How to Convert Your GPA to a 4.0 Scale

Convert Your GPA to a 4.0 Scale

What is GPA and Where Do I Find My GPA?

 GPA stands for grade point average. In the U.S it’s a standard way of measuring academic achievements. Today it is the traditional way by which high schools measure and compare their students’ academic achievement. GPA is one of the most important criteria for admission to a good college. Higher GPA with an above-average GRE / SAT score will get you to the top 100 colleges. GPA tells about your academic record as it clearly shows your ability to perform well academics.

Usually, students can find their high school GPA viewing their unofficial transcript or asking their guidance counsellors. You also calculate your GPA on your own by using our free grade calculator.

Understanding Your GPA

As mentioned above, your grade point average (GPA) is an indicator of your academic success in high school. Though, not all high schools use the same GPA scale to find this meaning.

Actually there are 2 types of GPA:-

  1. Weighted
  2. Unweighted

Weighted GPA 

GPA accounts for honours and AP designations, granting you more credit for more challenging courses. Weighted GPA ranges from 0 to 5.0.

Unweighted GPA

It is an average of the grades that you have earned without accounting for the rigour of their associated courses. Generally, the unweighted GPA scale ranges from 0 to 4.0.

In the schools where the weighted scale is used much to give more points to honours and AP classes. Let us take an example, students who earn an A in AP Calculus would receive a 5.0 on a weighted scale and only a 4.0 on an unweighted scale. In addition, some schools grant mid-level course ranking points between the standard and the AP groups. It depends on the school whether A in an honours class is 4.0, 4.5, or 5.0.

What is a 4.0 GPA Scale?

As we all know that GPA is a very important aspect of college admissions. But now the thing is how you can know where your GPA falls? Many colleges use a 4.0 scale to assess your academic results, so to assess how you match up against other admissions applicants; you will need to convert the sum of your grades numerically. Let us check the basics first.

Your GPA

As discussed above, GPA is representative of your academic success in high school. Unweighted GPA is an average of the grades that you have earned without accounting for the rigour of their associated courses and weighted GPA accounts for honours and AP designations, granting you more credit for more challenging courses.

The 4.0 GPA Scale

Today, the 4.0 GPA scale is the most widely used GPA scale. A 4.0 GPA scale represents an A or A+, with each full grade being a full point lower: 3.0=B, 2.0=C, and 1.0=D.

Where you see + to the scale, it means that you have an additional one-third of a point while minuses reflect the subtraction of one-third of a point. For example, an A- is a 3.7, and a B+ is a 3.3. An A+, however, is the same value as an A: 4.0.

Also Read: Study Strategies for Final Exams

How to Convert Your GPA to a 4.0 Scale

It is not easy to convert your college GPA to a 4.0 scale. You cannot simply say that 95 on a 100 point scale is 4.0. You have to take into account the credits each course is worth and rigour of the courses. Though you can follow these simple steps to convert your GPA using the standard GPA scale of the college:

  1. Compare your individual grades to a 4.0 scale.

You can use the following chart to confirm your grade on a 4.0 scale:

  1. Weight your grades.

Add a full point to any IB or AP course, and a half-point to any honours course. For example, an A in an AP course, normally a 4.0, would be a 5.0. An A in an honours course, normally a 4.0, would be a 4.5.

Below is the chart of a hypothetical student, their transcript, and what GPA values they have received for each grade.

  1. Calculate your full GPA on a 4.0 scale.

The first thing you have to do is to multiply each weighted or unweighted grade by the number of credits associated with the course. Now add these values.

Here, financial literacy class worth only .5 credits while all other courses are worth 1 credit. This means that we can add all the other values and halve the Financial Literacy GPA value.

Unweighted GPA values:

4(4)+4(4)+3(3.3)+4(3.7)+3(3)+3(4)+2(4) = 88.4

Weighted GPA values:

4(5)+4(4.5)+3(3.3)+4(4.7)+3(3)+3(4.5)+2(4) = 97.2

Now you have to divide the total by the number of total credits you have earned.

Unweighted GPA:

88.4 / 23 = 3.84

Weighted GPA:

97.2 / 23 = 4.23

How to Use your 4.0-scale GPA

When reporting to any application you must put your weighted 4.0 scale GPA. Also, there are many colleges that recalculate GPA according to their own measures. If your high school is ranked well then it will also provide an additional gauge for colleges to understand your academic performance.

Your GPA tells about your performance against other admissions candidates because GPA score is universally used.

How NOT to Use your 4.0-scale GPA

You should never compare yourself to the candidates of other high schools and the reason behind this is that you are dealing with various conditions and circumstances. GPA meaning varies from school to school as 4 from one school could mean something different at another.

Also, you should never use your GPA to inform a definitive conclusion that you will get selected to your chosen college or not. There are few colleges that perform a holistic analysis of your application, meaning that your GPA is just one aspect of your profile.

What Is a Good GPA? An average GPA?

There no such word like Good or Bad while accounting for GPA. The reason is that colleges know that students come from different backgrounds and high schools where they have their own factors while considering GPA.

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What is a 4.0 GPA Scale and how to convert


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