Your GPA (grade point average) is a summary and a quantifiable average of your academic performance measured on a 4.0 or a 5.0 GPA scale. What’s the difference between the two scales you might ask?

First, the use of the type of GPA scale depends on the school. Some high schools use a 4.0, and some a 5.0 GPA scale to report their student’s GPA. So, a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 GPA scale is equivalent to a 4.0 GPA on a 5.0 GPA scale. Meaning that the highest letter grade on a 4.0 scale brings 4.0-grade points, and the highest letter grade on a 5.0 scale brings 5.0-grade points. Because most universities use a 4.0 GPA scale, most high schools tend to use it as well.

The 4.0 GPA scale is also known as the unweighted scale and the 5.0 GPA is the weighted one. The weighted 5.0 GPA scale takes into consideration the difficulty of your classes, while the unweighted 4.0 GPA doesn’t. The 5.0 GPA allows a higher GPA. Even though it’s quite rare to obtain a GPA higher than 5.0 it’s possible. If you attend a school that allows you to take more advanced placement (AP) classes and award bonus points for them, then, yes you can have an amazing GPA, higher than 5.0.

If you’re still confused about the 4.0 and 5.0 GPA scaling systems, don’t worry! This article is here to be your guide in calculating your GPA, understanding the 4.0 vs the 5.0 GPA scale, and converting your GPA from one scale to another.

## GPA Calculator

A GPA calculator can be used to calculate your high school, college, and cumulative GPA. These calculations are based on your letter grades. The letter “A” has a number equivalent to 4.0 on a 4.0 GPA scale, and the same letter grade has a number equivalent to 5.0 on a 5.0 GPA scale. Knowing the importance of a GPA scale in high school, college, and your future career we’ve prepared detailed information on the GPA calculation process, along with GPA calculators you can use to check your grade point average:

### 1. High School GPA Calculator

The high school GPA calculator helps you figure out your complete high-school-level GPA. The calculator turns your letter grades to grade points with the help of a GPA scale. You need to add all your classes’ grades and calculate the average. The GPA calculation process is explained in the following table:

Senior year in high school: First semester classes, letter grades, and grade points | ||

Class | Letter Grade | Grade Points |

English Literature | A | 4.0 |

Physics | A | 4.0 |

Chemistry | B | 3.0 |

Algebra | B | 3.0 |

Performing Arts | A | 4.0 |

Total | 18 | |

Total sum divided by the number of classes | 18:5=3.6 | |

First semester GPA | 3.6 |

If you take AP classes, your “A” is transformed to a 5.0 (or 4.5 for honors classes), instead of a 4.0. Therefore, it’s really important to take honors and AP classes for a higher GPA. The GPA calculation process is almost the same, only the conversion from the letter grades to grade points is different. Again you can choose an online weighted grade calculator, or you can follow this example and calculate your GPA on a 5.0 scale yourself:

Senior year in high school: First semester classes (two AP classes), letter grades, and grade points | ||

Class | Letter Grade | Grade Points |

English Literature | A | 5.0 |

AP Physics | A | 5.0 |

Chemistry | B | 4.0 |

Algebra II | B | 4.0 |

AP Art History | A | 5.0 |

Total | 23 | |

Total sum divided by the number of classes | 23:5=4.6 | |

First semester GPA | 4.6 |

Looking good! So, if your goal is to increase your GPA, choose AP, or honors classes!

### 2. Cumulative GPA Calculator

Use the cumulative GPA calculator also known as high school career GPA to calculate your cumulative GPA. The calculation process is quite simple! Add your semester GPAs and divide them by the number of completed semesters like in the following example, and calculate your cumulative GPA in no time:

Semester | GPA |

1^{st} semester |
3.1 |

2^{nd} semester |
3.5 |

3^{rd} semester |
3.8 |

4^{th} semester |
3.6 |

5^{th} semester |
3.4 |

6^{th} semester |
3.6 |

7^{th} semester |
3.5 |

Total | 24.6 |

The total number divided by the number of semesters | 24.5:7=3.5 |

Cumulative GPA | 3.5 |

Whether you use some available online GPA calculators, or you do the math yourself, the important thing is to remember the academic importance of your cumulative GPA. So, make sure you check it regularly!

### 3. College GPA Calculator

College GPA is calculated differently than high school and cumulative GPA. Use the College GPA Calculator or calculate your college GPA, by following this example:

- College classes have credit hours (3, 4-5 if the class is extra difficult or time-demanding). Multiply the grade points for each class by the credit hours to calculate the total points. Divide the total points by total credit hours, and you’ll get your GPA for the particular semester:

Class | Credit Hours | Grade Letter | Grade Points | Total Points |

Political Science | 3 | A | 4.0 | 12 |

History | 3 | B | 3.0 | 9 |

Creative Writing | 4 | A | 4.0 | 16 |

Journalism | 3 | A | 4.0 | 12 |

13 | / | / | 49 | |

Total points divided by total credit hours | 49:13=3.7 | |||

Semester GPA | 3.7 |

## 4.0 GPA Scale Calculator

The 4.0 GPA Scale Calculator will help you change your letter grade or percentage grade to a 4-point scale system. The 4.0 GPA scale is identified as the unweighted GPA system. This GPA scale has equal regard for all your classes, whether they’re easy or difficult.

Every high school student aspires to obtain a perfect 4.0 score on the 4.0 GPA scale by having straight A’s. The lowest grade on this scale is “F”, a grade that correlates with 0.0-grade points, and the highest grade is “A”, which equals 4.0-grade points. Usually, the 4.0 GPA scale calculators use the following standard 4.0 grading system:

4.0 GPA scale (A=4.0) | |

Letter Grade | Grade Point |

A+ | 4.0 |

A | 4.0 |

A- | 3.7 |

B+ | 3.3 |

B | 3.0 |

B- | 2.7 |

C+ | 2.3 |

C | 2.0 |

C- | 1.7 |

D+ | 1.3 |

D | 1.0 |

D- | 0.7 |

F | 0.0 |

## 5.0 GPA Scale Calculator

Use this 5.0 GPA scale calculator to calculate your weighted GPA. The 5.0 GPA scale also called the unweighted GPA scale grades your classes according to the level of difficulty. Therefore, this calculator will come in handy if you’ve been taking honors, AP, or IB (International Baccalaureate) classes. Once you see the 5.0 scale grading system this calculator uses you’ll understand how it works, and again you’ll realize the importance of honors and AP for your overall GPA.

5.0 GPA scale (A=5.0) | |

Letter Grade | Grade Point |

A+ | 5.0 |

A | 5.0 |

A- | 4.7 |

B+ | 4.3 |

B | 4.0 |

B- | 3.7 |

C+ | 3.3 |

C | 3.0 |

C- | 2.7 |

D+ | 2.3 |

D | 2.0 |

D- | 1.7 |

F | 0.0 |

## Convert GPA from 5.0 to 4.0 Scale

As already mentioned many schools use different GPA scales and calculate GPA differently. Therefore, it’s helpful to understand how your GPA measures up against the competition. To see where you’re at in comparison with other candidates it’s helpful to convert your GPA to a standardized 4.0 scale.

To convert your GPA from a 5.0 to a 4.0 scale you may use a GPA converter, or you can do it yourself. If you want to learn how to do it yourself first you need to understand that not all courses in high school have the same number of credits. Also, you need to take into consideration the difficulty of the courses in question. The best way to learn is by following an example, so let’s begin!

We’ll use the following sample transcript for a better understanding of the conversion process from a 5.0 to a 4.0 GPA scale:

Course | Letter Grade | Credits | Unweighted GPA | Weighted GPA |

English | B | 3 | 3.0 | 3.0 |

AP Physics | B+ | 3 | 3.3 | 4.3 |

AP Computer Science | A- | 4 | 3.7 | 4.7 |

Honors Calculus | A | 4 | 4.0 | 4.5 |

Health | A | 1 | 4.0 | 4.0 |

If you check out the credits’ column, you’ll see that some classes are worth 4, others 3, and health a mere 1 credit. That’s why you can’t calculate your GPA simply by adding up the 5 unweighted GPA numbers and dividing them by the number of courses. To do a proper conversion try following these steps:

- Don’t use the weighted column
- For each course, multiply the number of credits by the unweighted GPA
- Add all total grade points
- Divide the total number of grade points earned by the total number of credits.

Course | Calculation | Total Grade Points |

English | 3×3.0=9.0 | 9.0 |

AP Physics | 3×3.3=9.9 | 9.9 |

AP Computer Science | 4×3.7=14.8 | 14.8 |

Honors Calculus | 4×4.0=16.0 | 16.0 |

Health | 1×4.0=4.0 | 4.0 |

Total | 9.0+9.9+14.8+16.0+4.0=53.7 | |

Divide by the total number of credits | 53.7:15=3.58 | |

GPA on a 4.0 scale | 3.58 |

If you think this calculation process is hard, try one of the following US University’s GPA calculators:

- California State University GPA Calculator
- Iowa State University GPA Calculator
- University of Kansas Conversion Chart
- Sam Houston State University GPA Converter

## Conclusion

By now you probably understand the difference between a 4.0 and a 5.0 GPA scale. You know that there are plenty of online GPA calculators and GPA converters you can use to calculate your GPA on a weighted (5.0) scale and an unweighted (4.0) scale.

However, it’s important to understand the calculation process on both scales, and the conversion from a 5.0 to a 4.0 GPA scale. Only then, when you have the tools and when you understand the scaling system, you’ll be able to check and keep track of your GPA, and if necessary work harder to boost it.

Leave nothing to chance! Use GPA calculators, or do the math yourself to make sure your grades and GPA empowers you to stand out from the competition!

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