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Understanding GPA Calculation

By on March 25, 2010

Full form of GPA is Grade Point Average. GPA is a tool that calculates the academic performance of students from their middle school to college. GPA calculation is in use for measuring individual performance of students effectively for more than 200 years. Historical records tell us that calculator GPA was first introduced at Cambridge University by William Farrish.

Now, this performance assessment method is used in several countries outside UK. However, all the countries or all the academic institutes where this GPA scale is practiced do not follow the same pattern of GPA calculation while assessing performance of students.

GPA calculation practiced in USA

Academic institutions in USA generally practice 2 formats of GPA. One format of GPA is evaluated per semester. This can be an average of 2 quarter grades. Other format is known as cumulative GPA. It is an assessment of the entire grade-point average obtained at particular schooling level.

While evaluating cumulative grade-point average, high schools in USA generally take into consideration all the grades obtained at high school level. The current GPA system allots separate points to letter grades. For example letter F assigns 0 point, D assigns 1 point, C assigns 2 points, B assigns 3 points and A assigns 4 points.

There are certain universities that reduce or raise the points of a particular student at their own will if the student obtains letter grade with minus or plus. Based on this practice, these universities count an A+ grade as 4.33 points. But this trend is followed by a few institutions only.

Highest GPA score allotted to a student is 4.0. This score is attained after getting A-grade in all the courses. However, many high schools in the USA have brought in several changes into this pattern. There are certain high schools that practice different point-allotment system, as well.

This system is exclusively meant for students who undertake Advance Placement [AP] courses. According to this revised pattern, the letter grades of A, B and C have allotment of scores that are one point higher the usual score. Under this GPA calculator, students who get A-grade earn 5 points.

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