What Is a GPA Scale?


Quick Answer

A GPA scale is a number (typically on a standard scale of 4.0) that is used in high school and in college to measure academic success and achievement at the school. It is calculated by dividing the number of total grade quality points a student earns by the total number of grade quality points that they attempt.

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Understanding a student's GPA is crucial to academic success. Most scholarships have a component that requires recipients to achieve a particular GPA each semester in order to keep the scholarship. Most colleges also have a particular cutoff for GPAs and will not allow students with a lower GPA than the cutoff to return to school. These students will either face academic probation or dismissal.

Most colleges use a 4.0 GPA scale and so do most high schools. On a 4.0 GPA scale, a grade of 97-100 percent is 4.0 and an A+ letter grade. A score of 93-96 percent is also 4.0 points and is an A letter grade. 90-92 percent is a 3.7 and an A- letter grade. 87-89 percent is a 3.3 and a B+ letter grade. A grade of 83-86 percent is 3.0 and a B letter grade. A score of 80-82 percent is 2.7 points and a B- letter grade. This pattern continues until the 65 percent mark. Anything below 65 percent is a score of 0.0 and is considered an E or an F, depending on the educational institution. A full GPA scale can be found at CollegeBoard.

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