How to Convert Your Grade or GPA to a 4.0 Scale?

convert grade gpa
convert grade gpa

 

When you apply to colleges in the U.S., one of the most important determining factors for college admission is often your GPA (Grade Point Average). Due to its importance, majority of the U.S. college applications require applicants to fill out their GPA, majority in a 4.0 Scale. But what if your school has a different point scale or has a different grading system? Below is the guideline of how to convert your grade or GPA into a 4.0 scale.

 

Weighted vs. Unweighted GPA

Before we talk about how to convert your GPA to a 4.0 scale, let us answer one of the most commonly asked questions from students – “What is the difference between weighted and unweighted GPA?”

Unweighted GPA is calculated on a 0.0 to 4.0 scale, which means, the maximum you can get is 4.0. Therefore, when you get an A on a course, it translates to a 4.0 GPA regardless of how difficult your course is.

Weighted GPA is typically calculated on a 0.0 to 5.0 scale (some schools have different scales such as 6.0 and 10.0). The grade point you get from the course depends on two things:

1) the grade you received

2) the difficulty of the course

In general, if you get an A from a difficult course, you will get a higher GPA. For example, if your school uses a 5.0 scale, you will get 5.0 if you receive an A from an AP or Honor course, and 4.0 if you receive a B from the same course. Since different high schools might have different calculations, it is important to check with your teachers or high school counselors on how GPA is calculated at your school.

 

A sample GPA conversion table:

Letter Grade Regular Course GPA AP or Honor Course GPA (5.0 Scale) AP or Honor Course GPA (6.0 Scale)
A 4.0 5.0 6.0
A- 3.7 4.7 5.7
B+ 3.3 4.3 5.3
B 3.0 4.0 5.0
B- 2.7 3.7 4.7
C+ 2.3 3.3 4.3
C 2.0 3.0 4.0
C- 1.7 2.7 3.7

 

As you can see, each letter grade can be converted to a grade point and the grade point can vary depending on the course difficulty.

 

Converting a 100-point scale to a 4.0 scale

In some schools, students’ academic performance is reported on a 100-point scale. Below is a general conversion table that converts letter grade and 100-point scale into 4.0 scale.

 

GPA Conversion Table (Convert 100-point scale to 4.0 scale)

Letter Grade 100-Point Scale 4.0 Scale
A 93 – 100 4.0
A- 90 – 92 3.7
B+ 87 – 89 3.3
B 83 – 86 3.0
B- 80 – 82 2.7
C+ 77 – 79 2.3
C 73 – 76 2.0
C- 70 – 72 1.7
D+ 67 – 69 1.3
D 63 – 66 1.0
D- or below 62 or below 0.0

 

 

Converting a grading description to a 4.0 scale

If your school uses grading description instead of an actual grade to report on your academic performance, here is the general conversion table.

 

GPA Conversion Table (Convert Grade Description to 4.0 scale)

Letter Grade Description GPA
A Exceptional / Outstanding 4.0
A- Excellent 3.7
B+ Very Good 3.3
B Good 3.0
B- Fairly Good 2.7
C+ Satisfactory 2.3
C Acceptable 2.0
C- Passed 1.7
D+ Poor 1.3
D Very Poor 1.0
D- or below Fail 0.0

 

How to calculate your GPA?

If your school gives you a final grade, score, or GPA that represents your overall academic performance, then it’s great because you can simply use one of the conversion tables above to get your final GPA in a 4.0 scale. However, what if your school doesn’t give you the final grade and all you have is the GPA for each of the courses?

The good thing is that calculating an overall GPA is relatively easy. There are many GPA calculators on the web where you can just enter the grades of your courses and it will calculate your overall GPA with a touch of a button. But in case you want to calculate it yourself, we have the GPA formula including an example here for you.

 

GPA Calculation Example:

Assuming you have taken five courses with the grades, grade points, and number of units as below:

Course Grade Grade Points Credits or Units Total Grade Points
English A 4.0 5 20
Algebra B 3.0 5 15
History B 3.0 5 15
Chemistry A 4.0 4 16
Spanish B 3.0 4 12
Total 23 78

 

Total Number of Credits / Units = 23

Total Grade Points = 78

GPA = Total Grade Points / Total Credits or Units Earned

= 78 / 23

= 3.39

 

Summary:

College admission officers often use your high school GPA as an indicator to predict your academic success in college. In order to effectively compare your academic performance with other students, it is important for them to make the comparison at the same scale.

However, please keep in mind that instead of just looking at your GPA, colleges also put a strong focus on your course selection. College admission officers would rather accept a student who has a 3.5 GPA with many AP and Honor courses on the transcript than a student who has a 4.0 GPA with only regular courses. They look for students who challenge themselves academically with rigorous coursework available at their high schools. Check out this post to see if you are taking the right courses.

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