GPA Calculator: Understand Your College Grade Point Average

Calculating your college GPA is much simpler than you may think.  The usual confusion revolves around correctly assessing whether or not the course is a “gradable credit bearing” course, and then assigning the proper weightings to given outcomes based on how many credit hours the course is worth.

First, and of greatest importance, is to determine the type of course within which you are enrolled.  If it is a graded course with credits applicable to your degree, it will almost certainly be included in your cumulative GPA calculation.  To be sure about this, however, you can check your university’s course catalog or speak with an academic counselor.

Next you need to know what grading scale your institution uses.  For example, many institutions use the following scale:  A = 4.0 ; A- = 3.66 ; B+ = 3.33 ; B = 3.0, B- = 2.66 ; C+ = 2.33 ; C = 2.0 ; C- = 1.66 ; D+ = 1.33 ; D = 1.0 ; and F = 0.0.  Other colleges may round only to the tenth place or present courses where “+”s and “-”s are not valid grades, but instead simply offer outcomes of A, B, C, D, or F.  Point being, you simply need to understand the grading system your institution uses and apply the correct values towards the achieved grades.

Finally you must determine how many credits each course completed is worth.  Then you are ready for this simple weighted average computation.  Below is an example of a cumulative GPA calculation for a semester where you complete four courses.

Cumulative GPA = Total Grade Points / Total Credits

Total Grade Points = (“Course 1″ GPA * “Course 1″ Credits) + (“Course 2″ GPA * “Course 2″ Credits) + (“Course 3″ GPA * “Course 3″ Credits) + (“Course 4″ GPA * “Course 4″ Credits)

Total Credits = “Course 1″ Credits + “Course 2″ Credits + “Course 3″ Credits + “Course 4″ Credits

So let us assume that last semester you received an A in a 2 credit course, a C in a 3 credit course, a B in a 4 credit course, and a B+ in a 5 credit course.

Total Grade Points = 4*2+2*3+3*4+3.33*5 = 42.65

Total Credits = 2+3+4+5 = 14

Cumulative GPA = 42.65/14 = 3.05

Of course, while it is nice to understand the calculation behind cumulative GPA and how it is basically a weighted average formula, you can always use existing online tools to do the actual labor of computing the GPA, and ensuring that it matches the records on your report card or transcript

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