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College of Arts and Sciences
Kansas State University
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Calculate GPA

How to Calculate Your Semester GPA

A=4   B=3   C=2   D=1   F=0

If you earn an A in ENGL 463 and C in BIOL 198, ENGL 463 gets 4 points and BIOL 198 gets 2 points.
2. Now multiply that number times the number of credit hours assigned to the course. Do this for all your courses.

ENGL 463: 4 X 3 hours = 12 grade points
BIOL 198: 2 X 4 hours = 8 grade points

12 (ENGL 463) + 8 (BIOL 198) = 20 grade points
4. Now divide that number by your semester credit hours. The result is your GPA for those courses.

ENGL 463 is 3 hours and BIOL 198 is 4 hours so 20 grade points divided by 7 credit hours equals a 2.85 GPA for the semester if those are your two classes.

Estimating the Effects of a Single Semester

The most common GPA question is how much can I raise my GPA in the next semester (or the current semester). Here is how to calculate the answer.

1. Estimate the number of hours you'll carry and the GPA you'll achieve for the semester in question. See How to Calculate Your Semester GPA if necessary.

You'll pull a 3.25 for 15 hours this semester.
2. Multiply these numbers together.

3.25 X 15 = 48.75 grade points
3. You also need to know the number of credit hours you already have overall and your cumulative GPA. Do not include hours considered under Step One.

You now have 47 hours total and your GPA is 2.86
4. Multiply those numbers together also.

2.86 X 47 = 134.42 grade points

48.75 + 134.42 = 183.17 grade points
6. Total your anticipated semester credit hours with your cumulative credit hours completed.

15 + 47 = 62 hours
7. Divide the projected total grade points (Step Five) by the projected total hours (Step Six). The result is your cumulative GPA if your hypothetical semester goes according to plan. Note that this method does also work for estimating the negative impact of a bad semester.

183.17 / 62 = 2.95 projected cumulative GPA
8. One tricky point to keep in mind! If you are retaking a course, you will need to make some additional calculations. Since retakes replace completed hours instead of adding new hours, the courses you are retaking will actually alter the cumulative hours and cumulative GPA used in Step Three. Here is how to make the necessary adjustment.

47 X 2.86 = 134.42 grade points
• From your cumulative grade points, subtract any grade points previously earned in courses that you'll retake.

6 of 15 hours will be retakes. You previously earned an F in one course and a D in the other (Remember that 3 hours X Zero + 3 hours X One = 3 grade points).
• Subtract the retake hours from the cumulative hours.

47 - 6 = 41 adjusted cumulative hours

131.42 / 41 = 3.205 adjusted cumulative GPA
• You would use 41 hours and a 3.205 GPA as the adjusted totals for Step Three and proceed with Steps 4-7 as shown above.

Calculating the Time Needed to Raise Your GPA

This is very useful for planning ahead. You can figure out exactly what it takes to accomplish what you want GPA-wise. This formula calculates how many hours of 4.0 it will take to raise your current GPA to a given level.

You have completed 30 hours with a 2.5 GPA. You wish to raise that to a 3.5 GPA

You need 60 hours of A raise your GPA that full point.

To calculate other scenarios, perhaps the effect of straight Bs instead of straight As, you just alter the formula slightly. For straight Bs simply change the 4 (which reflects four grade points for each hour of A earned) to 3.

The formula is now structured to tell you how many semester hours of 3.0 you need to raise that GPA to the target level. Just keep in mind that your Goal GPA must always be less than the number in the denominator (4 or 3 respectively) and that the Current Cumulative GPA must be less than the Goal GPA! The formula falls apart otherwise.

You can also use less tidy estimates of what your future GPA will average (3.333 or 3.65 for example) just as easily. Just plug that number in place of the 4 and remember that the formula still DOES NOT work with a Goal GPA smaller than your Current Cumulative GPA or greater than the number in the denominator.