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How to Determine Your Grade Point Average

Updated on October 29, 2012
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Grade Point Averages or GPA is a calculated method to determine your average grade. Your Grade Point Average gives you, your school, your prospective schools, your parents, and your future employers a standard of measurement to see how successful you were in your education. The method of calculation varies from high school to high school and university to university. A simple GPA calculation will weigh every grade the same. Here are the basic steps to calculating a grade point average and some examples.


Steps

1. Find out the number each letter grade is assigned for GPA calculation by your school. Typically, an A is worth 4 points, a B is worth 3 points, and so on. Also find out from your school how many decimal places they use for gpa calculation. 1 or 2 decimal places is standard. If you have a 3.72 gpa, then your school uses 2 decimal places.

2. Create a chart with all your classes, your grades, and their values.

3. Add the grade points that you have earned.

4. Divide the total points earned by total number of classes.

5. Round to the GPA to 1 or 2 decimal places (whichever your school uses)


Basic GPA Calculation Example

First, you need to find out from your school what point scale they use. The most common scale is:

A = 4 points

B = 3 points

C = 2 points

D = 1 point

F = 0 points

Write down each class name, the grade you will receive and the point value for that grade.


Example

Class
Grade
Point Value
Literature
A
4
World History
A
4
Algebra
C
2
Biology
B
3
PE
C
2
Music
A
4
TOTAL:
 
19

Take the total points earned from all your classes and divide it by the total number of classes.

19 total points earned/6 classes = 3.17

The grade point average in this example is 3.17

Values of Plus & Minus Grades

If your school assigns plus and minus grades, make sure you find out how those are calculated. It could be calculated as:

Grade
Point Value
A+
4.33
A
4
A-
3.67
B+
3.33
B
3
B-
2.67
C+
2.33
C
2
C-
1.67
D+
1.33
D
1
D-
0.67
F
0

Here is an example using a plus and minus grade calculation.

Example

Class
Grade
Point Value
English Lit
A+
4.33
Creative Writing
A-
3.67
Home Ec.
B+
3.33
Dance
B-
2.67
American History
A-
3.67
Calculus
C
2
TOTAL:
 
19.67

19.67 points / 6 classes = 3.28 GPA

It was actually 3.2783 but it was rounded to 2 decimal places. Some schools calculate out to 2 decimal places while others only calculate out to 1 decimal place. Make sure you know how many decimal places your school uses.

AP Classes

Many high schools in the United States add a point to AP classes. For instance, an A in an AP class might be worth 5 points instead of 4.

Cumulative GPA

Cumulative GPA is the average of all the grades throughout your high school or college education. The cumulative GPA is the GPA that most colleges and universities look at when you apply to their school. This is also the GPA that you may choose to put on your resume when you get out of school.

To calculate your Cumulative GPA, write down all of your classes that you have taken in your high school (or college) education so far and follow the same steps as above. This time, you will include all completed classes and nearly completed classes in the calculation.


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    • AjeetKhurana profile image

      Ajeet 4 years ago from Mumbai, India

      Simple and Lucid explanation of a common quantitative problem we all face. Thanks :)

    • Kimberly Vaughn profile image
      Author

      Kimberly Vaughn 4 years ago from Midwest

      Thanks Ajeet! It took me a while to figure out the best way to put this one together.

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