If you don’t know how your GPA is calculated, then you need to keep reading. It is necessary and helpful for your success to know how you’re being evaluated. Otherwise, if you do understand, check out the table below to refresh your memory and then skip ahead to the heading Lose The Battle, Win The High GPA War.
Your college GPA is reported on a weighted 4.0 scale. This scale ranges from 0.0, which is a F, to 4.0, which is an A or A+. The majority of colleges use this scale that converts percentage grades into standardized scores. See the GPA converter table below for details:
Some colleges do not award an A+, and a W, P, or S is not counted in totaling your GPA.
Total Semester GPA
However, your total semester weighted GPA is more complex. Basically, the semester grade point average comes from all your grades converted to individual GPAs in a semester, where each individual GPA is multiplied by the number of credits of the respective course—this total is called quality points. After all the quality points are added together, then the total sum of quality points is divided by the total number of credit hours.
For example, an A in a four-credit hour class (4.0 GPA x 4 credit hours) equals 16 quality points. An A- in a three-credit hour class (3.7 GPA x 3 credit hours) equals 11.1 quality points, and so on for how many classes you take. Then you divide your total quality points by your number of credit hours to get your weighted GPA.
So, say this student took 15 credit hours for 57 quality points.
57 quality points / 15 credit hours = 3.8 GPA
Lose The Battle, Win The High GPA War
How does understanding the composition of your GPA help? It is inspiring to know that studying more efficiently and pushing harder to improve from an A- to an A can make a substantial difference in your grade point average.
But more importantly, next time you’re in a time crunch with two exams the next day, focus more on your four-credit hour exam than your two-credit hour exam.
Although perfection is ideal, sometimes you need to give less attention to the one- or two-credit course and max out your GPA in classes that hold greater weight—lose the battle, win the war. But don’t spend all your time grinding for good grades if your GPA doesn’t matter for your career.
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