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How to Calculate Your GPA–Letter Grades and Percentages

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Students ask all the time how to calculate your GPA in high school. One of my most popular posts is about how to calculate your “real” GPA.  Some readers have asked how to translate grades expressed as a percent into letter grades, and then into a GPA based on a 4.0 scale.

Below is a chart that can serve as a starting point.  Recognize,  however, that all schools and colleges will have their own grading policies.  This is one way to translate one kind of grade into another.  It’s meant as a helpful tool. But don’t make assumptions about how colleges will consider your academic performance. You should always investigate how individual colleges and schools handle this translation.

If you’re worried about your GPA, perhaps you are a bit nervous about how your GPA will affect your admission to college. There are three things to keep in mind.

First, it’s not just about your GPA overall.  You need to pay close attention to your core GPA.

Second, you need to think first about which colleges fit you best.  It may turn out that you are worrying too much for the wrong reasons.

Third, if you are having trouble fitting all these pieces together–your GPA, your test scores, your interests, your aptitudes–you may want to consider asking for some professional advice from an expert who can help you navigate the college admissions process.

But perhaps the most important thing to remember is that the GPA is just a mathematical representation of your academic performance. If you are trying to prepare for college, then you need to do your best in high school. You also need to try to take the most rigorous courses available to you. The fact is that your education starts today, and you should work hard in high school not only to get into college–but to become an educated person. Too many students focus too narrowly on the GPA, when could instead focus on what they are learning.

Colleges want students who love to learn. They don’t want students who obsess about their GPA. So dive into your learning with enthusiasm, and work hard to be your best.

Mark Montgomery
Educational Consultant

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