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

Featured Jobs

Most Commented

Monster behind man at desk

Despite all that’s been done to improve doctoral study, horror stories keep coming. Here three students relate PhD nightmares while two academics advise on how to ensure a successful supervision

celebrate, cheer, tef results

Emilie Murphy calls on those who challenged the teaching excellence framework methodology in the past to stop sharing their university ratings with pride

Sir Christopher Snowden, former Universities UK president, attacks ratings in wake of Southampton’s bronze award

Reflection of man in cracked mirror

To defend the values of reason from political attack we need to be more discriminating about the claims made in its name, says John Hendry

But the highest value UK spin-off companies mainly come from research-intensive universities, latest figures show