How to Convert Your GPA to a 4.0 Scale

In a previous post we showed you how to calculate your GPA.  Now, let’s take it a step further and convert your GPA to a 4.0 scale. Keep reading to find out how.

 

What is a 4.0 GPA Scale?

 

You know your GPA is an important factor for college admissions. But how do you know where yours falls? Most colleges use a 4.0 scale to measure your academic performance, so in order to estimate how you stack up against other admissions candidates, you’ll need to convert the average of your grades numerically. Let’s go over the basics first.

 

Your GPA

 

Your grade point average (GPA) is a measurement of your academic performance throughout high school. Your unweighted GPA is an average of the grades you earned without accounting for the rigor of their associated course, while your weighted GPA accounts for honors and AP designations, granting you more credit for more challenging courses.

 

The 4.0 GPA Scale

 

The 4.0 scale is the most commonly used GPA scale. A 4.0 represents an A or A+, with each full grade being a full point lower: 3.0=B, 2.0=C, and 1.0=D.

 

Pluses are an additional one-third of a point, while minuses are the subtraction of one-third of a point. For example, an A- is a 3.7, and a B+ is a 3.3.

 

How to Convert Your GPA to a 4.0 Scale

 

Converting your GPA to a 4.0 scale is not necessarily as simple as saying a 95 on a 100-point scale is a 4.0. You also need to take into account the credits each course is worth and the rigor of the courses. Follow these steps to convert your GPA:

 

1. Compare your individual grades to a 4.0 scale.

 

Use this chart to determine what your grade is on a 4.0 scale:

 

A+ 97-100 4.0
A 93-96 4.0
A- 90-92 3.7
B+ 87-89 3.3
B 83-86 3.0
B- 80-82 2.7
C+ 77-79 2.3
C 73-76 2.0
C- 70-72 1.7
D+ 67-69 1.3
D 65-66 1.0
F Below 65 0.0

 

2. Weight your grades.

 

Add a full point to any honors or AP course. For example, an A, normally a 4.0, would be a 5.0.

 

3. Calculate your full GPA on a 4.0 scale.

 

First, multiply each weighted or unweighted grade by the number of credits associated with the course. Add these values together.

 

Example:

 

5.0 x 3 credits + 4.7 x 3 credits + 4.0 x 2 credits + 3.3 x 1 credit + 4.3 x 3 credits =

15 + 14.1 + 8 + 3.3 + 12.9 =

53.3

 

Second, divide the total by the number of total credits you earned.

 

53.3 / (3 + 3 + 2 + 1 + 3) =

4.44

 

This is your GPA.

Build a Profile That Will Impress Admissions Officers

Our mentorship program helps students in 9th, 10th, and 11th grade discover their passions, build their resumes, and get guidance throughout high school.

How to Use Your 4.0-scale GPA

 

Your weighted 4.0-scale GPA is the number you should report on applications. Remember that many colleges will recalculate them according to their own measures. If your high school ranks, this provides another measure for colleges to understand your academic performance.

 

Your GPA informs you about how you performed against other admissions candidates since this metric is universally used. You can also see how you stack up against a college’s accepted student body because most report average GPAs or the middle 50% of the freshman class’s GPAs on a 4.0 scale.

 

How NOT to Use Your 4.0-scale GPA

 

Don’t compare yourself to candidates from other high schools, because you’re dealing with different circumstances and curricula. In other words, a 3.5 from one school could mean something entirely different at another.

 

You should also avoid using your GPA to inform a definitive conclusion about whether or not you will be admitted into a college. Selective colleges perform a holistic review of your candidacy, meaning your GPA is just one part of your profile. Colleges will also take into account factors such as your extracurriculars, essay, recommendations, and other aspects of your application.

 

Looking for help navigating the road to college as a high school student? Check out the CollegeVine Mentorship Program. Our mentors drive significant personal and professional development for their high school mentees.

 

Combining mentorship with engaging content, insider strategies, and personalized analyses, our program provides students with the tools to succeed. As students learn from successful older peers, they develop confidence, autonomy, and critical thinking skills to help maximize their chances of success in college, business, and life.

Want more tips on improving your academic profile?

We'll send valuable information to help you strengthen your profile and get ready for college admissions.


Laura Berlinsky-Schine
Senior Blogger at CollegeVine
Short bio
Laura Berlinsky-Schine is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University, where she majored in Creative Writing and minored in History. She lives in Brooklyn, New York and works as a freelance writer specializing in education. She dreams of having a dog.