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The Ultimate Guide to Understanding GPA

The grade point average (GPA) is a crucial statistic to monitor when studying for an undergraduate or graduate degree, mainly in the USA, Australia, Canada, and the UK. Maintaining a good academic standing is important for many reasons, like staying in your major, getting future financial aid (which depends on making enough academic progress), getting a scholarship or a job, playing sports in college, and more.

What does GPA mean?

The grade point average (GPA) is a metric used by educational institutions, mostly in the United States, to evaluate students' academic progress and success. GPA is calculated by changing any assignment grades (A, B, C, etc.) to a percentage.

GPA is an abbreviation for "grade point average," which is a numerical value between 0 and 4 that indicates how well an individual performed in school. A perfect score of four indicates an A grade, whereas a score of zero indicates an F grade.

In most universities around the world, the scale looks like this:

Letter GradeGrade PointsNumerical Grade
A+4.097–100
A4.094–96
A-3.790–93
B+3.387–89
B3.084–86
B-2.780–83
C+2.377–79
C2.074–76
C-1.770–73
D+1.367–69
D1.064–66
D-0.760–63
F0.00–59

How is GPA calculated?

Students are graded on each assignment, project, and exam. The semester's average grade is calculated by adding these grades and dividing them by the number of work units. The result of these calculations is their grade point average. Use the following steps to calculate your GPA.

  • Step 1: Find out how much credit you earned in each course you've already finished by looking at the grades you earned: A = 4, B = 3, C = 2, D = 1.
  • Step 2: Multiply the grade value of each course by the credit value of the course to determine your grade point average for the semester. If a course is worth three credits, and you get a B in it, your total grade point average for that course would be 9.
  • Step 3: To calculate your overall grade points, simply add up your individual grade points.
  • Step 4: Then, to get your GPA score, divide the total number of grade points earned by the total number of credits taken.

Here’s more explanation:

Course NameGrade ValueCourse UnitsGrade x UnitsGrade Points
MathematicsA44x416
HistoryA54x520
EnglishA

6
= 15

4x624
=60
Calculated GPA = 60 ÷ 15 = 4 GPA

GPA Scores and Grading System | Popular Study Destinations

There are a variety of grading systems using different scales, letters, numbers, etc. Here are some of the most widely used grading scales throughout the top study destinations in the world:

  • The Letter grade is mostly used in the US, the UK, and Canada.
  • According to Australia, most universities' grading systems are based on letters and numbers.

In Australia, a student's grade point average is often calculated as follows: grade points + course unit values/total number of credit points attempted. The final numerical results look like this:

Grade NameGrade Point
High Distinction (HD)7
Distinction (D)6
Credit5
Pass4
Fail Level 11
Fail Level 20

What is considered a good GPA?

Here is what each grade point on the 4.0 scale means:

Letter GradeGrade PointMeaning
A4Excellent
B3Good
C2Average
D1Barely Passing
F0Failing


Many colleges and universities consider a GPA of between 3.0 and 3.5 to be satisfactory. Most highly competitive colleges and universities have a GPA minimum of 3.75. Even if your GPA is lower than the minimum requirement, you may still be accepted, but you may not be eligible for financial aid.

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Have questions about education and grading systems at the top study destinations or how to get into your top-choice college? We've got answers! Our experienced IDP counsellors will help you for FREE in locating the ideal university and program and then lead you through the necessary paperwork to make it happen.

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