What is Grade Point Average (GPA) & How is it Calculated?

By Neha Kumari Updated On - Jul 19, 2021 12:47 PM

Grade Point Average (GPA) is the average of all the grades obtained by a student in his/ her academic studies. It is an international grading standard used for admissions in universities abroad and is measured in numerals, alphabets on a different scale in various countries.

The grading system in education is a standardised process to define different levels of academic abilities of a student. The education system and grading system in countries across the world is varied and is set as a standard for admissions within the country. However, to study in a foreign country, the need for a uniform grading system was realised. To sort out the problem, an internationally recognised calculation was introduced to calculate the grades, which is referred to as the Grade Point Average (GPA).

To define the Grade Point Average, GPA is the average result of all the grades obtained by a student in his/ her academic studies.

Difference Between Grades, GPA and CGPA

Students who are interested in studying abroad must know the difference between the grading system and GPA, as GPA is required to complete the application process at an international institution. 

A Grade is a numerical value in the form of marks or percentage obtained by a student for a particular course in a specific period of time. In Indian schools and colleges, students receive marks out of 100 for each subject and the overall marks in all subjects is converted into a percentage to get the final score of a term. 

Grade Point Average (GPA) is the average of grades obtained by students in a given period of time and is represented in the form of numerical or letters. For example, it can range on a scale of 0 to 4.0 or A to F.

GPA is calculated for high school, undergraduate, and graduate students for admissions in foreign educational institutions to compare the past academic performances of applicants.

Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) is similar to GPA. It is another grading system that is also used in India. However, it is only defined in numerical form on a scale of 0 to 10. 

The following formula is used to calculate the CGPA on a scale of 0 to 10.

CGPA = (Percentage /90) * 10

For example, if the percentage is 70% then,

CGPA = (70/ 90) * 10 = 7.7 out of 10 

Also Read: When is the Right Time to Start Planning for Study Abroad?

Education Grading System in India 

The Education Grading System in India is constantly adapting and changing to the current needs of society. In India, marks are allotted in the form of percentage or CGPA (0- 10). Based on the percentage obtained, the following qualifications are defined:


Academic Division 

75% and above 


60% to 74.9%

1st Division

50% to 69.9%

2nd Division 

40% to 49.9%

3rd Division

CBSE follows a grading system for class X & XII students in which marks are represented in Grade Points on a scale of 0 to 10 and grades in alphabets which is as follows:

Marks Range


Grade Point


  10.0- 9.1



9.0- 8.1



8.0- 7.1



7.0- 6.1



6.0- 5.1



5.0- 4.1 



4.0- 3.1 



3.0- 0.0


Education Grading System in Foreign Countries 

GPA is the grading method used in countries like the US, Canada and Australia, which are some of the top study abroad destinations for higher education. However, these countries use different grading scales to determine the GPA. For example, the GPA scale used in US universities ranges from 0.0 to 4.0, while, in Australia, the GPA Grade scale ranges from 0.0 to 7.0.

Also Read: IELTS Academic vs IELTS General: What’s the Difference?

Need of GPA to Study Abroad 

There are various grading systems acceptable in different countries and universities. To avoid confusion and ease the international student admission process, universities abroad convert the marks or percentages into a common and standardised format, known as the GPA.

For example, if you are planning to take admission to one of the universities in the United States, the percentage/ marks you secured in your home country, will be converted to a scale of 0 to 4.0.

GPA is needed to complete the application process at universities abroad but also simplify the entire admission process for both the universities and the aspiring overseas students. It is used to determine the level of performance of students in academics based on which the decision on admission is taken. 

How to Calculate Grade Point Average (GPA)

The process of calculating the Grade Point Average defined by the countries themselves.GPA on a scale of 0 to 10 is calculated using the following formula - Percentage/ 9.5 which results in a score on a scale of 0 to 10. For example, if the percentage is 65% then its corresponding GPA will be 6.84 out of 10.

However, there is no straight forward formula to calculate the GPA on a scale of 0 to 4.0. To know the exact GPA on a scale of 0 to 4.0, aspirants can use the paid services of WES (World Education Services).

Most universities and colleges will have a dedicated international student’s office or an admission office, wherein the university will be able to guide the students in converting their scores that are accepted by the university itself. If you are interested in studying at one of the reputable universities in the world, then visit Collegedekho’s Study Abroad website and browse through the sea of options available for you.

You can reach out to us at abroad@collegedekho.com for any queries and information related to study abroad. 

You can share this post!

Admission 2021

Royal Holloway University of London

Egham, United Kingdom

University of York

York, United Kingdom

University of Hartford

West Hartford, USA

Entrance Exams to StudyAbroad

Related Institutes

Planning to study abroad?

Admissions open for 2021

Connect with us to know your study options overseas and kickstart your learning journey for a rewarding experience!