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What’s the Role of GPA ?

Your GPA or grade point average is important to admissions committees, not because it signifies your intelligence, but instead because it is a long-term indicator how well you perform your job as student.

Grades reflect your motivation and your ability to do consistently good or bad work. Generally, most master’s programs require minimum GPAs of 3.0 or 3.3, and most Ph.D. programs require minimum GPAs of 3.3 or 3.5.

Not all grades are the same, though. Admissions committees study the courses taken: a B in Advanced Statistics is worth more than an A in Introduction to Pottery. In other words, they consider the context of the GPA: where was it obtained and of what courses is it comprised? In many cases, it’s better to have a lower GPA composed of solid challenging courses than a high GPA based on easy courses like “Basket Weaving for Beginners” and the like.

Frequently admissions committees will examine your overall average GPA as well as the GPA for the courses relevant to the programs to which you’re applying (e.g.: GPA in science and math courses for applicants to medical school and graduate programs in the sciences. you can use College GPA calculator to determine you exact GPA ). Ensure that you’re taking the right courses for the graduate program to which you plan to apply.

Admissions committees also understand that applicants’ grade point averages often can’t be meaningfully compared. Grades can differ among universities – an A at one university may be a B+ at another. Also grades differ among professors in the same university. Because grade point averages are not standardized, it’s hard to compare applicants’ GPAs.

Therefore admissions committees turn to standardized exams, like the GRE, MCAT, LSAT, and GMAT, to make comparisons among applicants from different universities. Therefore if you have a low GPA, it is essential that you try your best on these tests.

American Grade Point Average (GPA) System: GPA Scale

Grade Points Equivalent
4 Excellent
3 Good
2 Pass
1 Failure

How to Calculate GPA ?

If a student seeking admission to graduate studies hails from a different system i.e. India, Pakistan etc. he/she should clearly mention that GPA system does not exist and give an alternative score subject to their respective scale. It is recommended to send your rank certificate/Official Average score of class/Toppers grades etc to ease difference between GPA and your system. There is no other way to calculate GPA.

A conversion between Indian and American GPA system is given below is just an indicative how you can compare them.

GPA Converter: GPA Vs Percentage

Comparison GPA Scale and 10 Point Scale

US 4.0 GPA Scale System Indian System

Grade Point System

10 Point system

4 Excellent 8-10 Excellent
3 Good 6-7 Good
2 Passing 3-5 Passing
1 Failure 1-2 Failure

Is GPA a factor in finding employment?

A growing number of employers are interested in knowing the academic standing and strengths of their applicants. While reviewing your resume, a potential employer will also glance at your transcripts to assess how well you performed academically while you worked part-time or full-time. Some employers may be open to hearing your response to their questions regarding your grades. Others may have established minimal academic standards due to the nature of duties for the position, the level of sophistication of assignments, or complexity of equipment.