High School GPA Calculator
This high school GPA calculator computes both weighted and unweighted GPAs for high school courses; it allows the users to define the added point value(s) of honors, AP, IB, or college courses. In addition, it accepts inputs in the form of either letter grades or in terms of their point values. When using letter grades, you can either use the default point values of the letter grades or you can provide the values for your specific point system. The inputs will be saved in your browser for up to one year for the convenience of returning users. For the calculation of GPAs not specific to high school, please use our GPA Calculator.
Weighted vs unweighted GPA
A GPA, or grade point average, is a number that measures how well a student scores on average. In the most common GPA system, GPA ranges from 0 to 4.0, where a 4.0 indicates an A (or A+ depending on the system used) and a 0 is an F. A GPA that does not take the difficulty of the classes taken into consideration is referred to as an unweighted GPA, while a GPA that does take the difficulty into consideration is known as a weighted GPA. The table below shows the letter grades commonly used and their corresponding point values in an unweighted GPA system:
|Letter grade||Percentage||Point value|
|A+||97-100||4.3 or (4.0)|
In high school in the US, students have many different options of classes. Even classes for the same subjects have varying levels of difficulty. Generally, there is a regular base level class, an honors class, and an AP or IB class. In an unweighted GPA system, an A in any of these classes has the same value of 4.0, hence the term "unweighted," since the difficulty of the class is not taken into account.
In contrast, a weighted GPA seeks to express these differences in difficulty by assigning higher point values for grades attained in more challenging courses. Thus, a school that uses a weighted GPA system may have point values that range from 0-5.0 or higher rather than 0-4.0. The table below shows the letter grades used and their corresponding point values in honors classes, as well as in AP/IB classes when 0.5 point is added to honors classes and 1 point is added to AP/IB classes:
|Letter grade||Percentage||Honors point value||AP/IB point value|
Note that these values are just examples. There are many different GPA systems in schools throughout the US, so it is important to be aware of whatever system your school uses. The High School GPA Calculator allows you to change the point values of each letter grade for your specific school.
High school course credit requirements
In the context of a high school course, a credit is a measurement of the degree to which a student has fulfilled their educational requirements. The number of credits required for a student to graduate is highly variable globally as well as within the United States. In the majority of the US, a year-long course is typically worth 1 credit, while a semester-long course is worth 0.5 credits. The number of credits required to graduate high school varies by state, with the lowest number of credits required being Maine (using 2020 data), with 11 credits. The highest number of credits required is 24, which is the requirement of many states such as Alabama, Delaware, Florida, Mississippi, and many more.
Although many states require the students to complete 24 credits, the breakdown of the credits can, and typically do differ. For example, the 24 credits required in Mississippi is broken down into 4.0 English/language arts credits; the same is true for social studies, science, and mathematics, which makes up 16/24 of the required credits. The remaining 8 credits are "other credits" which allows students to explore other topics that they otherwise may not. In contrast, Maine only requires that students get 4.0 credits of English/language arts, 2.0 credits of social studies, science, and mathematics, and 1.0 other credits.
How to calculate GPA
The calculation of GPA is relatively straightforward and involves using the point values of the given letter grades along with the number of credits for the corresponding classes.
To calculate unweighted GPA, first convert letter grades to their corresponding point values. Then, calculate the product of the number of credits for a given course and the GPA obtained in that course, and divide the result by the total number of credits. For example, if a student received an A in a 1-credit honors English course, an A+ in a 1-credit AP math class, and a B+ in a regular 0.5 credits art class, the unweighted GPA is calculated as follows:
Calculating weighted GPA is much the same as calculating the unweighted GPA. The key component that distinguishes a weighted GPA from an unweighted one is the point value of the corresponding course. Generally, for an honors course, 0.5 points is added to the point value of the regular course; for an AP or IB course, 1 point is added. However, depending on the school, the number of points added may differ.
To calculate the weighted GPA, determine the point value of honors and AP classes, then find the product of the credit value for the class and the corresponding point value for each course, and divide the result by the total number of credits. For example, if a student receives an A in a 1-credit honors English course, an A+ in a 1-credit AP math class, and a B+ in a regular 0.5 credit art class, the point values for the honors and AP class must be adjusted. Typically, an A is worth 4.0, so adding 0.5 points since it is an honors class yields a point value of 4.5. Similarly, an AP class is worth an additional point, so we add 1.0 to 4.3 to find a point value for an AP class of 5.3. The final course point value stays the same since it is a regular art course. Thus, the GPA can be calculated as follows: