How to Calculate Your GPA

May 14, 2019 by

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GPA is not something you will find in the European countries. It is mostly used in countries like the United States of America. The acronym itself translates to Grade Point Average, and when it comes to calculating it, things can get a bit tricky. There are plenty of reasons why someone should be interested in their own GPA. After all, it is the common denominator which shows your academic achievements. You might find a lot of different calculators on the internet which can make everything simpler, but that is not the be all end all for the calculations.


Even if you are not living in the country which uses such a grading system, you should still know something about it. The calculations begin with giving each letter a numerical value. Usually, it starts with A=4.0 and F=0.0. There are no E”s in some schools, and finding the exact reason of why that is would be rather difficult. However, this is not something universal as there are plenty of schools that have 5.0 as the highest evaluation. Not to mention a weighted scale which complicates things even more. On that a bit later. The biggest takeaway from this one is that you need to be certain of what your school is using.

It would be worth mentioning that there are some which have the “+” and “-” that get added to the letters. The rule of thumb is that pluses and minuses are worth 0.3 points. So for instance, an A+ would be 4.3, whereas A- would be 3.7.

High School Weighted GPA and Unweighted GPA

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The reason for the weighted GPA is to evaluate classes which are harder. A good example would be AP Calculus and the fact that an A here would be worth quite a lot more than in your usual class.

Let’s say that you have 6 subjects for the semester and would like to calculate how much of a GPA you have. The rule is pretty simple, and the best way to show it is by giving an example. Student X had 4 A”s, 1 B and 1 C. If the A”s are worth 4 points, B”s are worth 3 points, and C”s are worth 2 points, the formula would look like this: 4×4 + 1×3 + 1×2 = 21. Divide the number by 6 because it is the number of total subjects, and you have an average of 3.5.

University GPA

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When it comes to colleges and universities, things become a bit more complicated because of credit hours. Each subject is usually worth 3 credits, but the number might increase, depending on whether there is some extra work, such as computer labs or even science. Again, when it comes to calculating, it is better to use an example. Say you took engineering 101 and have managed to get an A. If your alma mater uses 4.0 scaling, and the class is worth 3 credit hours, your total comes to 12. Finding out the GPA of the whole year is the same as it is with high school. Just add every class and find what the average is.

Of course, there are plenty of exceptions to such a rule because plenty of schools complicate things by increasing the value of credit hours. The more time you spend studying, the more apparent it becomes. It is also not a stretch to say that there are plenty of skeptics of college and university GPAs, and these individuals believe that the whole system is extremely flawed.

Cumulative and Semester GPA

The final point to mention about GPAs is cumulative and semester GPAs. A cumulative GPA is when you are finished with the studies and want to find out what your GPA is throughout all the semesters. Students often make a mistake of just adding the GPA and looking at the average. Instead, you should also take credit hours into consideration and get the total number of points. Only then should you look at what the average is like.

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It all sounds like a bunch of pain, right? Well, it is more than likely that you are correct. After all, it is no surprise that the existence of such a system continues to baffle a big number of people. Nevertheless, this is what students in some countries are stuck with. Since there is no way out and you need to be at the top, using a simple GPA calculatorcertainly helps.

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