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Updated: July 11th, 2023

Whether you’re applying for college or already attending as an undergraduate or graduate student, you’ve likely had to calculate your GPA. You can use a GPA converter to do so, but it’s useful to know the formulas to make any necessary conversions yourself. Continue reading to learn more about how to convert your GPA to a 4.0 scale!

You can also jump ahead straight to our widget which converts GPAs from one scale to another.

What is a GPA?

GPA stands for “grade point average.” A student’s GPA is a numeric representation of their academic achievement based on a grading system. GPAs are calculated by converting letter grades to number values and averaging them. GPAs are used by high schools and colleges, and are typically calculated on a scale of 0.0 – 4.0. A GPA is also influenced by the number of credits the classes were worth. Students will want to calculate their GPA to track their graded academic success. GPAs are also used for undergraduate and graduate college admissions.

Unweighted vs. weighted GPA

If you’re a student, you’ve probably heard the terms “unweighted GPA” and “weighted GPA.” What’s the difference?

An unweighted GPA, most commonly used by colleges and universities, is calculated on a scale of 0.0 – 4.0. The calculation for an unweighted GPA does not take the academic rigor of a course into account. All grades are converted to a value of 0.0 – 4.0, with an “F” in a class equaling 0.0 and an “A” equaling 4.0.

A weighted GPA is calculated on a scale of 0.0 – 5.0. Weighted GPA calculations do take the academic rigor of a class into account. The calculation is applicable to advanced high school classes such as AP, IB, and honors programs. On a weighted GPA scale, an “A” in an AP or IB class converts to 5.0 instead of 4.0. So, taking more rigorous classes can increase your weighted grade point average.

Since colleges and universities use the unweighted scale for admissions and their own grading, we’ll show you how to calculate your unweighted GPA.

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Why calculate my GPA on a 4.0 scale?

While most colleges have an internal system for calculating GPAs, there are times when knowing how to calculate your own GPA might come in handy. For example, you might need to know your calculated GPA for college or scholarship applications.

Also see:Do colleges look at freshman year of high school?

Calculate your GPA on a 4.0 scale

The unweighted, 4.0 GPA conversion is simple. Each letter grade is assigned a number value. “A” equals 4.0, “B” equals 3.0, “C” equals 2.0, and “D” equals 1.0. A grade of “F” equals 0.0.

Some schools use pluses and minuses in their grading scale. For a plus, add 0.3 points. For example, a “B+” would equal 3.3. In contrast, a minus subtracts 0.3 points. A grade of “B-” would equal 2.7.

To calculate your own GPA on the 4.0 scale, convert each of your class grades into their corresponding values. Add the values up, then divide the total by the number of classes you took.

GPA Calculator

This GPA Calculator will help you easily convert your GPA to a different scale:

Your GPA (short for grade point average) should be located on your latest report card or school transcript.

Enter the GPA scale your high school uses.

Choose which GPA scale you’d like to convert your current GPA into.

See what your GPA is on a different grading scale

Credit hours

The number of credit hours a class is worth can also play a factor in your GPA. To calculate your GPA factoring in credit hours, multiply each value by the amount of hours. Add the values of your classes together, then divide by the amount of credit hours.

For example, imagine the table below is a student’s grades.

Biology lab1B3.0

Without considering credit hours, the formula for this student would be:
(3.7 + 3.0 + 2.3 + 3.0 + 3.3) / 5 = 3.06

With credit hours added, the GPA would be calculated:

3(3.7) + 1(3.0) + 3(2.3) + 3(3.0) + 2(3.3) / 12 = 3.05

As you can see, factoring in a class’ credit hours can alter the GPA slightly.

Semesters vs. quarters

Another handy calculation for GPAs is conversions between classes on a quarter schedule and classes on a semester schedule. It’s important to know this conversion because, when calculating your GPA, the classes should be on the same schedule. This can be useful for students who attended multiple institutions.

To convert semester hours to quarter hours, multiply each semester credit hour by 1.5. To convert quarter hours to semester hours, multiply each quarter hour by 0.67.

Related:Semesters vs quarters: Pros and cons

4.0 GPA grade conversions

Use the table below to quickly convert letter grades to the 4.0 scale.


Convert your GPA to a 4.0 scale

Next time you need to calculate your grade point average, keep these formulas and shortcuts in mind!

If you still need help calculating your GPA, visit your school’s counselor, teacher, or college registrar office for assistance. After all, that is what they are there for!

Frequently asked questions about converting your GPA to a 4.0 scale

How do you convert GPA to 4.0 scale?

You can use our handy calculator above , or use a simple formula of 4.0 GPA Scale = (GPA ÷ Highest Possible GPA) × 4. If your original GPA scale is different (maybe a 5.0), make sure you change the formula.

What GPA scale is most common in the USA?

The 4.0 scale, ranging from 0.0 to 4.0, is most popular in the United States.

What is considered a “good” GPA?

GPAs ultimately depend on a variety of factors, including the rigor of the school and classes taken (such as regular vs. honors vs. Advanced Placement classes). In the USA, usually a GPA of 3.0 to 3.5 is “good.” A GPA of 4.0 is thought of as excellent at face value. Remember, though, the rigor of classes is what most top-tier colleges look at. Most schools recalculate GPAs to determine whether students challenged themselves.

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