How to Calculate GPA on a 4.0 Scale

If you are looking for guidelines detailing the calculation of GPA on a 4.0 scale, this article is just what you are looking for. Here, I present a simple procedure for the same.
In the academic world, when it comes to getting admitted into graduate school programs and colleges, the number which can further your prospects is a good Grade Point Average (GPA). I don't mean to imply that it is the only thing that matters, when your case is evaluated by admission boards, but it does have a large weightage. Good recommendations, project research experience, and extracurricular activities are also big contributing factors. The moral of the story is that it's essential to keep an eye on your grade point average, throughout each one of your academic semesters.

About Grade Point Average (GPA)

For every course that you take up during college education or graduate school, you need to appear for a semester-end exam. Besides this, you are tested throughout the semester, through other quizzes and tests. Based on your performance, you are awarded grades for each course, which come with associated grade points. The average of all the grade points, that you manage to score in all courses, is the grade point average.

The Formula

To be able to calculate GPA on a 4.0 scale, you will need a chart, which shows the grade point assignment values. Here it is.

GradeGrade Points

The required formula for calculation is as follows:

Grade Point Average (GPA) = (Sum of Grade Points For Each Course)/(Number of Courses)

The formula is simple enough to follow and within a minute, you can calculate your GPA using it.

The Calculation Technique

Here is the procedure, explaining the calculation.
  • Note down the grade scores for each one of the courses you opted for.
  • Refer to the chart provided above and note down the corresponding grade point values for each of the grades you scored.
  • As the above formula demonstrates, sum up all the grade points and divide the total, by the number of courses. The end result will be your grade point average.
Let me illustrate this calculation, with an example:

Suppose, a student has opted for five courses in his first year at graduate school. The grades he scored are the following - A, B, A, C, B.

The grade points earned, according to grades scored, will be: 4, 3, 4, 2, and 3. So the GPA of that student for that semester, according to the above formula would be:

GPA = (4 + 3 + 4 + 2 + 3) / 5 = 16 / 5 = 3.2

All you have to do is sum up some numbers and calculate their mean value. Some colleges and universities have a different GPA scale but most conform to a 4.0 scale. Even if your school, college, or university has a different scale, the procedure for calculation will remain the same, although the grade point assignments will change. Just make the right grade point assignments and follow the above procedure.