How To Convert Your GPA To A 4.0 Scale?

Wondering How to Convert Your GPA to a 4.0 Scale? then this article is just about right for you. This article aims at detailing the conversion of your GPA with a basic idea of what is GPA and 4.0 scale.

Updated by TCM Staff on 29th October 2020

As you explore the brochures and the catalogs of each university, you take a deep breath each time your eyes dart across text similar to this, “You must have secured at least a minimum GPA score of...”

Your score doesn’t match it. You sigh and scratch the name of the university off the list as well the names of all the other universities whose requirements are similar, completely oblivious to the possibility that you could still get into those other universities!

How? Well, the GPA calculation system works a little differently. Grade Point Average, as it’s called, is what you’d call a “key performance indicator” with regards to your academic performance; the higher your score is, the better it is!

But what most wouldn’t tell you is that just because you got a certain amount of score that doesn’t satisfy one university’s requirements does not mean it wouldn’t satisfy the other’s. This is since many factors are riding on what constitutes a GPA to an institutional body, one of which is the scale.

The steps required to convert your GPA score to a 4.0 scale is rather simple and explained in the later sections of this article. 

How To Convert Weighted GPA To 4.0 scale

To convert weighted GPA to a 4.0 scale you need to take the credits of every course as well as the rigor of those courses. Check out the steps given below to convert the GPA with the college GPA scale.

Step 1 - Weigh Up Your GPA With 4.0 Scale

With the help of the table below, compare and weigh up your GPA with a 4.0 scale.

Grades Score 4.0 Scale
A+ 97-100 4
A 93-96 4
A- 90-92 3.7
B+ 87-89 3.3
B 83-86 3
B- 80-82 2.7
C+ 77-79 2.3
C 73-76 2
C- 70-72 1.7
D+ 67-69 1.3
D 65-66 1
F Below 65 0

Step 2 - Compare Your Grades

Allot one full point to courses with high academic rigor, like IB and AP courses. And Allot half a point to courses like honors. 

Check out the GPA conversion chart for say student "X" below to compare the grades and GPA conversion.

Class Credits Grade Weighted GPA Unweighted GPA
AP Information technology 4 A 5 4
Honors calculus 4 A 4.5 4
French 3 B+ 3.3 3.3
AP Public Administration 4 A- 4.7 3.7
AP European History 3 B 3 3
Honors Creative Writing 3 A 4.5 4
Financial Management 2 A 4 4

Step 3 - Calculate Unweighted And Weighted GPA on a 4.0 Scale

To calculate either unweighted or weighted GPA, you will have to multiply it with the number of credits linked to that particular course. Let's consider the above-given example and calculate unweighted and weighted GPA on a 4.0 scale as tabulated below.

Unweighted GPA Value Unweighted GPA Value Weighted GPA Value Weighted GPA
4(4) 88.4/23       4(5) 97.2/23      
4(4) 4(4.5)
3(3.3) 3(3.3)
4(3.7) 4(4.7)
3(3) 3(3)
3(4) 3(4.5)
2(4) 2(4)
88.4 3.84 97.2 4.23

*Note: Sum of credits=23

The 4.0 GPA scale

Most universities and colleges maintain a 4.0 grading system when calculating your GPA scores. We’ve provided you the default 4.0 GPA scale which you could use as a reference when comparing your GPA (which we will tell you how to calculate below).

Letter Grade

Grade Points

Numerical Grade

A+

4.0

97-100

A

4.0

94-96

A-

3.7

90-93

B+

3.3

87-89

B

3.0

84-86

B-

2.7

80-83

C+

2.3

77-79

C

2.0

74-76

C-

1.7

70-73

D+

1.3

67-69

D

1.0

64-66

D

0.7

60-63

F

0.0

0-59

Weighted vs Unweighted GPA

Your GPA score is also influenced by whether it is weighted or unweighted. If it is weighted, you would have to investigate what the scores involved would be as, depending on your participation in taking up AP or IB or Honors classes, additional grade points would be awarded to you. If this is the case, then it’s an additional process to keep in mind before you go ahead and calculate your standardized GPA scores. 

We suggest that you take a look at a blog post we've written that talks about the difference between weighted and unweighted GPA scores just so you have a clear idea of what to do. With that said, we can move on to the actual steps involved in the conversion of your GPA to a certain scale.

Finding Your GPA Scale

The first step would be to find your school’s GPA scale.

Different schools have different grading scales. You must contact your academic advisors or counselors in your high school to find out what sort of scale your school uses so that you understand how the scale works.

It would look similar to the 4.0 scale provided above, but the grade points are either increasingly spread out (above 4.0 scales), or are compacted within larger ranges (below 4.0 scales).

Calculating Your Average GPA

Although this is optional (since it would already be reflected in your report card), to sustain your own curiosity, you can choose to calculate your GPA by yourself. You could even do that before you received the report card in some cases even!

After converting the course grades into points, you will then have to sum it up. To get the average GPA, you will then divide that sum with the number of credits (or subjects you’ve studied, to make it sound simpler) that you’ve taken up. The following formula is all you need to find that out:

GPA = Sum of all grade points a number of credits

Calculating Your Standardized GPA Score

Once you’ve got your average GPA in your hand, the final step is to realize what your standardized GPA score is. Do not get them mixed up! You will need to use your school’s GPA scale to determine it. The formula to find this score is as follows:

Standardized GPA =(GPA GPA Scale Value) Desired GPA Scale Value

So let’s say that, based on your school’s 8.0 GPA scale, that you achieved an average GPA of 6.0. In this case, you divide your average GPA with your GPA scale value. Then, you take the result and multiply it with the 4.0 GPA scale value (the scale you desire your GPA to be converted to), which will give you your standardized GPA score.

6.0/8.0 = 0.75

0.75*4 = 3 GPA

And there you have it! Your GPA score on a 4.0 scale.

As a word of warning, do keep in mind that the standardized GPA score should only contain up to 2 decimal points. If the calculated value goes well beyond that, then the score must be rounded to the nearest neighbor. With that said, there are two points to keep in mind when doing so:

  • If the last digits in the GPA fall between the range of 1 to 4, then you must round down the value, i.e., a standardized score of 3.741 would be rounded down to 3.74

  • If the last digits in the GPA fall between the ranges of 5 to 9, then you must round up the value, i.e., a standardized score of 3.745 would be rounded up to 3.75

Conclusion

Also, don’t worry too much about the specifics of missing out on nailing the GPA requirements of a university. In some cases, universities will bump up your application and give you a chance even if you haven’t fully met their requirements. All it takes is a bit of confidence to go ahead and apply anyway!


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