If you are interested in higher studies, GPA is a term you have likely encountered. If you are already enrolled in Bachelors’ or Masters, this is probably one of the most important numbers you should be focused on. As a student, you should understand the basics of this grading scale and its impact on your overall academic journey. The GPA scale is usually from 1.0 to 4.0, and it shows whether your grades are high or low. The standards assess whether you meet the expectations set in your program.
So how does GPA work?
The same way professors give you grades in their courses to assess your progress is the same way GPA is used to evaluate your overall success in a class. The number shows what you score in a term, semester or year. It can go fluctuate depending on whether your performance improves or recedes with time.
International students who follow a different system sometimes have difficulty switching to this grading system. Professional essay writing websites can facilitate a smooth transition by calculating your GPA and converting it to the scale used abroad.
GPA across different countries
GPA is typical but not limited to the United States. Other countries such as Australia and Canada also use GPA though the calculation differs slightly from the United States. In the United States, GPA varies from 0.0 to 4.0. Grades that are letters or percentages can be converted to GPA format. For instance, 94% is an A and an equivalent to a GPA of 4. In Canada, each province has its GPA scale. In Australia, it varies from 0.0 to 7.0. In Germany, Russia, Austria, Slovakia, and Paraguay, the GPA ranges from 1.0 to 5.0.
Universities often use an average score system to make the GPA score translatable to other universities. Universities can easily convert grades using the European Credit Transfer System. This system makes it easy for academic degrees to be recognized across different countries.
Whether as a percentage, letter grade, or numerical point, every grade you receive corresponds to a Quality point in the GPA system. A quality point is always a point on the 0 to 4 scale. The highest grade A corresponds to the highest number on the scale.
The overall GPA is attained by dividing the total GPA by the number of credits. Say you took three courses; Maths (2 credits), Science (2 credits), History (3 credits). If you had 2 GPA in Maths, 3 in Science, and 4 in History, your total GPA would be:
That would give a 3.14 GPA.
Unweighted and Weighted GPA
There are different kinds of GPAs. GPAs are typically calculated on an unweighted scale, which means that the course’s difficulty is not considered. Whether it was in an easy or challenging class, an A will always be a 4.
For a better analysis of one’s academic efforts, the weighted GPAs are used. In weighted GPAs, challenging courses are graded up to 5, while easy courses are graded up to 4.
Cumulative and Overall GPA
Both cumulative and overall GPA refers to student grades, but their cumulative GPAs cover shorter periods.
Overall GPA refers to the average grades a student gets throughout the entire academic course. The overall GPA includes all the cumulative GPAs. It covers all stages in all terms and semesters.
What is a good GPA?
This is a contextual question as a good GPA in high school is different from a good college GPA. GPA varies with the level of education.
A good GPA depends on the university you want to attend when it comes to high school GPA. The best academic institutions will require a GPA of 3.5 and above, whereas other colleges can accept students with a low GPA of around 2.5.
The universities also look at the type of GPA. Suppose a student in a school that uses weighted GPAs takes easy classes and has a 3.5 GPA, but another student takes advanced classes and has a 3.0 GPA. In that case, the university will likely consider the first student in admissions. This is why specialist Lauren Bradshaw from CustomWritings essay services says that “As a student, you should not just take easy classes to earn easy points, but you should strike a balance between demanding classes and easy classes.”
In university, a good GPA varies with requirements in scholarship eligibility or other financial programs. Falling below the minimum GPA says 2.0 can make you lose a scholarship. GPAs are also used as requirements when considering taking part in extracurricular activities.
Your GPA is also critical if you want to continue with your studies, say up to the Ph.D. level. A good GPA depends on your academic goals.
Why is the GPA that important?
In your university life, the only metric that shows how good you are in your studies is your GPA. You know when you excel or fail in courses, but a GPA gives a better view of your scores. When applying for scholarships or graduate and post-graduate programs, you will be asked to provide your GPA.
It is the measure that organizations use to determine whether you are a hardworking student or a slacker. Of course, the organizations and interested institutions want a hard worker for the best achievements in their space.
Maintaining a high GPA can be sometimes challenging, but you will manage to maintain a high GPA if you put in the work. If you start with a low GPA, it can be challenging to raise it later on. However, if you excel at the start and fail later in your course, your GPA will not be affected as much. Having your GPA in mind guides you on the direction your overall grades are taking and whether you need to improve or not.
Your GPA is not the final analysis of your worth as a student but out in work because you will enjoy the benefits. It is not just about where you are going but how you get there.