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How to calculator your GPA

Updated on December 7, 2011
Example GPA Calculator
Example GPA Calculator

Even though your school should calculate your GPA when they publish your grades at the end of each semester, what happens if you don't want to wait that long to get an idea of what to expect or you want to run some scenarios to see the impact an 'A' in Physics or a 'C' in Calculus will effect your grade? You'll have to calculate your GPA on your own. While there are numerous tools out on the web to do this, we want to explain how this is done so if it is necessary to do it on your own, you will have the knowledge to do it.

For our example we will be using the course and grades in the image above.

Step 1: Assign grade scale value

Our first step requires us to to know the grading scale value for each grade. Your school may use a simple A, B, C, D, and F scale or something more complicated like the grading scale to the right with + and - for many grades. Either way, for the first step you need to take the grade for each course and find the scale value. In our example, you received an 'A' for Chemistry 121, which is a 4.0. For Calculus 110 you recieved a B, which is a 3.0. Once you've done this for each course, you can move on to step #2.

Step 2: Calculate your grade points

The next step involves calculating the grade points for each grade. To do this you multiply the number of credits for each course by the grading scale value from step #1.

Examples:

  • Chemistry 121 was 4 credits with a grading scale value of 4.0, so the calculation would be: 4 * 4.0 = 16. This means you receive 16 grade points for Chemistry 121
  • Calculus 110 was 4 credits with a grading scale value of 3.0, so the calculation would be: 4 * 3.0 = 12. This means you receive 12 grade points for Chemistry 110

Step 3: Calculate total number of credits

This step is one of the easiest. Just add up the number of credits. In our example the total number of credits is 14.5.

Step 4: Calculate total grade points

Almost as easy, if you did step #2 right, is to add the grade points together to get the total grade points. In our example, the total grade points is 48. Make sure to check your results against ours.

Step 5: Calculate your GPA

The final step is the actual GPA calculation. The formula for this is:

  • total grade points / total number of credits = GPA

In our example we have:

  • 48 / 14.5 = 3.310

So if you received the grades in our example, your GPA would be 3.310. Not too shabby!

As we mentioned in our introduction, manually calculating your GPA isn't for everyone, but it is important to have an understanding of why a 4 credit grade effects your GPA more than a 2 credit grade, etc. Feel free to google for 'GPA calculator' or check out the one we referenced for this article.

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