GPA – What is GPA (Grade Point Average) & Why is it Important?

what is gpa

Grade Point Average or GPA indicates a student’s performance in their educational courses. It is a number that lies between 1 and 4 on the regular GPA scale. In some international universities, GPA can also be calculated on a scale of 5. It is used to assess whether your grades are high or low. The number obtained on a GPA scale is then used as an eligibility criterion by the college or university to shortlist the candidates for any degree course.

Why is GPA important? 

Now that you know what GPA is,  it is time to move toward discussing its importance. GPA is essential to apply to degree courses at universities and colleges abroad and simplifies measuring student performance.  It helps determine performance levels in academics, which directly influences admission decisions. Universities also use the GPA for providing financial support, scholarships, and other academic help to students with a high GPA. It also helps them participate in various activities, clubs, organizations, etc.

How does GPA work? 

GPA is a figure that shows your performance through a particular term, semester, or year. The scores may move up and down throughout your academic journey and will change based on your improvement in your overall grades.

How to Calculate GPA

The formula for calculating GPA = Weighted Grade Points/Total Credit Hours 

Let us look at an example to learn how to calculate GPA. 

Courses Credit Hrs Grade Point for Grades Weighted Grade Points
A 3 A 3 3 x 3= 9
B 5 B 4 5 x 4 = 20
C 4 B 4 4×4= 16
D 3 A 3 3 x 3 =9
  Total = 15     Total = 54

GPA= 54/15

GPA= 3.6

What is a Good GPA? 

This depends on the education level, i.e., it is easier to get a better GPA while in school than in university/college. Top universities/colleges require 3.5 GPAs or more. There are those which accept 2.5 or 3 as well. 

Weighted GPAs are analyzed by admissions committees as well. Falling below the minimum GPA criteria will lead to admissions being rejected or losing scholarships/financial aid. A GPA between 3 and 3.5 is considered good at most institutions while applying to study abroad.

Converting CGPA to GPA

With Indian universities measuring performance in Cumulative Grade Point Average or CGPA (on a scale of 10 or 7), GPA (on a scale of 4) is needed when applying to a foreign university. These universities usually have an internal process to carry out the conversion. For the purpose of admission, these universities accept credential evaluation reports from external agencies only. These agencies need to be a part of NACES (National Association of Credential Services). 

For a rough idea of how CGPA to GPA is to be converted, check the formula: If you have a CGPA of 7 and your course topper has a CGPA of 8, your GPA will be: (7/8) × 4 = 3.5

  Note: This is only for having an approximate idea. Credential evaluation can only be carried out by external agencies that are a part of NACES.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What does GPA mean?

A.Grade Point Average (GPA) measures a student’s performance in a semester. It is calculated on a scale of 4. Most international universities use it for granting admissions.

Q. What is the difference between GPA and CGPA?

A. GPA measures the performance in one semester or unit, and CGPA measures it for the entire duration of the course. While GPA is a 4-point scale, CGPA is either a 10-point or 7-point scale.

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