At some point during your academic journey, you might have wondered what a GPA stands for and why it's crucial to maintain a good GPA score. For those not well-versed with the concept yet, we have put together an informative piece on the importance of GPA, GPA to percentage conversion, and how to maintain a good GPA.
No matter where you're headed, a GPA score determines your eligibility to enrol into the universities in top destinations worldwide. So, let's start with the basics, shall we?
What is GPA and How is it Calculated?
Grade Point Average (GPA) is a quantitative measure of a student's academic performance over a certain period of time, say, during an academic year or a particular semester. Generally, GPA is calculated by assigning numerical values to grades and calculating the average score based on the values.
A good GPA is crucial because it is an indicator of the student's ability to meet the demands of a particular course/degree programme. Every university has a predefined GPA requirement that students need to meet to be accepted into their preferred course.
So, how to calculate GPA?
To understand how to convert GPA to percentage, it's essential to understand how GPA is calculated. Here are the steps to calculate the average GPA:
- Assign a grade point value to each grade received in the particular course. Typically, schools use a 4.0 scale, where an A is worth 4 points, a B is worth 3 points, a C is worth 2 points, a D is worth 1 point, and an E is worth 0 points.
- Work out the number of credit hours earned during the course period.
- Calculate the total number of grade points earned in a particular term(s)/academic year by multiplying the grade point value with the number of credit hours for each course.
- Add up the total number of grade points earned during the course period.
- Add up the total credit hours earned during the course period.
- Divide the total number of grade points earned by the total number of credits earned to get the average GPA.
Let's assume you have 4 subjects as part of your course.
To calculate the average GPA, multiply the grade points with credit hours assigned for the subjects and divide the result by the total number of credit hours earned.
(3*3)+(3*4)+(2*4)+(3*2)/11 = 35/11 = 3.18
So, on a scale of 4, the average GPA is 3.18.
Types of GPA
Weighted vs. Unweighted GPA:
Weighted GPA takes into account the difficulty of the course by assigning additional values for advanced courses. Advanced course programmes and honours courses or other college-level courses receive additional points, typically on a 5.0 or 6.0 scale, rather than the standard 4.0 scale.
For example, an A in an honours course would be graded at 5.0 points instead of the usual 4.0 scale.
Unweighted GPA, on the other hand, doesn't take into account the difficulty level of the course and defines GPA by multiplying the grades with the credit scores. This is the most common type of GPA and is usually on a 4.0 scale, where an A is worth 4.0, a B is worth 3.0, and so on.
Most education institutions confer weighted GPAs for advanced level or harder courses to motivate the students to take up advanced subjects and enhance their eligibility for college.
Cumulative GPA and Non-cumulative GPA
Cumulative GPA is the sum total of GPA scores of all the courses during the student's academic cycle.
Cumulative GPA = Grade points earned by students throughout their course
The number of credit hours
Non-cumulative GPA is the common term GPA or semester GPA, where the GPA is calculated for a particular academic term or semester.
For example, let's suppose a student completes two semesters with the following grades and credits:
Semester 1: 3.5 GPA, 15 credits
Semester 2: 3.0 GPA, 16 credits
Their cumulative GPA would be (3.5 x 15 + 3.0 x 16) / (15 +16) = 3.25
Their non-cumulative GPA for semester 2 would be 3.0.
So, let us see the steps to convert GPA into percentage.
How to Convert GPA into Percentage?
To convert GPA into percentage, understand the grading system used by the institution/country and accordingly follow these steps:
- Determine the highest possible GPA in your institution or country. For example, if your institution uses a 4.0 scale, then the highest possible GPA is 4.0.
- Multiply your GPA by 100.
- Divide the result by the highest possible GPA.
- The resulting number is your GPA as a percentage.
For example, if your GPA is 3.5 on a 4.0 scale, you can convert it to a percentage using the following formula:
3.5 x 100 = 350
350 / 4.0 = 87.5%
Therefore, your GPA of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale is equivalent to a percentage of 87.5%
Why is it Important to Maintain a Good GPA?
Maintaining a good GPA (Grade Point Average) is important for several reasons:
- Further education - One of the most important reasons to maintain a good GPA score is to carry on further education in the desired fields and meet the eligibility requirements specified by the universities. Having a good GPA also boosts your eligibility for scholarships and other forms of financial aid.
- Visa requirements - It's imperative to maintain a good GPA to meet the eligibility requirements of universities abroad. A good GPA is a reliable indicator of academic capabilities and language proficiency, which are essential for visa approval in order to be enrolled in the desired course.
- Graduation and academic honours - Maintaining a good GPA is necessary to graduate from a program or to earn academic honours, such as cum laude or magna cum laude. Apart from being a personally fulfilling experience, it can also help set you apart when applying to further education or employment opportunities.
- Career opportunities - A good GPA has a huge impact on your career since it's the first thing employers look for in your resume to assess your eligibility for the job, and the qualification it requires. And as you progress in your career, a good GPA coupled with work experience would boost your chances for a promotion or role change.
How to Maintain a Good GPA?
Given how important a good GPA score is in academic and career aspects, here are a few hacks on how to maintain a good GPA:
- Attend classes regularly - It makes sense, doesn't it? To earn a decent score, you need to understand the concepts properly and for that to happen, you need to attend the lectures and get your doubts clarified as and when they occur. Attend classes with an open mindset and ensure that you have acquired the key takeaways from the subject/course.
- Manage your time - Good time management skills can help you balance your coursework, assignments, and other extracurricular commitments. Creating a schedule or to-do list can help you prioritise tasks and make the most of your time.
- Stay organised - Staying organised can help you track your progress with assignments, classwork, and projects effectively so you don't miss critical deadlines. Have an accessible and clutter-free workspace to enable better focus and timely completion of your deliverables.
- Seek help when needed - It's not a bad idea to ask for help, be it with assignments, a lecture you missed, a concept that needs more clarity, or even a personal issue that affects your academic performance. Seeking appropriate counsel at the right time could help improve your performance and the whole academic experience abroad.
How can AECC help?
AECC is your end-to-end education consultancy specialising in all aspects of studying abroad from course counselling and applying to universities to visa and career guidance, in line with your academic and career aspirations. If there is a course or programme in your mind, have a chat with us to know how to set things in motion.
For updates about the latest intakes and upcoming admissions, check our website and schedule a meeting with us to plan your study abroad journey right away!
1. What is GPA, and why is it important?
GPA stands for grade point average, which is a numerical representation of a student's academic performance in college or high school. GPA is important because it is often used by admissions committees and employers to evaluate a student's academic performance and potential.
2. How to improve GPA scores?
If your GPA is low, there are several things you can do to improve it, such as meeting with a tutor or academic advisor, developing better study habits, and retaking courses in which you received a low grade.
3. Do employers care about GPA?
Yes, many employers do consider GPA when evaluating job candidates, particularly for entry-level positions.
4. How does GPA compare to a percentage grade?
GPA is typically calculated on a 4.0 scale, whereas percentage grades are typically calculated on a 100-point scale.