How to Calculate GPA Quality Points

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As a concept, grade point average, or GPA, seems straightforward enough -- numerical values used to standardize letter grades. Still, factors in calculating GPA, including quality points and grading scales, can sometimes cause confusion. Understanding how these factors work in concert to create a GPA can give you a powerful tool in managing this important number.

Calculating GPA with Quality Points

    Find your grade for the class on a report card, through an online grade reporting system or directly from your teacher.

    Locate your school’s grading scale in the student handbook or the school’s website. Commonly, an "A" is worth 4.0, a "B" equals 3.0 and so on. Use the correct scale or your may calculate your GPA incorrectly.

    Confirm how many credits each class is worth. In college, an average class earns three credits. For high schools, often one credit is awarded for a yearlong class. You cannot figure your GPA without knowing how many credits you attempted.

    Multiply the numeric value of your grade by the number of credits you attempted for each course. Add the products together to get your total quality points.

    Sum your credits attempted. Divide your total quality points by the total. The answer is your GPA. Traditionally, that number is reported to two decimal places.

    Things You'll Need

    • Spreadsheet program
    • Pencil and paper
    • Calculator


    • Check the rules. Some schools offer bonuses for passing particular classes to add weight to a GPA.

      Use a spreadsheet program to enter hypothetical grades and credits to see how future grades will impact your GPA.


    • Report the GPA issued from your school on applications.

      Using credits earned instead of credits attempted will inflate your GPA artificially.

      Some schools do not round up for GPA.


  • “Measurement and Assessment in Teaching, 9th Ed.”; Robert L. Linn, et al.; 2005

About the Author

Christopher Perez started writing professionally in 2011. He has been a guidance counselor for middle and high school students since 2001 and also provides guidance in the school district's virtual programs. A University of South Florida graduate, Perez holds a Master of Arts in educational counseling and a Bachelor of Theater Arts.

Photo Credits

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