Grade Point Average or GPA refers to a measurement of the student's performance in a form of a number. It is most often an average of all student's grades which is used by educational institutions to get a better picture of the student's performance. The GPA often plays a decisive role in the college admission which is why it is worth to keep track of your GPA in order to be able to improve it by the time you will be applying to a college.

Calculating the GPA is not difficult. There are several methods to calculate the GPA, while the calculation may vary from one school to another because they may use different values. However, they all convert your grades into points. For instance, A equals 4.0 points, B gives you 3.0 points, B is converted into 2.0 points and C into 1.0 point. For an F, you will get no points. Some schools may also count plus (+) and minus(-). This means that a B- for instance, may give you only 2.75 or 2.7 points, while B+ may increase the value to 3.25 or 3.2.

When you determine the values for each grade, you simply convert them into numbers and add them up. For instance, for each A take 4.0, for each B take 3.0, etc. If having 3 A's, 2 B's and 1 C, you add up 4.0+4.0+4.0+3.0+3.0+2.0 which equals 20. Now you divide the total number by the number of the grades which is in the above mentioned example 6 (3 A's + 2 B's + 1 C = 6) and you will get your GPA - 3.3. Be careful with F's though. Although they do not give you any points, they have to be counted in the number of grades which means that they significantly lower your GPA. For example, if you have the above mentioned grades and 1 F you need to divide the total number by 7 which means that your GPA would be only 2.9 or 2.86 if two decimals are used.

As you see, calculating the GPA is childishly easy if you know the values of the grades. However, when dealing with a larger number of grades such as calculating the GPA of your entire high school for instance, it is very easy to miscalculate. In this case, you can use free online GPA calculators which will save you a lot of time for calculating your Grade Point Average as well as reduce the risk of errors.