After you’ve graduated from high school, the doors of universities and colleges will open up for you. Your ACT or SAT scores were good enough to not have to sit for the TSI Assessment.
Isn’t that something? Chances are that you’ll be living on your own soon. Congrats!!
But if you thought your GPA stopped mattering once you enter college, I’m sorry to tell you that you’re wrong.
Colleges themselves will use your GPA for a variety of things — you’ll need a good GPA to stay in good academic standing, and your financial aid and scholarships will probably have a minimum GPA that you need to stay above.
Sports may require a specific GPA, and other awards and bonuses will be given out according to your GPA. At graduation, different honors may also be assigned to you as well. If you want to learn more about the most affordable colleges in Texas, check out this post.
How to calculate your GPA
Your GPA (grade point average) can be calculated if you divide all earned grade points by the number of attempted credit hours. Your GPA may be ranging from 0.0 to 4.0.
A = 4.0 GPA
A- = 3.7 GPA
B+ = 3.3 GPA
B = 3.0 GPA
B- = 2.7 GPA
C+ = 2.3 GPA
C = 2.0 GPA
C- = 1.7 GPA
D+ = 1.3 GPA
D = 1.0 GPA
D- = 0.7 GPA
Keep also in mind that often, after you have completed college, your GPA can be used by potential employers to make a decision on hiring you.
A strong GPA is showing you’ve been trying hard to get ahead, whereas a low GPA is demonstrating that you hardly did anything else than what was minimally required.
And if you plan to carry on with your academic education, be aware that graduate schools may require a good GPA, just like with your undergraduate application.
So again, quite a few employers will take your GPA into consideration when they think about hiring you, and also graduate schools will for sure look at your GPA in case you want to continue your academic education.
GPA general scale
- 3.7 – 4.0: Excellent
- 3.3 – 3.6: Very good
- 2.7 – 3.3: Average
- 2.0 – 2.7: Below average
- -2.0: Poor
What is a good GPA?
This is a general rule of thumb, though what a “good” GPA is will inevitably vary based on a couple of important factors:
1. What is your major?
We all know how important college degrees are and while every major is hard in its own way, some are definitely harder than others. Especially when you’ve just moved into college, it is key to make sure your GPA is not at risk and will stay that way!
If you’re a chemical engineering student, your course load is probably a bit heavier than a theater major. Usually, it’s more understandable to have a low GPA in tougher majors.
2. What do other students in your major have?
How you compare to other students is what makes a huge difference. You can have a 3.6, but if everyone around you has a 3.8, it won’t do much good.
This, of course, will depend a lot on your major as well as how hard the typical classes are for those students. This will vary from school to school and major to major, you’ll have to ask around to get an idea where you stand.
3. What school do you go to?
A 3.8 at Rice University or any other high-priced Texas college may say more than a 3.8 at your community college or trade school. The more prestigious your university is, (generally) the more having a high GPA will help you out.
How do you calculate AP or Honors courses
When you take Honors or Advanced Placement (AP) courses, generally grade points are weighted. For instance, 1.0 (a whole point) will be added for AP courses, and .50 (a half point) will be added for Honors courses.
A is equaling 4.50 (for an Honors class), or 5.00 (for an AP class). Schools may assign point value in different ways, so get in touch with your college to find out about their grading system.
If you want to calculate your cumulative GPA, you can take all credit hours and all grade points from every semester. Then divide the total amount of grade points by the number of credit hours.
Just be aware that, like many schools have rather selective application policies, graduate schools may be pretty hard to get in to as well.
Test-taking tips to improve your GPA
First, make a list of priorities. Your critical plan ought to highlight your top priorities. If you don’t have one, have a look at articles on the subject that are available online, and make sure you set your goals right. Learning how to take notes effectively in lectures will prove to be key to improving your GPA as well.
Exactly what is essential to achieve in this period? Make those top priorities specific, write them out. Keeping a listing conspicuously posted by your work desk will help. Going after any diploma or certificate is one of the best choices you could have made!
Become More Productive By Taking A Break – Students erroneously believe that they will get better grades if they study for a long time, which is not the case. Cramming and overnight studies will not lead to good grades, but taking a break from studying will. Breaks are important because they help our bodies to recuperate both physically and mentally. For more tips, check here.
Students who study in front of computers need to take breaks often because their eyes become weary after a short time of continuous learning. Research has shown that studying without an adequate number of breaks leads to a serious drop in academic performance. It can also lead to serious medical conditions such as insomnia, depression, and anxiety.
Research has shown that studying without an adequate number of breaks leads to a serious drop in academic performance. This particularly happens frequently in the first year in college. It can also lead to serious medical conditions such as insomnia, depression, and anxiety.
Unproductive Breaks – Students can take an infinite number of possible breaks but most of them choose to engage in social media, which is an unproductive break. Students take this time to update their Facebook status or chat with their friends from all over the world. It is important for you to note that Facebook has billions of users and the number is still growing.
This means that you can chat with as many friends as you like for as long as you like. Ultimately, engaging in social media activities on Facebook or on other social media websites during breaks will cause you to neglect your studies and keep also in mind that not even half of all students finish college in four years!
Social Media and Stress – People have different views on how social media affects their lives. Some people feel happier when they indulge in social media activities while other people feel less happy when doing so. However, the impact of social media on students follows a similar pattern i.e. many students feel that active participation in social media is stressful.
More specifically, a recent study among students found that 83% of students actively engaged in social media activities found their lives as being stressful or somewhat stressful. In contrast, only 72% of students who do not participate in social media found their lives as either stressful or somewhat stressful.
What is a good GPA and how to improve it
When you’ve completed your college education, you will start looking for a job that fits your qualifications and ambitions or you may want to apply for graduate school.
Many employers will look at your GPA before deciding whether or not to hire you, and graduate schools will definitely look at your GPA before deciding whether or not to admit you.
It’s important to have as high of a GPA as you can get by the time you graduate college. If you calculated your GPA and you don’t think you have a good GPA, you should definitely consider trying to raise it, no matter what year you are in your studies.
If you’re a freshman, keep in mind that it feels a lot easier to maintain a decent GPA than it does to bring a low one up. If you’re near graduating, every bit can help out, and raising your GPA a tenth of a point could still make a pretty big difference.
Raising your overall GPA
Because your GPA is based only on the grades that you earn in college, there’s only one way to raise it: get better grades. If your GPA is around a 2.2, then any grade that counts for more than 2.2 points (a C+ or higher), will help increase your GPA. Vice versa, any grade that counts for less than your GPA will lower your GPA (if you have a 2.2, a C or lower will hurt you).
Any grades that are way above (or below) your GPA will make a much bigger change — an A will raise your GPA much more than a B. And any grades that are pretty much the same as your GPA will keep your GPA where it is. To improve your GPA, you need as many of the best grades that you can get and your parents will be also very happy on graduation day!
This is pretty straight-forward and obvious, but how you go about getting better grades can definitely vary. The key to raising your grades isn’t just “get better grades”, but to identify why your grades are low in the first place. Take a minute to think and ask yourself, “what is the major reason my grades are low?”
“I’m taking really hard classes”
If you’re in a tough major, you have been (and will be) taking challenging classes all throughout college. Even when you do your best, these classes might still be so hard that you can’t earn the grades you want. Over time, your GPA will show this, and you might find yourself struggling, also when you work in a team toward your goal, to improve it.
The solution is simple — take easier classes. This can be tough, depending on how you have your classes planned out over the years, but if you can at all make room or time to take some easier classes, you should do it.
Simple general education classes in subjects you’re strong in (or interested in, like math for example) can make a big difference. It’s easy to get at least a B (if not an A) in many of these classes since you’re already used to working hard in your current classes. The more classes like this you can find room for, the more your GPA will show it.
“I don’t have enough time to do well in every class!”
Some of us are just busy. If you have a full course load and are struggling to have enough time to keep up with it for whatever reason, you have a couple of options. Just make sure you don’t shoot yourself in the foot.
For one, you could try just taking some less-demanding classes — ones that don’t require you to put so much time into them. That way, you can prioritize your schedule and give more time to the harder ones.
If that doesn’t work, considering taking fewer classes — drop a class that you don’t need and don’t replace it. This will free up time for you because you’ll have one less class to worry about. The catch here, though, is that since you’re taking fewer classes, your GPA won’t change as much as if you were taking a full load.
However, 4 A’s are a lot better than 5 C’s, so it’s definitely still an option. Keep in mind that you may need a certain number of units to be a full-time student. You may also learn a lot from earlier mistakes made by quite large companies.
“I’m just not trying hard enough to do well”
If you’re not applying yourself, then don’t be surprised that your grades aren’t what you want them to be. You need to buckle down and start trying, otherwise, your grades will never improve. That’s going to take willpower, and you’re going to need to muster it up.
In the meantime, a lot of the same advice works here as well — try to take easier classes and try to gradually learn to apply yourself.
Recovering from a low GPA can take a lot of time, but if you keep at it and find the best way to improve it, it can be done.
Last Updated on September 12, 2020