for, how it is calculated and converted, and where it is used.

What is GPA and How to Calculate it? All You Need to Know

What does GPA Mean?

The full form of GPA is Grade Point Average. It is a scale, typically from 1 to 4 or 1 to 6 or 1 to 9. It is same as a percentage, meaning the higher GPA shows the better performance of the student. The GPA is an average scale to measure how well a student has performed over a semester or the session in a particular subject. In some countries, the GPA are there to assess the performance of the student for the admission criteria in higher education such as undergraduate and postgraduate programs.

CGPA: CGPA stands for Cumulative Grade Point Average. It is the further average of the grade points achieved across the semesters in all subjects. A CGPA, are in a way, the final score of one’s academic program. While GPA is for the subjects, CGPA or an overall GPA is for the whole program or the semester.  

What is GPA Scale?

GPA scale is the range on which the scores can be obtained. As we have mentioned before the scale of the GPA can be anything. The most common scales are 0 to 4, 0 to 5, 0 to 6 and 0 to 9. In many Universities outside of the United States, the GPAs are on the scales of 0 to 10. In USA, the most common GPA scale is 0 to 4. The other GPA scales are in the multiple of 4.

For example, a perfect GPA of 4.0 would be 16.0 on the scale of 0 to 16. The scale and the scores are just multiplied by 4 and its multiples depending on the scales.

How to Calculate GPA?

Calculation of the GPA is not a universally uniform method. Different types of GPA are calculated by different colleges. In older days, there used to be a simple Grade to GPA conversion for the students, where A simply meant 4, B=3, C=2, D=1 and F meant 0. However, this methods are now extinct. The weighted GPA are normally used by the Universities abroad. In this method, these are the point considered to count the GPA:

  1. Each subject, according to its importance in the Program, are given a credit score. For example, a credit score of 4 shows that a subject is more significant to the program than a subject with 2 credits.
  2. Scoring well in the subjects which have higher credits will help overall GPA in the end.
  3. Sometimes, a 4.0+ scale is also used for the grades like A+. Where the grades are like A+,A,A-,B+,B,B- and so on.

Calculation of the 4.0+ GPA and Grade conversion:

Grade

4.0 scale

4.0+ Scale

A+

4.0

4.3

A

4.0

4.0

A-

3.7

3.7

B+

3.3

3.3

B

3.0

3.0

B-

2.7

2.7

C+

2.3

2.3

C

2.0

2.0

C-

1.7

1.7

D+

1.3

1.3

D

1.0

1.0

D-

0.7

0.7

F

0.0

0.0

 

A weighted scale of GPA works on the formula below, where the credits of a subject are taken into the consideration for the calculation of the GPA. Here is the formula for the credit based GPA calculation

GPA = (Grades * Credits) / Credits

Here is how a weighted GPA would be counted in the scorecard given below as an example.

Subject

Credits for the Subject

Grades Obtained

Score

(grades * Credits)

Subject 1

2

A (4.0)

8.0

Subject 2

2

B+ (3.3)

6.6

Subject 3

4

A (4.0)

16.0

Subject 4

1

C- (1.7)

1.7

Subject 5

2

B (3.0)

6.0

Subject 6

1

B- (2.7)

2.7

Subject 7

1

A (4.0)

4.0

Total

13

 

45

 

Looking at the above scorecard and the formula above, the GPA for these scores are as below:

GPA = (Grades * Credits) / Credits = 45/13 = 3.46

Therefore, on the 0 to 4 scale, the CGPA for the above example would be 3.46.

How to Convert Percentage to GPA?

There are many methods to convert Percentage to a 4.0 scale GPA. The simplest one is the formula given below:

GPA = (Percentage / 20) - 1

For example, if one has 80 percentage, the GPA would be 3.0.

GPA Converter and Score Calculators:

GPA Converter:

Most prominently, the higher education institutions in USA use the GPA scores. For the students from other countries willing to study abroad in USA, have to convert their grades or percentages into the GPA. For examples, if the previous education for a student is in form of percentage, they are needed to be converted into GPA. For example, 3.5 GPA in percentage is 55-59% and vice versa.

GPA Score Calculator:

If one does not want to calculate GPA by themselves, there are number of online GPA calculators available, where you have to input the credits and marks obtained, and it will show the GPA scores. There are also semester GPA calculators available for students.

Raise GPA Calculator:

If you are someone who is concerned about how your GPA are looking during a semester, there are calculators available, where you can put your current scores, and the scores that you want to achieve at the end of the program. Upon submitting these details, the calculators will show how much scores you will need to keep up, to reach to the final goal.

Cumulative GPA Calculator:

Just like the GPA score calculators, The cumulative GPA calculators are the online calculators for the CGPA. They are nothing but the average and cumulative scores scored by the students in the subjects over the course of the programs.

What is GPA Used For?

Why is GPA important?

GPA are used for many purposes in higher education. they are the indicators of one's academic progress or lack thereof. It is also used to allot prizes, medals, honours etc. It shows the student's progress throughout the program, and in some cases, if there are not enough GPAs, one can be disqualified and stopped from continuing the program. Some of the Employers also emphasise on the GPA for the aspiring candidates. However, they are not as important for the employment as they are for the academic purposes. They are helpful in getting admission to higher education, and tracking the academic progress.

What is a Good GPA?

There is no general answer to the question, what is a good GPA for University, as there are no such universal guidelines. Each course and university will have their own criteria for the admission. More competitive the university, more will be the GPA requirements. It is advisable for the students to check the course requirements for the different universities before applying. At a good University, one generally needs 3.0 to 4.0 scores, and an average universities will accepts scores as low as 2.5 GPA.

About The Author:

Dhruv is fond of words and everything related to them. Writing about different things from around the world gives him immense pleasure, and a very healthy by-product is sharing of the information and helping others in the process.

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