What is Grade Point Average (GPA) & How is it Calculated?


Cyril Zachariah
Updated on May 31, 2023 05:26 PM IST

What is GPA? Grade Point Average (GPA) is the average of all the grades obtained by a student in their academic studies. It is an international grading standard used for admissions in universities abroad and is measured in numerals and alphabets on a different scale in various countries.

What is Grade Point Average (GPA) & How is it Calculated?

GPA meaning in university: The educational grading system is a regulated method for identifying a student's various academic proficiency levels. Each country's educational and grading systems are unique and are used as a benchmark for admissions within that nation. 

However, it was apparent that a unified grading system was necessary for studying abroad. To solve the issue, the Grade Point Average (GPA), a globally known formula for calculating grades, was devised.

In most cases, the colleges and universities abroad you decide to attend would require you to complete specific academic standards if you were planning to study abroad in any of the well-known study abroad countries, like the UK, the US, Germany, Australia, Canada, and more. These academic prerequisites would be described in terms of GPA, or grade point average, which is often calculated on a scale of 0 to 4.0 across various universities. 

However, because India focuses its academic standards on percentages or grades, these higher education institutions abroad would want you to convert your percentage or grade into GPA equivalent, which is typically done by known and authorised agencies. This article discusses what is GPA meaning in university, weighted vs unweighted GPA, what is GPA and why is it important, etc. along with its overall result (GPA) example.

What is GPA?

GPA or Grade Point Average is a standardised average measure of all the grades obtained by a student in their academic studies. In India, scores are given in the form of marks and in several countries abroad as in the US, the schools and colleges use different grading scales. GPA is a yardstick that was created to bring in some form of uniformity and conform scores obtained in educational institutes. A grading scale is between A and F with each grade or alphabet associated with grade points.

GPA, as the name suggests, calculates the overall or average performance of students and categorises them under the grades, i.e., A, B, C, D, E and F. With this standard, universities can quantify academic performance to complete a course offered by the university. 

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What is a CGPA?

CGPA or Cumulative Grade Point Average is used to assess the overall academic performance of a student. The CGPA is calculated by taking the mean of the GPA that a student receives each semester and dividing it by the total number of credits. As per the CGPA system, grades are assigned to a range of marks for example Grade Point 9 for 90-95 marks.

Some universities ask students to submit the scores in a four-point GPA scale format however the majority of the universities make students submit their grades on a 10-point CGPA scale. Candidates are advised to learn to calculate and know how to convert CGPA into percentages for reference only. Calculating marks on a CGPA basis helps students to focus on learning rather than merely thinking about percentages.

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Difference Between Grades, GPA and CGPA

Students who are interested in studying abroad must know what is GPA and the difference between the grading system and GPA, as GPA is required to complete the application process at an international institution.

A Grade is a numerical value in the form of marks or percentages obtained by a student for a particularly completing an academic course at an Indian university, students receive marks out of 100 for each subject and the overall marks in all subjects are converted into percentage to get the final score of a term. This is termed as the GPA meaning in university.

Grade Point Average (GPA) is the average of grades obtained by students in a given period represented in the form of numerals or letters. For example, it can range on a scale of 0 to 4.0 or from A to F. GPA is calculated for high school, undergraduate, and graduate students for admissions to foreign educational institutions to compare the past academic performances of applicants.

Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) is similar to GPA. It is another grading system that is also used in India. However, it is only defined in numerical form on a scale of 0 to 10.

The following formula is used to calculate the CGPA on a scale of 0 to 10 provided as an overall result (GPA) example for reference.

CGPA = (Percentage /90) * 10

For example, if the percentage is 70% then,

CGPA = (70/ 90) * 10 = 7.7 out of 10

Education Grading System in India

The Education Grading System in India is constantly adapting and changing to the current needs of society. In India, marks are allotted in the form of a percentage or CGPA (0- 10). Based on the percentage obtained, the following qualifications are defined:


Academic Division

75% and above


60% to 74.9%

1st Division

50% to 69.9%

2nd Division

40% to 49.9%

3rd Division

CBSE follows a grading system for class X & XII students in which marks are represented in Grade Points on a scale of 0 to 10 and grades in the alphabet which is as follows:

Marks Range


Grade Point


10.0 - 9.1


81 - 90

9.0 - 8.1


71 - 80

8.0 - 7.1


61 - 70

7.0 - 6.1


51 - 60

6.0 - 5.1


41 - 50

5.0 - 4.1


31 - 40

4.0 - 3.1


21 - 30

3.0 - 0.0

E1 & E2

Education Grading System in Foreign Countries

GPA is the grading method used in countries like the United States, Canada and Australia, which are some of the top study abroad destinations for higher education. However, these countries use different grading scales to determine the GPA meaning. For example, the GPA scale used in US universities ranges from 0.0 to 4.0, while, in Australia, the GPA Grade scale ranges from 0.0 to 7.0.

Grading System Countries
A-F (0-4) US, Canada, Thailand, Saudi Arabia
1-5 Germany, Austria, Russia, Slovakia, Paraguay
1-10 The Netherlands, Colombia, Latvia, Israel
Percentage Kuwait, Belgium, Hungary, Poland

Why is GPA Important?

As you are now well aware of what is GPA, let us understand why it is important. GPA is important because there are various grading systems acceptable in different countries and universities. To avoid confusion and ease the international student admission process, universities abroad require students to convert their marks or percentages into a common and standardised format, known as the GPA.

For example, if you are planning to get admitted to one of the universities in the United States, the percentage/ marks you secured in your home country, will be converted to a scale of 0 to 4.0.

GPA is needed to complete the application process at universities abroad but also simplify the entire admission process for both the universities and the aspiring overseas students. It is used to determine the level of performance of students in academics based on which the admission decision is taken.

In addition, a good GPA is one of the first things used by universities to offer scholarships, financial aid, or other types of support. It will also help you join an organisation or club, participate in extracurricular activities and take up higher education.

Still Confused About GPA Meaning in University Abroad? 

How to Calculate Grade Point Average (GPA)?

The process of calculating the Grade Point Average is defined by the countries themselves. Here are some common standards which are used to define GPA meaning in university and its respective nation:

  • GPA on a scale of 0 to 10 is calculated using the following formula - Percentage/ 9.5 which results in a score on a scale of 0 to 10. If the percentage obtained is 65%, then its overall result (GPA) example corresponding GPA will be 6.84 out of 10.

  • However, there is no straightforward formula to calculate the GPA on a scale of 0 to 4.0. To know the exact GPA on a scale of 0 to 4.0, aspirants can use the paid services of WES (World Education Services).

  • Either way, students can calculate their GPA if they have an idea of the following:

    • Credits taken - These are the total number of credits for the courses you have taken at the university.

    • Final grades - These are grades you earned at the end of your program.

    • Point values for your grades - Each grade is assigned a point value between 0.00 and 4.00.

For Indian students, this is how you can calculate your overall result (GPA) example table provided below:

Numerical Grade Letter Grade Equivalent GPA
97-100 A+ 4.0
94-96 A 4.0
90-93 A- 3.7
87-89 B+ 3.3
84-86 B 3.0
80-83 B- 2.7
77-79 C+ 2.3
74-76 C 2.0
70-73 C- 1.7
67-69 D+ 1.3
64-66 D 1.0
60-63 D- 0.7
0-59 F 0.0

Most universities and colleges will have a dedicated international students office or an admission office, wherein the university will be able to guide the students in converting their scores that are accepted by the university itself.

Weighted vs Unweighted GPA

A weighted GPA gives greater weight to grades in accelerated courses such as AP French or Honors Biology. Here, a B might which is normally equal to a 3.0, and a B in an accelerated course would be more like a 3.3 on a weighted scale.

On the other hand, an unweighted GPA is the average of all grades earned on the 4.0 scale where the difficulty of courses taken is not considered. Whether you get an A in a challenging course or an easy one, the GPA will stand at 4.0.

What is a Good GPA?

There is no GPA meaning considered a good GPA as it varies depending on the university, level of education or course. You can check out the GPA ranges of former students at the university you are applying to have an idea of what a "good" GPA specific to the university is.

That said, a GPA that will help you earn scholarships, financial aid or other support ranges between 2.5 and 4.0 on a 4.0 scale. Top universities abroad usually demand GPAs higher than 3.5 but if you have a GPA of 3.0 to 3.5, you can certainly get into a leading university abroad.

Still confused about what is GPA or how to convert it to academic standards equivalent to universities abroad? If yes, then drop us a line at abroad@collegedekho.com and clarify all your doubts immediately!

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What is GPA full form?

GPA full form is Grade Point Average. It is a quantification or number showing how well a student has scored overall in their course. GPA helps in measuring the performance of a student on average for all the subjects studied during the entire duration of the programme. Further, it determines a student’s eligibility for scholarships, financial aid programmes, and so on. 

What is a GPA calculator?

A GPA calculator is a tool used to calculate or convert marks, percentages, and grades into GPA. In the case where marks or grades are available, they are averaged into a percentage or grade which can be converted into GPA. Then with the help of the conversion table, which shows which percentage or grade range translates to which GPA, is used to turn them into GPA.

How many GPA scales are there?

GPA scales refer to the scoring scales used to represent the grade. Each scale has different labels for the range of scores used to grade the student’s performance. There are quite a few GPA scales present, such as four-point GPA scale (which uses numbers), a five-point GPA scale (uses alphabets), and 12 point GPA scale (uses alphabets on a broader scale).

Which GPA scale is used for study abroad?

Four point GPA scale is used commonly for study abroad. Many foreign universities in countries like US and Canada, find it convenient to use four-point GPA scale to recommend minimum eligibility criteria. Australia uses a seven-point GPA scale, and New Zealand uses a nine-point GPA scale. Students can go through the eligibility criteria of the university to know which GPA scale should they submit their academic scores.

What are the GPA requirements of US universities?

The GPA requirements of US universities differ based on the university. However, on average, US universities prefer a candidate with a GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. Some elite universities like Ivy League schools may even ask for a GPA higher than 3.5. That said, there are universities that accept a GPA lower than this depending on the university’s requirements. 

What are the GPA requirements at UK universities?

GPA requirements at UK universities often follow in the range of 3.2-3.67. The UK’s education system is globally reputed for being one of the top-class and highly competitive. UK universities have their courses designed to let the student grow more comfortable over time, however, there is a requirement of high basic aptitude to grasp the course material right from the beginning.

What are the GPA requirements of Australian universities?

GPA requirements at Australian universities require international students to have a GPA of six or seven on a seven-point scale. GPA is commonly not preferred in Australia. Usage of alphabetical grading is more popular. Australian universities prefer students to have a good foundation in their previous courses to ensure that they can grasp the course material delivered to them during the course.

What is the minimum GPA for Canada universities?

The minimum GPA for Canada universities, on average, is 3.0. However, many Canadian universities accept a GPA below 3.0. Most successful admissions to Canadian universities include a GPA of at least 2.8 on a four-point scale. The eligibility requirements of Canadian universities are comparatively lenient when compared to the UK or the US.

What is considered a good GPA?

A good GPA is any GPA that easily clears the minimum eligibility requirements of the university, and ensures smooth acceptance of the applicant. However, a GPA above 3.5 is considered good which can ensure successful admission in over 85% of universities worldwide. Students must have at least 0.4 points above the minimum GPA requirement stated by the university.

How do I calculate my GPA easily?

You can calculate your GPA easily by dividing the percentage by 100 and multiplying the value by 4. You can calculate your GPA by using the formula: GPA= (Percentage/100)*4. For example, if you had an exam grade of 95%, your GPA would be 95%*4 = 3.8. On the other hand, to convert GPA to a percentage, you can use the formula: percentage = (GPA*100)/4. Again, if your GPA is 3.8, for instance, your percentage is (3.8*100)/4, or 95%.

What is my GPA on a 4.0 scale?

A 4.0 GPA is equivalent to an A or A+, followed by a 3.0 GPA for a B, a 2.0 GPA for a C, and a 1.0 GPA for a D. When your grade is followed by a plus or minus, the plus represents an addition of one-third of a point and the minus represents a reduction of one-third of a point.

Is a GPA of 4.3 good?

Yes, a GPA of 4.3 is considered a good score. This GPA is above a 4.0, which indicates that it is weighted and takes into account both your grades and the difficulty of your classes. It most likely represents that you are taking advanced courses and obtaining As and Bs.

What is the main difference between CGPA and SGPA?

The main difference between CGPA and SGPA is that the cumulative grade point average, or CGPA, is the standard grade used to assess your overall performance over the course of an academic year. The sum of all the CGPAs obtained at the end of a programme of study is the semester grade point average or SGPA.

What is the SGPI grade?

The Semester Grade Performance Index or SGPI grade is a number that represents a student's performance over the course of a semester. The SGPI is the weighted average of the learner's grade points from all courses taken throughout the semester.

What do most colleges look at, weighted or unweighted GPAs?

Most colleges do look at unweighted GPAs. A high weighted GPA implies that a student can sustain that level of achievement even when faced with a challenging curriculum. A high unweighted GPA indicates that a student is academically proficient. Both of those factors are important to institutions when evaluating applicants for admission.

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