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## How to Calculate Grade Point Averages

A grade point average is a way of summarizing a student’s performance as a single number. In a broad sense, it is an average of the grades a student has achieved in all their studies. Grade point averages are used as a way for educational institutions to compare the results of students at different schools.

**Grade averages**

There are different ways to calculate a grade point average with middle schools and high schools using different methods. Generally, secondary schools such as high schools use a straight average of the grades a student has achieved, while tertiary institutions such as universities also take into account the credit points associated with each course in the time to calculate the average.

This article shows how to calculate grade point averages (GPA) in a high school setting such as high school. Internationally, there are variations in how different provinces or districts measure and record student performance, but the 4.0 point scale for calculating a GPA is becoming a widely used standard. For high school students, the easiest way to calculate a GPA is as follows.

**Mathematics**

First, each note is assigned a numerical value. For example, using the common set of letter grades A, B, C, D, and F, the value of each grade is:

A = 4.0

B = 3.0

C = 2.0

D = 1.0

F = 0.0

Your school may use different grades and values, but the method used to figure out GPA will be the same in each case. Calculating GPA requires adding the value of the grades and then dividing by the number of grades. This results in an average ranging from 0 to 4.0. With 4.0 has been the highest GPA and 0 the lowest.

**Unweighted GPA**

Here is a concrete example. Student Michel has achieved these grades A, B, A, A, C, B, A and A during the semester. Converting these grades to numerical values becomes 4.0, 3.0, 4.0, 4.0, 2.0, 3.0, 4.0, and 4.0. Adding them (4.0 + 3.0 + 4.0 + 4.0 + 2.0 + 3.0 + 4.0 + 4.0) equals 28. Now to get the mean, the total it is divided by the number of grades, which is 8, and the average becomes (28 / 8). ) which is equal to 3.5. So Michel’s GPA is 3.5.

The steps in this calculation are simple and easy to do, but if you need to calculate GPA for a large set of students, a computer application is recommended to save time and reduce errors. With a spreadsheet you can set up the calculations, or to save even more time, a specialized application such as The Gradebook Program can convert letter grades into a final GPA in a single action.

One complication to consider is how the grade point average is calculated if there are courses running at an accelerated level or higher. For example, schools may have Advanced Level, International Baccalaureate or Honors courses. When calculating GPA, adjustments may be made so that students in more advanced courses receive a higher GPA.

**weighted GPA**

When this is done, it is called a weighted GPA. Continuing with Michel’s example with the same list of grades, if the first three grades are from Advanced Placement (AP) courses, when these three grades are converted to a numeric value they are incremented by a predetermined amount to increase the average of the students.

In doing so, a weighted GPA takes into account that an “A” in an AP course should reflect a higher level of achievement than an “A” in a regular course. And so students are rewarded for doing the hardest study. Because this is called a weighted GPA, a GPA that does not take into account the level of courses is called an unweighted GPA.

The amount each grade increases will vary by school, but for this example, AP courses add an additional 0.20 to each grade. This makes the values 4.2, 3.2, 4.2, 4.0, 2.0, 3.0, 4.0, and 4.0 because 0.2 has been added to the first three values. So the new weighted GPA is (4.2 + 3.2 + 4.2 + 4.0 + 2.0 + 3.0 + 4.0 + 4.0) / 8 which equals 3.58 when s ’round to 2 decimal places. With The Gradebook Program there is the option to weight grades with a weight you specify, or you can let the program do an unweighted GPA.

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