How to Calculate GPA

How to Calculate GPA

This ultimate guide on grade point average (GPA) will help you understand the differences between weighted and unweighted GPA, and how to calculate your college GPA, cumulative GPA, and semester GPA.


What are the different GPA scales?

Grade point average (GPA) can be measured in different systems. Usually, the high school GPA is calculated with a 4 or 5 point system, depending on if it’s unweighted or weighted. In college, the grade point average is calculated on a 4 point scale.

As most grades are awarded using a letter grade system, you need an equivalence between the letter grades and total grade points. So in a 4 point scale an A grade will be equivalent to 4 points, B will equal 3 points and so on, until F, which will have 0 grade points.

High schools frequently have advanced placement or honors courses, which award more points per letter grade than regular ones. Many schools use “+” and “-” modifiers to grades, which translate into 0.3 points in a points grade system. A B+ would be 3.3. total grade points.

This lack of standardization means that the easiest way to move between the different scales is to bookmark our GPA scale converter.

High school GPA : weighted and unweighted GPA


Weighted High School GPA

The weighted GPA takes into account the difficulty of the class along with the grade. While an unweighted GPA scale goes up to 4.0, the weighted GPA allows for scores up to 5.0. Grades in honors and advanced placement courses are translated into a scale of 5 grade points. Regular classes still are graded using 4 grade points.

The reason for the different grade point averages for higher difficulty courses is to incentivize students to take on more difficult coursework without fear that slightly lower grades (due to these courses being more demanding) would lower their GPA. In fact, a student in AP or honors courses could have lower grades than a student in regular classes and still have a higher GPA.

A weighted GPA can have an impact on your school admission process. A weighted 4.0 GPA will not necessarily grant you admission to any college if you only took regular courses. Colleges factor in how many advanced courses the student took in high school as well, to see if the student is able to take academic challenges.

In order to calculate your weighted GPA you’d need to translate each letter grade to the corresponding grade points. Then, divide the total grade points by the number of classes. Or you could just use our high school GPA calculator to find out your GPA easily.


Unweighted High School GPA

In an unweighted GPA scale, each class has the same value, and the grade points go from 0 to 4.0. In order to calculate your grade point average you would translate letter grades into grade points and then find out the average by adding all grade points together and divide the points earned by the total number of classes.

Use our high school GPA calculator to keep track of your GPA through several semesters.

How to calculate your college GPA

In college, GPA uses a 4 grade points scale, the same as an unweighted GPA calculation, but now we need to take into account credit hours for each class. Even though most college courses are worth 3 credits, there are others which may be worth more, depending on their difficulty or if they require extra work, like lab time. A class with more credit hours will have more weight on the GPA than a regular class.

To calculate your grade point average in college you would translate each class letter grade into grade points, using the 4.0 grade points scale. Then you need to add an extra step, which is to multiply each grade by the credit hours of that course. Once you have a total number of grade points for the semester you would divide the total by the number of total credits.

Cumulative and semester GPA

A semester GPA will take all your grade points for the semester and divide the sum by the total number of credit hours for that semester.

A cumulative GPA measures your academic performance for more than one semester. But you can’t just find the average between the individual semester GPAs, as each semester may have a different number of credit hours.

To calculate your cumulative GPA you’d need to sum the total grade points for all courses across all semesters and then divide by the total number of credits. If you’re in high school, the cumulative GPA is calculated by dividing by the number of classes instead of credits.

If you want to save time and keep track of your cumulative GPA, you can use our cumulative GPA calculator.

Is 3.4 A good GPA?


A 3.4 weighted GPA means that you’ve gotten an exceptional grade in every class you took. You’re better off than the national average, which includes students who failed out of school! Your chances of getting into college are excellent.

We’ve analyzed the data collected from 1500+ colleges nationwide and found out that the average GPA of its new students was 3.4. Here’s what we learned:

A high school student applies to college. She does very well on her SATs, and gets accepted to an Ivy League school. Her parents are thrilled because they know she can afford the tuition fees. They also see a future where the girl will go into business after graduating from college – imagine how happy they will be! Unfortunately though, her grades weren’t quite good enough to get her into Harvard University. So instead, she applied to NYU. But unfortunately for her, NYU requires a grade point average (GPA) of 3.5 or greater.

Weighted vs. Unweighted GPA


Many high schools assign letter grades based on student performance. As example:

An “A” grade in an Advanced Placement course is worth five points instead of four. An “A” in an Honor’s Course is worth four and a half rather than four. Additionally, you’ll get credit for every “B” and “C” you earn, so if you do better than your classmates in high school, you can boost your college grades.

On the Common Application, you are asked to choose whether your high school grades should count toward your overall GPA (unweighted) or not (weighted). In addition, colleges can access your transcripts and calculate your GPA however they please.

How do I calculate my GPA on a 4.0 scale?


Letter Grade Percent Grade 4.0 Scale
A+ 97-100 4.0
A 93-96 4.0
A- 90-92 3.7
B+ 87-89 3.3
B 83-86 3.0
B- 80-82 2.7
C+ 77-79 2.3
C 73-76 2.0
C- 70-72 1.7
D+ 67-69 1.3
D 65-66 1.0
E/F Below 65 0.0

The chart shows how to compute a grade point average (GPA). For most schools your GPA is calculated by dividing your course grades by the total number of credit hours taken.

Keep in mind that the grade point average (GPA) that appears on your high school transcript can differ quite a bit from the one reported by your university or college. Your high school may report an A+ as a 3.0 GPA, whereas your university may report a 4.0 GPA. Colleges often give extra credit towards graduation for certain classes taken such as AP exams. Some schools also add a higher GPA if students take honors or Advanced Placement (AP) classes. Finally, some universities only count letter grades, ignoring GPA scores entirely. In these cases, your high school transcript will show no GPA at all.

For admission, many colleges will recalculate your grade point average (GPA) to ensure equitable treatment regardless of whether or not you included all courses or what is considered to be valid credit hours. Some schools do not award full points for every course taken, only partial points for certain credits (e.g., half points for lab classes). Your final GPA can vary widely depending on how the coursework was weighed at each institution.

Contact your high school advisor or admissions office for information about GPA and how the grades affect admission decisions. Use your grade history to help make an informed decision about where to apply. For looking up the academic requirements of colleges use this college search.

What GPA do high schools use?


Numerous higher education institutions in America utilize a four (4) point grading scale. An A is equivalent to a 4.0 grade point average. Some colleges use a five (5) point grading scale, while others use a hundred point scale. Regardless, converting your GPA into a four (4) letter score should make comparisons easier when applying to various universities.

Helpful Guides

How to Raise GPA
A good grade point average (GPA) can mean a wider range of opportunities for your career.

How to Calculate Grades
It’s important to know how to calculate your grades, so you can keep track of your progress in all your classes and where you need to put on more effort to increase your GPA.