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How To Calculate Your GPA (Grade Point Average)

Updated on June 19, 2011

If you are a high school or a college student who cares about his or her future, your GPA is probably something that you worry about. Nine times out of ten, when applying for college admission or for an employer, your GPA will be evaluated by the person in charge before he or she decides whether to accept or reject you.

Before you attempt to increase your GPA, it is first best to understand how it is calculated. The GPA or Grade Point Average is calculated by adding the total number of grade points earned and dividing that number by the total number of credit hours earned or attempted. 

Use this table as a guide when calculating your GPA.
Use this table as a guide when calculating your GPA.
He is happy with his GPA!
He is happy with his GPA!

How do I add my total grade points?

To compute for grade points, all you have to do is multiply the grade you earned from a particular course by the number of units or credits that course is worth. For example, if you have a grade of 4.0 in Algebra 101 and Algebra 101 is worth 3 credits, then the course (Algebra 101) is worth 12 grade points. Now, after your get all the grade points for each subject, you add them all up to get your total grade points.

I now have my total grade points. What’s next?

After you get your total grade points, the next move will be to divide that number with the total number of credit hours or units that you earned or attempted. If your total grade points is equal to 120 and your total number of units is equal to 40, then your GPA will be 3.0.

As you may already have figured out by now, your courses do not affect your GPA equally. Some courses can have more grade points than others due to them having more credit hours. Therefore, you might want to focus more on those courses to improve your GPA.

What about letter grades?

Letter grades should be converted to numbers first. Usually, institutions have a scale on what value is assigned to which letter. For example, the Harvard School of Public Health uses the following scale: A = 4.0 (Excellent), A- = 3.70, B+ = 3.30 (Good), B = 3.00, B- = 2.70 (Satisfactory), C+ = 2.30, C = 2.00 (Poor), C- = 1.70.

What about P (Pass), NP (No Pass), W (Withdrawals) and I (Incompletes) grades?

Pass and No Pass courses are not factored in the student’s GPA. Withdrawals and Incompletes do not receive grade points and do not affect the student’s GPA.

This seems to be too complicated for me. Is there an easier way to calculate my GPA?

Fortunately, yes. You can use an online GPA calculator to make the job much easier for you.


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      Gilbert 23 months ago

      Hey Dominic,

      Nice blog you have here. But I have a question for you. Do you list all the course in the GPA including minor subjects ?

      P.E or English ?