Knowing how to calculate your GPA is essential for college students. Many scholarships require a minimum GPA, as do some programs and internships. But, surprisingly, a lot of students don’t know how to calculate their own GPA.
Your grade point average is an important part of your transcript. I’ve included a tutorial to calculate it manually, but be sure to check out the link at the bottom for a super easy to use calculator.
How to Calculate Your GPA
To calculate your GPA you’ll need to know your average and the weight/credit (number of hours) for each class. You get a certain number of grade points for each class, depending on your grade. Points are awarded according to the chart below.
W/F = 0 points
Multiply the grade points by the weight of the class. For example, if your biology class is 4 hours and you made a B, you get 12 points for that class. Find all the points for every class and add them up. Then add up the total hours of all classes. To find your GPA, you divide total grade points by total number of hours
Here’s an example transcript:
GPA = GRADE POINTS / TOTAL HOURS
3.3125 = 53 / 16 –> This student has a B.
If that’s just too complicated, time-consuming, or you’re lazy (like me); here’s a GPA calculator for you provided by Back2College. It makes everything wonderfully simple.
Another great calculator is this one, provided by the Minnesota Office of Higher Education.
How to Raise Your GPA
If your GPA is looking less-than-stellar, there is still hope! This handy calculator helps you determine how you can raise your GPA in college.
The best way to keep your GPA up is to know your GPA! If you are always aware of your grades, you don’t risk getting a particularly low one that will have the nasty effect of majorly dropping your cumulative GPA.
You will have a research paper assignment in college. It’s inevitable. And, as tedious as they are, they teach you a lot about how to find reliable sources of information.
Since there is no escaping them, I have created a short list to help you successfully complete your first research paper.
Most professors require you to use scholarly, peer-reviewed articles as the basis for your research. Yes, they are as boring as they sound. Your best bet is to start with the abstract, which most of them have. If you can sit through that, you can sit through the rest of the article. Read it in chunks. A few pages at a time, highlighting important information so you don’t ever have to read it again.
Save the article for your citations now. Citation Machine is your friend, your hero and your savior. Choose the format (MLA, APA, Chicago or Turabian) and input the information. BOOM. Citation complete.
Tips for College Research
- Read the abstract or summary first
- Read in chunks, taking breaks
- Bookmark the article
- Make your citations now and keep a running bibliography
Other articles and resources
One of the greatest things about college is the free money people will throw at you. Yes, that’s right, scholarships and grants. Unfortunately, your income has to be pretty low to qualify for most grants, I’m talking low enough that it’s hard to even live on. So, scholarships are your best friend.
Most scholarship applications include an essay. Usually, the scholarship essays are pretty generic and you can use the same essay for multiple applications. A good idea is to write one about your life and any obstacles you’ve overcome that made you a better person. The best essays are those about your passions. Did you really volunteer with the elderly because you live to help people or to put it on your college application? If you’re a funny person, let them know that. If you are a bleeding heart, bleed all over that paper. An essay is about selling yourself and if you must embellish, then go ahead.
Where to find them
Your school advisers have the best collection of local scholarships, which give you a better chance. Also, most colleges have their own scholarships, which I think are just discounts since they’re the ones giving it to you. Either way, it’s money you don’t have to pay back. Most undergraduates with decent grades and a half decent essay can get something out of their school if they apply. After you’ve tapped those resources, online is the next step. Here’s three websites that were crucial for me.
Athletic scholarships are often awarded to high school athletes based on skill and performance. Unless you’re already a talented athlete, you should keep looking. Academic scholarships are based on your academic merit and financial scholarships are for those in financial need of assistance. Academic scholarships are hard to get because you’re being judged based on GPA, test scores, extracurricular activities and awards. Athletic and academic scholarships are very competitive and you need to start early to market your abilities to get noticed.
Places to look for private scholarships:
- High schools
- Religious organizations
- Chamber of commerce
- Philanthropic organizations
Be careful when giving out personal information. Make sure it’s a legitimate scholarship before you give too much info. Stay away if they want some of your money.