As you rise higher on the academic ladder, one number that will weigh heavily on your mind, will be the grade point average. Once you graduate from high school or college and look for an admission to an institute of higher education, it is one of the most important factors, on the basis of which, your abilities and merit will be evaluated.
About the Grading System
Your grades are not the only things that matter when you apply for an admission to any educational institution, but it does make it easier for you to get in. The concept of grading students according to marks or grades is an age-old system, that has been prevalent for centuries.
Today, to get an educational degree or a graduate diploma, offered by central boards of education and universities in North America, a student must complete coursework that is spread over 2 to 3 years. Each year's coursework is divided into semesters. Every semester has a limited number of courses, for which the student is graded according to his performance in exams and tests conducted year round.
On the basis of performance in each examination, grades are awarded to the student. Each grade has associated points. You can read off the points from a table which correlates them with the grades scored. The GPA is calculated by summing up the grades scored in every semester and then dividing them by the total number of courses.
Grade Point Average Scale Explained
When a student gets admitted into a school, which does not have a grading system, but measures the percentage instead, a scale is needed, which can convert the aggregate percentile into an equivalent GPA. Here is a sample scale.
How is the Scale Used?
If you are applying for colleges and universities in USA or UK and you come from a foreign country, chances are that your grading system will probably be based on percentage or percentile scores. In that case, you need to first get hold of the scale, for conversion from percentage or percentile to GPA. Looking at the chart, check what grade, percentile, or percentage score correlates with it and note down the corresponding GPA. It may be calculated according to a 4-point, 6-point, or even a 10-point scale.
To know about the GPA system used in your school or college, I suggest that you visit the institute's official website, which will have all the details. Though the division of the scale into different grades might vary, the basic idea behind the system of grading remains the same, all over the world.