What is GPA?
Updated on Jan 6, 2015 - 5:35 p.m. IST by Bedasree Das #United States of America
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What is GPA: For students who want to pursue their undergraduate or graduate studies in the USA, GPA is a vital element in the admission requirement of top colleges.  In fact, a majority of top universities treat an aspirant’s GPA or the Grade Point Average as a vital measure to judge his academic capabilities. However, many boards outside the USA do not follow the same grading system hence creating a problem for students whose academic activities are measured in terms of percentage or divisions. In this case, many US universities require the international students to convert their scores to GPA in order to create a common platform for students to compete.

In this article, we explain to you what is GPA and how it is converted:

 

What is GPA?

The Grade Point Average or GPA is the grading system to measure the academic achievement of a student in the US. Technically speaking, GPA is the average grades a student receives through a fixed period, like from middle school to high school. In the USA, every semester students receive a GPA based on the grades they had earned in all of their classes throughout the semester.

 

How is GPA calculated?

Each course in a semester carries credit points given in the form of letter grades- A, B, C, D and F. So, at the end of the semester, students receive a GPA based on the credits earned during the period which is measured on a 4 or 5 point scale including fractions. So, the relative credit point for A is 4 that for F is fail.

Here’s how the average GPA is calculated in USA:

Grade

Credits

A

>4

B

>3

C

>2

D

>1

F

Fail

How to convert your GPA?

Boards across the world have their own ways of measuring the academic capabilities of students.  While many opt for credits in the form of grades, others follow the percentage system while measuring students. Most boards in India opt for the percentage system while institutes like IITs and NITs go for credit points. While each institute has its own grading system, most of them award a cumulative performance index or CGPA on a scale of one to 10.

The following table shows the relative grades against the percentage of students:

Letter Grade

Percentage

Credit point

A+

97-100

4.0

A

93-96

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

65-66

1.0

E/F

Below 65

0.0

Average GPA required in the Top 5 universities in the USA:

Number

University

Average GPA(UG)

Average GPA(PG)

1

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

-

3.5

2

Harvard University

3.6

3.8

3

Stanford University

4

-

4

California Institute of Technology (Caltech)

-

3.5

5

University of Chicago

3.88

-

Also read:

How to apply for MS in USA?

How to apply for MBA in USA?

 

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