GPA: imprecise or exact? (2 of 2)

June 30, 2011

Your explanation of the US-inspired GPA system states that the average "is calculated by finding the average of course grades, although sometimes weightings are used to place additional value on advanced modules". But rather than being positioned as a "sometimes" element, the weighting of course credits and grades is integral to the GPA, at least in its standard iteration.

The system works as follows, given that American university courses are assigned variable credit amounts. If Mary earns an A (numerical equivalent: 4.0) for a 4-credit course, she receives 16 quality points, the product of 4.0 x 4. If, in addition, she realises a B+ (3.33) in a 3-credit course, she accumulates another 10 quality points. That 26 quality-point total is then divided by 7 - her course-credit total - giving a GPA of 3.71.

Thus the GPA's denominator - signifying the student's credit total - necessarily accords more weight to higher-credit courses.

Abbott Katz, London

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

Worried man wiping forehead
Two academics explain how to beat some of the typical anxieties associated with a doctoral degree

Felipe Fernández-Armesto takes issue with a claim that the EU has been playing the sovereignty card in Brexit negotiations

Man throwing axes

UCU attacks plans to cut 171 posts, but university denies Brexit 'the reason'

Kenny Dalglish

Agnes Bäker and Amanda Goodall have found that academics who are happiest at work have a head of department who is a distinguished researcher. How can such people be encouraged into management?

A group of flamingos and a Marabou stork

A right-wing philosopher in Texas tells John Gill how a minority of students can shut down debates and intimidate lecturers – and why he backs Trump