Translating Your Record
Calculating Your GPA
Most US colleges and universities use the following grades for both graduate and undergraduate students.
- A exceptional/outstanding (90-100 percent)
- B good (80-99.9 percent)
- C fair (70-79.9 percent)
- D poor (60-69.9 percent)
- F failure (below 60 percent)
Some schools allow instructors to add a plus (+) or a minus (-) to a grade. For example, a student may receive an "A+" or an "A-, a "B+" or a "B-", and so on.
Other grade designations include:
- I incomplete
- WP withdrew from passing
- N no grade assigned
- S satisfactory
- U unsatisfactory
- NC noncredit
- IP in progress
- DR dropped
Translating Your Records
There's no magic formula to convert your country's grades into the United States system. Fortunately, many college and university admissions counselors are familiar with various international grading systems, and often have firsthand knowledge of different school systems.
Some schools use ratios to approximate your grades on an United States scale, however, most colleges and universities judge academic transcripts in context to your own educational system. For example, they will compare several student applicants from the same region. Or, if they are unfamiliar with a system, they often contact the Department of State's Educational
Information's Datadvising Centers located in nations around the world.
To help facilitate the process, international schools often send admission counselors profiles with information on their courses, grading systems and academic achievements. You might want to see if your school would provide this service, or ask the person writing your recommendation to include some information about your school record.
Your class rank and test scores are especially important, because they help in the overall decision making.
Calculating your GPA
Once you begin studying in the United States, you may want to learn how to calculate your grade point average or GPA. Here's help
- A is worth 4 points
- B is worth 3 points
- C is worth 2 points
- D is worth 1 point
- F is zero points
First multiply your grades by the number of credits, and then divide this sum by the total number of credit hours.
Example: if you received an "A" for a three-credit course, you multiply 4x3, and the result is 12. If you received a "B" for a two-credit course, you multiply 3x2 and the result is 6.
- Add your total points (12+6=18).
- Then add together your total number of credits (3+2=5).
- Finally, divide the total number of points by the total number of credits (18/5).
- The result in this case would be a 3.6 GPA.
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