How to Calculate GPA Using Different Methods

Why Do We Need GPA?  

Surprisingly, many students do not know whether their Grade Point Average is enough for entering college or university. This fact was primary driver for writing this article. We will learn how to calculate GPA with the help of several simple methods. It is an important skill that helps understand whether you can enter prestigious college or not. It is the result of converting scores into a scale that allows identifying whether your academic performance is high enough for higher educational institutions.  

How to Make Use of GPA Calculator  

You can convert your scores into overall scale in several ways. Basically, it is your academic performance summary that comprises of an average cumulative grade. Identify your final score with this table.

Working it out manually is difficult. Using special calculator is better idea because it allows getting quick and precise results. Traditional scale includes ranks from 0.0 to 4.0. However, you’re getting from A+ to F. Therefore, it’s sometimes difficult to understand how to convert these letters into numbers. Online GPA calculator helps measure your average high school score and estimate your chances of entering college. It gives admission committee understanding of the academic performance of students, their strengths and weaknesses, readiness to face challenges and overall morale.

Common Formula for Calculation

The general formula is:

(Grades*Credits)/Credits = GPA

For example, you can use this table to measure it by changing figures or classes in this table for your real grades:

How to Calculate GPA

By dividing total score by total credits, we’ll get an unweighted average point:

Weighted GPA = 45.0/13 = 3.46

This is one of the ways how to figure out GPA. 

Different Methods of Calculating GPA

Higher schools in the U.S. use various methods of determining point average because sometimes these systems are slightly different from each other. Both 4.0 Scale and 4.0+ Scale are used. Make sure which scale is used in college you enter. Now let’s consider how is GPA calculated using different methods.

Simple Method 

Now let’s count grade point average using 4.0+ Scale system. In comparison to 4.0 scale, 4.0+  system differs by credits assigned:

Grade 4.0 Scale 4.0+ Scale
A+ 4.0 4.3
A 4.0 4.0
A- 3.7 3.7
B+ 3.3 3.3
B 3.0 3.0
B- 2.7 2.7
C+ 2.3 2.3
C 2.0 2.0
C- 1.7 1.7
D+ 1.3 1.3
D 1.0 1.0
D- 0.7 0.7
F 0.0 0.0

As you can see from this table, determining grade point average using 4.0+ Scale system will be different if a student has excellent performance.

Weighted Point Average

Presently, many schools measure grade point average with the help of 4.0+ scale as they use weighted scale. Weighted value is counted taking into account several factors like coursework complexity, level or class. For example, students from elementary school having all “A” grades will get 4.0, while students from high school getting all “A” marks will get 5.0. The definitions of challenging courses are different in each school. If school offers AP or IB classes, this means that Honors classes are available. For your convenience, use grade point average calculator to count your average score.

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More complex classes have more credits. As a result, 4-credit class is worth more than 2-credit class. Your schedule may look like this:

Class Credits Grades
Math 2 A(4.0)
History 2 B+(3.3)
Chemistry 4 A(4.0)
Physical Education 1 C-(1.7)
German 2 B(3.0)
Literature 1 B-(2.7)
Physics 1 A(4.0)
TOTAL 13  

By looking at this table, you may notice the following:

  • You’re good at exact sciences
  • Physical education is not your strength
  • You earn 13 credits in total during this academic year

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If you’re curious about your weighted value by credit hours, you need to use these steps:

  • Multiply numeric grades by credits one by one
  • Add the numbers you’ve got together
  • Divide your total score by total credits (45/13)
  • Get your score that equals 3.46
Grade With AP Without AP
A+ 5.3 4.3
A 5.0 4.0
A- 4.7 3.7
B+ 4.3 3.3
B 4.0 3.0
B- 3.7 2.7
C+ 3.3 2.3
C 3.0 2.0
C- 2.7 1.7
D+ 2.3 1.3
D 2.0 1.0
D- 1.7 0.7
F 0.0 0.0


If you want to assess weighted value with AP, use the same formula. You only should use weighting AP classes, but not credits. If you the same data to determine it for Honor Classes, use this approach:

5 + 3.67 + 4.67 + 4 + 3 = 20.34
GPA = score/classes = 20.34/5 = 4.06

Unweighted Point Average

In this section, we will learn how to calculate unweighted GPA. When calculating unweighted value, students don’t have to consider their classes and levels. If, for example, one has “A” in two subjects and “B” on three subjects, “A” is translated to “4.0,” and “B” is translated to “3.0”:

Unweighted GPA = (Point for course 1 + Point for course 2 +…)/Number of classes
Unweighted GPA = (4.0 + 4.0 + 3.0 + 3.0 + 3.0)/5 = 3.4


Some colleges use more specific grading systems when they assess students on a 0-100 scale instead of using letters. In this case, a student who’s got 90 points on average would have point average of 3.5. Another student having 92 points would get the value of 3.7. This gives an opportunity to assess “quality” of students in a few steps.

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The Difference between Weighted and Unweighted GPA?  

The main difference in calculations of weighted and unweighted values is that each grade in calculation of weighted point average is tight to class levels. Hence, by adding 0.5 to scale for Honor classes of medium level and 1.0 for AP classes of high level, you can convert point average to regular subjects. Mind that the difference between weighted and unweighted values can be significant.

Final Words

You learned how to calculate cumulative GPA and now understand the difference between simple, weighted, unweighted values and final scores taking into account AP/IB/Honors classes. This means that you can assess your performance even if your schedule isn’t standard. If you’re not much into math, our calculator will help you to count your final score quickly without errors. You just need to enter the courses you had during semester, grades and credits to get the final result. Read instructions before using this calculator if you still have questions.

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