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If you are going to apply to a university or college, you need to accurately assess your grade point average to understand what acceptance chances you have and what universities can actually accept you. But to figure out how to calculate gpa, you need to know some basic rules. Follow the steps below to calculate a grade point average.
Your GPA, or Grade Point Average, is the number that indicates your average score you gained during the courses. In other words, GPA scale shows how good your grades are. GPA scale usually goes between 1.0 and 4.0. Before applying to the university, you should check whether your certificate average grade meets the requirements of the university. Most likely, the selection committee will pay attention to academic performance in specialized subjects and recount the GPA for verification. Therefore, it is recommended to provide only truthful information; otherwise, the commission will not consider your candidacy.
So, let’s figure out how to calculate gpa. To calculate your grade point average, you will need grades for the courses you have taken and the number of credits/hours (in brackets).
The formula for GPA will look like this:
GPA = (grades*credits)/credits
Biology (100 hours) - A;
Mathematics (200 hours) - B;
Physics (70 hours) - A;
Computer science (80 hours) - C;
Chemistry (50 hours) - B.
First, translate the grades into the numerical grading system according to the following logic:
A=4, B=3, C=2, D=1, F=0.
Biology (100 h.) - 4
Mathematics (200 h.) - 3
Physics (70 hours) - 4
Computer Science (80 hours) - 2
Chemistry (50 hours) - 4
Multiply the numerical grades by the number of hours for each course and totalize them:
4 * 100 + 3 * 200 + 4 * 70 + 2 * 80 + 4 * 50 = 1,644
Put together the total number of hours for all academic disciplines taken:
100 + 200 + 70 + 80 + 50 = 500
Divide the grade total (1,644) by the total number of hours (500):
1644/500 = 3.3
Your GPA = 3.3
So now you know how to use the equation for gpa.
Getting a simple GPA is extremely easy. All you need to do is to convert the grades from the letter (A-F) system to the numeric one (4-0), add all of your grades together, and divide the sum by the number of classes you have taken. The result you get is your simple GPA.
Let’s look at the example:
Some schools expand on the simple GPA by adding a + or – to your letter grade. These should be, of course, considered when calculating grade point average. It is a bit tricky, but we love the challenge. Let’s assume that A is a perfect 4.0 grade, then the new scale will look the following way:
On the websites of top universities (Harvard, Stanford, etc.), you may come across a Weighted GPA. The main difference between weighted vs unweighted gpa is how the two are calculated:
Let’s take a look at average gpa example:
For example, Student 1 has an A for each of the following disciplines: Introduction to Microeconomics, Introduction to Sociology, and Introduction to Philosophy. Student 2 has an A for the full course consisting of the following three parts: Introduction to Microeconomics, Microeconomics (Level I), Microeconomics (Level II). Taking into account all the grades, the GPA of Student 1 will be higher, even if a grade has been skipped.
If you want to figure out how to calculate college gpa, you should note that some schools and universities take into account the weight (credit hours) of the discipline and not only the grade. Thus, an A for a discipline with the pre-assigned value of 4 is different from an A for a course which has a value of 2.
Let’s imagine that your schedule looked something like this:
To find your weighted GPA by credit hours, do the following:
Overachievers who take extra courses, have AP, Honors, or IB classes should have all these reflected in their grade point average. At this point, it is important to check with your school to find out the exact rules of GPA calculation (some students must take and score 4 or 5 on an Advanced Placement exam for their grade to be weighted in their GPA).
As a rule, a scale looks like this:
Let’s compare the values of the AP vs. No-AP GPA’s:
When calculating average gpa, factoring in credit hours AND credits for AP classes will give us the following report card, which you can then use for grade average point calculation:
There is a lot to consider when calculating a GPA. A single mistake can cost you a lot. That’s why we strongly recommend you to check the requirements of the college/ university you are applying to. In some cases, it will be enough to provide an unweighted GPA, whereas some educational establishments consider weighted grade point average. Only in this case, you will know how to calculate it.
Even if you know how to calculate grade, not every entrant can boast of a high GPA, but this does not mean that one’s candidacy will be rejected. Of course, a low grade point average cannot be called a strong point of such an application, but one can put emphasis on other documents submitted to the selection committee. The GPA is only part of the application, which is considered together with other papers.
It is worth paying special attention to your essay and motivation letter, where you can explain the controversial moments of your academic past and reveal your strengths/ achievements. A low average mark should be diluted with your past achievements, whether it is a win in sports competitions, participation in volunteer projects, excellent term paper writing, etc.
If you want to make sure that you have a perfect final grade but have no clue how all these formulas work, then you are free to use this guide that explains all the details on how to calculate gpa.