A student's high school grade point average (GPA) influences her acceptance into college. College students also need to worry about their GPA, as higher grades can open up more scholarship and grant opportunities, while low grades can lead to academic suspension or dismissal. College GPAs are also important for undergraduate students wishing to attend graduate school. You can calculate your own GPA easily using an Excel computer software spreadsheet.
Open a new Excel spreadsheet. Enter headings into row one. Starting at column A and ending at D, enter the following headings: Course, Grade, Credit and Quality Points.
List the courses you're taking by name in the A column, start at row 2 and going down as far as you need to. Note that these are also labels so use whatever words help you remember what the class is: for example, column A might read English, Chemistry, History and French. Type the label GPA in the row after the last class label.
Enter the numerical values of the grades earned for each class into column B, next to the appropriate labels. Note that an 'A' grade is 4, 'B' is 3, 'C' is 2, 'D' is 1 and 'F' is 0. Check with your school's official grading policy for greater accuracy if plus or minus grades, such as an A -, are given out.
Enter into column C the number of credits, or semester hours, that applies to each class. Check your course schedule and/or course catalog if you're unsure of how many credits to assign to a class.
Allow Excel to calculate the quality points, or the multiplication of the numerical grades, by the credits. Click on cell D2, the first empty cell in that column below the heading, and drag until the D cells corresponding to all of the classes are highlighted in blue. Type " = B2 * C2" into the toolbar at the top of the spreadsheet. Select "Fill Down" from the "Edit" menu and press "Enter." Check that the calculations appear for each class into column D.
Add the column for the quality points by selecting the cell in the D column of the empty GPA row then entering "=Sum" into the toolbar followed by the range of cells you want to include: for example, if the quality points are listed in cells D2 to D6, type "=Sum(D2:D6)" and press "Enter." Add the column for the credits using the same technique in the C column.
Calculate GPA by dividing the quality point cell in that row by the credit cell. For example, if the quality points are in D7 and the credits are in C7, enter the following into the toolbar "=D7/C7" and press "Enter" to calculate the GPA. Save your spreadsheet.
This process may seem involved but once you're used to entering the data, the spreadsheet can be made in a couple of minutes.