What is a GPA (Grade Point Average) and How to Calculate?

What is a GPA (Grade Point Average) and How to Calculate?

The GPA (Grade Point Average) provides information about how we did in school. It tells us what average we have in all subjects together and can help us to better assess our performance. The grade point average can be extremely important, especially for the diploma or the promotion.

In this article, we would like to explain how you can calculate the grade point average and what the grade point average can and cannot say about a student’s performance. We would also like to give you some tips on how to calculate individual subjects with a higher weighting in the grade average.

What is a GPA (Grade Point Average) and How to Calculate It?

How Does GPA Work?

The GPA (Grade Point Average) is the average of all semester grades obtained throughout the courses you take which are then used to measure the student’s degree of success during the course. This is a number that can vary over the years in college. This according to the levels of improvement or decline in academic performance. It is on this your final degree classification is based upon.

Classification Systems

It is important to note that grading systems differ between the different countries of the world. To better understand the GPA system, it is first necessary to analyze some of how different countries implement this assessment. Some examples:

  • In countries like the USA, Canada, Thailand, Saudi Arabia to mention a few, they make use of the A – F grading system.
  • In countries like Holland, Latvia, Brazil, Macedonia, Israel, Colombia, etc, they make use of the 1 – 10 grading system.
  • In Germany, Austria, Russia, Slovakia, Paraguay, etc, the grading system they use is the 1 – 5 system, whereas, in countries like Belgium, Kuwait, Poland, Hungary, etc, they make use of a percentage.

It is important to point out that despite the differences in grading systems, universities around the world still have a common style used in assessing and grading students. However, to make those grades acceptable in other countries, they usually use a scoring system based on an average.

How to Calculate Average of Points?

Each grade received during the course, regardless of the classification system used, corresponds to a quality point. A quality point almost always varies on a scale between 0 and 4 or is a multiple of 4. The highest score that can be obtained (A, 10, 5, 100%) will be equal to the highest number on that scale.

Let’s examine the grading system in the United Ststes as a case study. The highest grade that can be obtained in America is A. A carries an equivalent as 4 or a multiple of 4, this depends entirely on the college in question. Afterward, the grades are divided by the number of courses offered in that semester or session. Whatever it brings back as the result is the GPA of the student.

Let’s make this discussion more practical for easier understanding. Let’s imagine you offered 4 courses in a semester: History (3 credits), Philosophy (3 credits), Music (3 credits), and Statistics (2 credits). Your result read like this when it was released:

History C (C is 2.0 on the GPA scale)
Philosophy B (B is 3.0 on the GPA scale)
Music A (A is 4.0 on the GPA scale)
Statistics B (B is 3.0 on the GPA scale)

Moving on, it is time to multiply your grades by the number of units of each course you took during the semester. So, you have 6-grade points for History, 9 for philosophy, 12 for Music, and 6 for Statistics. In total, you have 33-grade points. Now it is time to determine your grade point average by dividing this number of grade points by the total number of credits of the courses you took (3+3+3+2=11). This is how we find out your GPA is 3.

Unweighted vs Weighted GPA

For a weighted GPA, the level of difficulty of the course taken is under consideration and the scale of grading is 5.0. Hence, if you get an A in a more difficult course, you will be given a 5.0 but in an easy course, it will be graded as 4.0. Unweighted GPA doesn’t take into account the difficulty of the course.

Cumulative GPA vs Overall GPA

The CGPA (Cumulative Grade Point Average) indicates the result of a student in a semester, whereas the overall GPA (Grade Point Average) is for the full duration of the student’s academic journey.

What is a Good GPA?

A good grade point average depends mainly on the personal and academic objectives you seek to achieve. If you are applying for a school that accepts 2.0 in a 4.0 grading system, you have a good GPA. However, if you are applying for a school that accepts students that have a 3.5 GPA and you have below that mark, your GPA is bad. In other words, your GPA being determined good or bad is dependent on the institution you want to attend.

Why is the GPA so Important?

Graduating with a good college degree is a lot like playing video games. The start is easy but suddenly the level of difficulty increases, and you start to have a lot more responsibilities. And your level of performance at the college will be measured through the grades you will get in tests and assignments throughout the course. So now we are going to give you five reasons that prove why you should chase good grades at university.

1. Validation of Academic Excellence

One of the most obvious reasons for getting good grades is simply to have written and validated evidence of your good academic performance. This is especially important for those who intend to continue their studies after graduation, as good grades are an important part of the process of selecting the best graduate courses in the world.

2. Best Job Openings

Good grades can, in some cases, help in finding the best job vacancies. This is especially true among professions with a highly competitive position for candidates. Many job openings even establish candidates’ academic performance as an elimination criterion.

3. The Best Version of Yourself

In addition to grades being evidence of your achievements, they can also function as a tool for your own professional and personal development. They can be a perfect way for you to set goals and standards for what you would like to achieve from each subject at the university.

4. Measure your Success

The grades work as measures. They teach you how to achieve goals, deliver things on time, and succeed in your work. Grades, in addition to good academic performance, also indicate focus and professional discipline.

5. Make the most of your University Experience

Remember that you are one of the lucky few on earth with the privilege of attending a university and being part of a global academic community. Yes, the vast majority of people in the world are still unable to access these same opportunities.

So, make your chance worth it. Be grateful for the privilege of having access to an educational opportunity and try to stand out. Your university grades are also a statement that you recognize and honor your achievement.

Your GPA is important, but it isn’t everything

Despite all our efforts, we don’t always get what we want. That is why it is important to understand that bad grades do not mean the end of our career or the pursuit of our goals. Understand: your grades should be a measurement and feedback tool for you and your teachers. So, don’t think that because you don’t get the best grades you can’t get a good job. It’s not all about that! Grades can help you find a good job, but they are not the only important factor.