Although college students can often access their GPA through their school website, knowing how to manually calculate their GPA can be helpful in planning for their academic future.
Calculating GPA is a fairly simple process. Each letter grade is designated a number when calculating grade point average. For example, an A is four points, a B is three, a C is two, a D is one, and an F is zero.
“Maybe more importantly is proactively knowing how certain … classes will affect your overall GPA and planning your course of studies accordingly,” said adjunct faculty and Saddleback College English instructor Eric Patton. “As you look at your academic plan, you gotta ask yourself the question: Can I maintain the GPA that I want to maintain by taking these courses?”
The number designated to the grade is multiplied by the number of units a course is worth. The product of these two numbers will produce the number of honor points received for the course. For example, an A in a three unit course would be worth 12 honor points.
The number of honor points received for each course is added up and divided by the total number of units attempted. If a student were to take three courses one semester and received an A in a three unit course, a B in a four unit course, and a C in another three unit course, they would receive a total of 30 honor points for the semester.
The 30 honor points would then be divided by the 10 total units they attempted. This would come out to a 3.0 grade point average for the semester.
Regardless of how important GPA is to students’ academic careers, some do not know how it is calculated.
“I don’t even know my GPA right now, so I need to check on that,” said Gustavo Rojas, 20, undecided.
“I know some of it but not quite exactly,” said Celestino Flores, 22, psychology, when asked if he knew how to manually calculate his GPA.