Grade Point Average (GPA): Its Definition, Importance, and Conversion

GPA stands for Grade Point Average. This is used to measure the academic achievement of students in the United States. It is a number that shows a student’s overall grade performance on average. It shows whether a student has performed well or not. The GPA is also used when applying for undergraduate and graduate studies along with admission tests. Universities use this to evaluate one’s comprehensive standing in school and compare with other applicants.

What does GPA mean?

GPA is an abbreviation for Grade Point Average.

What is a good GPA in high school?

A score of 3.0 or B average is a good GPA in high school. This score is usually the minimum requirement of most universities or colleges. A good GPA in high school also depends on your prospective college major. Math and science majors are most likely to require a higher GPA [1].

What is a good GPA in college?

A score of 3.7 or higher is a good GPA in college. It is ideal to have a higher GPA in major classes [2].

What are the differences between CGPA and GPA?

The differences between CGPA and GPA are the following:

Differences between GPA and CGPA [3]

 

Grade Point Average

(GPA)

Cumulative Grade Point Average

(CGPA)

Definition

Used for grading one semester

Used for grading the total marks and credits for all semesters

Duration

Shorter academic duration

Longer academic duration

Emphasis

Mostly considered by universities to assess student’s capabilities

Lesser emphasis is given by universities

Grades

Uses five grades namely A, B, C, D, and F where A is the highest and equivalent to 4.0 or 5.0

Uses grade points like score ranges from 1 to 10

The differences between Grade Point Average (GPA) and Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) are presented in the table above. These two terms are generally heard in the education setting and are used in the grading system. Both show the performance of a student, but it mostly differs from the period it covers.

How is the GPA calculated?

To calculate your GPA, follow these steps [4]:

  1. Determine your grade for each class and the number of credit hours assigned to each class.
  2. Convert each letter grade to a numerical equivalent point. Presented below is the conversion table as a guide.

Letter Grade to 4.0 Scale Conversion

Letter Grade

4.0 Scale

A+

4.0

A

4.0

A-

3.7

B+

3.3

B

3.0

B-

2.7

C+

2.3

C

2.0

C-

1.7

D+

1.3

D

1.0

E/F

0.0

  1. Multiply the number of credit hours earned for each class by the numerical equivalent point for the class.
  2. Add the number of hours you have spent on classes for the academic year.
  3. Divide the total number of grade points by the total number of credit hours to find the GPA for the academic year.

The steps to calculating the grade point average (GPA) are listed above. This formula or computation is only the general guideline. It is still best to ask the university for their specific guidelines requirements.

How to Convert GPA to 4.0 scale?

To convert GPA to 4.0 scale, you may refer to the table presented below [5]:

GPA to 4.0 Conversion Table [4]

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 table above shows the conversion of GPA scores to a 4.0 scale. It also presents the counterpart in percent grades. For example, a student who gets a GPA of B. This equates to an 83-86 percent grade. When converted to the 4.0 scale, a GPA of B is 3.0.

Why does GPA exist?

Presentation of a student’s performance is the reason why GPA exists. It is the only numeric value that can prove one’s efficiency and how good a student is. It is an indication of one’s overall scores and grades, which is a great basis when applying for scholarships, organization, extra-curricular activities, and postgraduate studies [6].

How to raise your GPA in high school?

To improve your high school GPA, follow these tips [7]:

  1. Take lower-level classes. You might be able to get a significantly better grade in a lower-level class quickly, increasing your GPA much faster than if you continued to struggle in a tough course.
  2. Attend more classes. Consider taking an elective class that interests you to fill the time and raise your GPA if you have a free period.
  3. Improve your performance in weighted GPA classes. You should concentrate on improving your grades in AP or Honors classes. In this case, less-than-perfect grades will result in impressive GPAs.

Strategies to raise the GPA in high school are listed above. Taking a lower-level class, attending more classes, and improving performance in weighted GPA classes can increase the chances of garnering a higher GPA before finishing high school.

How to raise your GPA in college?

To improve your college GPA, follow these strategies [8]:

  • Avoid classes you don’t need
  • Meet with a tutor
  • Speak with your instructors
  • Set goals for yourself
  • Turn in assignments on time
  • Join a study group
  • Study topics as you go
  • Improve note-taking skills
  • Ask questions during class
  • Use educational resources
  • Use past tests to study
  • Keep everything organized
  • Utilize instructor feedback
  • Put extra effort into assignments
  • Work with high-GPA peers

Ways to raise the GPA in college are listed above. Avoiding classes you do not need, joining a study group, and putting extra effort into assignments can improve your GPA before completing your undergraduate degree.

Does GPA really matter?

Yes, GPA matters both in high school and in college. The GPA is important in high school because it predicts how well a student will do in college. There are universities with minimum GPA requirements, and having a high GPA will help you get into college [9].

In college, your GPA is important because you must pass your classes in order to graduate and earn your college diploma. Given your lack of experience, you may still be required to prove good grades to land your first job after graduation [10].

GPA Score Requirements

Colleges and universities have set different GPA score requirements for admissions and honor eligibility. Listed below are the GPA score requirements:

What GPA do you need to get a full scholarship?

A GPA of 3.0 is the usual requirement to get a full ride scholarship. The GPA needed varies from scholarship provider to scholarship provider. Each one has a different set of eligibility criteria that must be met [11].

What GPA is required to be a summa cum laude?

A GPA of 3.9 to 4.0 must be obtained to be eligible for the summa cum laude designation. It should be noted that the requirements for receiving a summa cum laude differ by school [12].

What GPA is required to be a magna cum laude?

A GPA of 3.7 to 3.8 must be obtained to be eligible for the magna cum laude designation. It should be noted that the requirements for receiving a magna cum laude vary depending on the school [12].

What GPA is required to be a cum laude?

A GPA of 3.5 to 3.6 must be obtained to be eligible for the cum laude designation. It should be noted that the requirements for obtaining a cum laude vary depending on the school [12].

What GPA do you need to be on the dean’s list?

The dean’s list cutoff is typically around 3.5 to 3.7 on a scale of 0 to 4, with 4 being the highest. Though the GPA requirements for the dean’s list vary by school, these are the general guidelines [13].

What GPA do you need to get into med school?

A GPA of 3.5 or higher is needed to get into a medical school. The admissions process to medical school is extremely competitive, which is why premedical undergraduates must strive hard to achieve this score [14].

What GPA do you need to get into law school?

A GPA of 3.7 or higher is the median GPA of students admitted to the top 10 law schools in the United States. 7 out of 10 schools had a higher median GPA of 3.8 and 3 schools had a median of 3.9 or above [15].

What GPA do you need to get into PA school?

A GPA between 2.75 and 3.2 is the minimum requirement to get into physician assistant school [16].

What GPA do you need to get into beauty school?

There is no required GPA to enter cosmetology programs in the United States. But, there are other requirements for application, such as a GED or high school diploma [17].

What GPA do you need to get into PT school?

A minimum GPA of 3.0 is required by the majority of PT schools, but many schools accept students with GPAs as high as 3.75 [18].

What GPA do you need to get into dental hygiene school?

A GPA of 2.5 or higher and a number of prerequisites are needed to get into dental school. The higher the GPA and the number of foundational science courses completed, the more competitive the application will be [19].

What GPA do you need to get into nursing school?

A GPA of 3.0 is frequently the set minimum GPA for BSN programs. Note that grades in prerequisite courses may be taken into account separately [20].

What GPA do you need to get into veterinary school?

A GPA of 3.5 or higher is what veterinary schools generally look for. Vet schools also look closely at completed prerequisites. One may achieve a perfect GPA and still not be admitted if the prerequisite courses were not taken [21].

What GPA do you need to get into pharmacy school?

A minimum GPA of 2.5 or 3.0 is required by most pharmacy schools. However, on average, accepted applicants have GPAs that are substantially higher than those minimum requirements [22].

What GPA do you need to get into art school?

A GPA of at least 3.5 is generally recommended to get into art school. However, you may not aim for a perfect score if you can provide a stellar portfolio. This will make up for the shortcomings in other areas [23].

What GPA do you need for trade school?

A GPA of 2.0 or higher is usually required for admission to trade school. There may be pre-requisites for trade school admission as well, such as a high school diploma, a GED certificate, or passing the CPAT [24].

What GPA is required for a merit scholarship?

GPAs ranging from 3.5 to 4.0 will receive more opportunities for merit rewards. However, there are other options for students with a GPA of 3.0 or lower [25].

What GPA do you need to be an OB/GYN?

An average GPA of 3.5 or higher is needed for admission to medical school to be an OB/GYN [26].

What GPA do I need for speech pathology?

A minimum 3.0 GPA is typically required for admission to a program in audiology or speech-language pathology [27].

What GPA do you need for clinical psychology?

A cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 is preferred by the majority of graduate schools in psychology [28].

What GPA do you need to pledge Kappa Alpha Psi?

A candidate must have at least a 2.5 GPA on a 4.0 scale to be considered for Kappa Alpha Psi membership. To be considered for membership on the alumni level, one must have a bachelor’s degree or the equivalent from an accredited college or university [29].

References:

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  2. [2] https://www.sparkadmissions.com/blog/what-is-considered-a-good-gpa-for-college/
  3. [3] https://leverageedu.com/blog/difference-between-gpa-and-cgpa/
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