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How does Populi calculate GPAs?

 

First, the disclaimer: there exists no single grading system in the United States or Canada, let alone a unified way to calculate a grade-point average. Over the years, however, higher-education institutions have informally adopted a method for calculating GPA's; for the most part, the same calculation is in use at most colleges, universities, etc. that you might stroll into in the U.S. and Canada. 

That calculation is what Populi uses to generate GPAs. Here is a simplified version of it:

# attempted credits x # grade points ÷ # total attempted credits = GPA

Here's another way to write that out:

GPA = SUM(grade points * credits) / SUM(credits)

Let's say your school's grade scale has the following...

  • A = 4.0 grade points
  • B = 3.0 grade points
  • F = 0.0 grade points

...and a student earns the following grades one term:

  • 3-credit course: A
  • 3-credit course: B
  • 2-credit course: F
  • 4-credit course: B

Here's how those numbers would be crunched:

  • (4.0 GP x 3 credits = 12) +
  • (3.0 GP x 3 credits = 9) +
  • (0.0 GP x 2 credits = 0) +
  • (3.0 GP x 4 credits = 12) +
  • ÷ 12 attempted credits
  • = 2.75 TERM GPA

To calculate cumulative GPA, Populi uses the same calculation, but with all of the student's courses.

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2 Comments

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    Dr. Beemer

    In your first listing of courses the second course is 3 credits but in the computation you use 2 credits.  A bit confusing.

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    Brendan O'Donnell

    Thanks for catching that! I had changed my mind about the example halfway through writing it, and in the process committed a number of math crimes (I'll keep the ones I caught to myself...). Everything looks correct now.

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