Grade point average, or GPA, is a way to numerically express a student's grades. Most colleges and universities use a four-point scale, while many high schools use a five-point scale to give additional weight to advanced or college classes. A student earns a GPA for each academic term, which stays on his records and accumulates with his past GPAs to form a cumulative GPA. Most colleges and universities require a student to attain a particular cumulative GPA in order to receive his degree.

## Non-Weighted GPA

Find out what your institution's GPA scale is. Some institutions give one grade point per letter grade, while others divide each grade into thirds and scale the points accordingly. For example, University A may give 2.00 points for any "C," while University B gives a "C-" 1.67 points, a "C" 2.00 points and a "C+" 2.33 points.

Total the grade points you earned throughout the cumulative period.

Divide the grade points by the total number of grades and round your answer to two decimal places. This is your cumulative GPA.

For instance, 19.99 grade points divided by six classes equals 3.33; therefore, the cumulative GPA is 3.33.

## Weighted GPA

Find out what your institution's GPA scale is.

Assign the appropriate number of grade points to each class.

Multiply the number of credit hours you earned in that class by the number of grade points. For example, if you received an "A" -- or 4.00 credits -- in a four-credit hour class, you would receive 16 grade points.

Total the number of credit hours you earned during the cumulative period.

Total the number of grade points you earned.

Divide the total grade points by the total credit hours and round the answer to two decimal places. This is your cumulative GPA.

For example, if you earned 32 credit hours and 120 grade points, your cumulative GPA is 3.75.