The GPA (Grade Point Average) calculator helps you compute your score the same way schools do. It calculates weighted and unweighted GPA, and supports entering up to thirty courses and their respective extra credits.
How important are GPAs? Not only do they make a record of your academic performance in high school, but they continue to be used to the same effect in early college. Potential employers can review this number as well. In studies published in 2014, a mere one-point raise in GPA score amounted to a future wage increase of more than ten percent for US students.
Stay tuned, and we'll teach you all about how to use this handy utility. We'll also provide a little bit of background on GPAs and what they mean for your educational future.
The High School GPA Scale:
Used throughout standardized high schools in the United States, this table shows the typical score breakpoints by letter grade.
• A+/A - 4• A- - 3.7• B+ - 3.3• B - 3• B- - 2.7• C+ - 2.3• C - 2• C- - 1.7• D+ - 1.3• D - 1• D-/F - 0
The exact values may vary between schools, but most use this structure. The calculation is simply made the way any average works: By adding the units together and dividing by the number of units. However, this isn't the whole story. We also have weighted vs. unweighted scores.
In unweighted scoring, all classes are graded equally regardless of difficulty. In weighted scoring, the difficulty of the class will be taken into account and the scale adjusted on more of a curve. If you have unweighted GPA scoring, you might be tempted to cruise through semesters with the easiest classes you can find. Our calculator shows the results for both.
For instance, say you enter the following grades:
• C1 - Honors class - B-• C2 - regular - C+• C3 - regular - D+
The unweighted GPA is 2.5, but the high A- in an honors course brings the weighted score up to 2.63. So you can also see where in a weighted GPA policy, it's beneficial to strive for higher marks in more advanced classes. Take enough honors classes and you can all but blow off a low-weighted class and not worry about the score too much. Of course, you should strive for the best possible score all the time, but we're all only human.
Higher-level classes in high school typically include:
• AP - Advanced Placement courses• IB - International Baccalaureate• College Prep• Honors
The first three typically are worth one whole extra point in a weighted system, while Honors classes may be 0.5 points or 1 point. This means a B+ counts for a paltry 3.3 when it's not weighted, but for weighted evaluation and an AP course, a B+ counts for a meatier score of 4.3.
Some courses offer additional extra credit points, and the calculator offers a way to enter those behind the 'advanced mode' button down at the bottom.
The advanced mode also allows for Cumulative GPA scores. This is the carry-over from previous periods that can be banked and added to your current score. This again is an option provided by some schools, check with your office.
How Good Does A GPA Have To Be?
The answer is subjective, but clearly the answer is always going to be "as good as you can make it." This isn't really a time to slack off; in high school, you're not expected to support yourself and you're free to devote your time to nothing but study and homework. A little bit of effort here can lead to a cushy job later where you have all the time in the world to slack off and are getting paid a high enough salary to enjoy it.
The National Center for Education Statistics published a survey in 2009 which shows the national average GPAs for high school students:
• 3.0 overall
• 2.8 in core classes
• 3.1 in non-core academics
• 3.4 in non-core non-academics
You might have also heard of the concept of "grade inflation." Some schools are more slack on grading rigor than others, awarding higher grades for progressively lower-quality work as the years wear on. Notwithstanding this and other grading controversies, breaking into the Ivy League or other top-tier universities generally requires a GPA ranging from 3.9 to 4.1. Those numbers may seem steep, but we are talking about the academic "cream of the crop" here. Also, GPA is important to university application and acceptance, but it's not the only factor they take into consideration.