Before getting into what a GOOD GPA is, let’s first understand what the GPA is. GPA stands for Grade Point Average, and it’s the system used in colleges and universities to judge a student’s academic merits.
A good GPA can be the key for a student to enter honors societies, prestigious graduate programs, and good paying jobs. On the other hand, a bad GPA can be cause for getting expelled.
How Does GPA Work?
So, how does the GPA work? Well, basically the scores go from 0.0 to 4.0, and they correspond to a letter grade, ranging from A to F; A being the highest possible grade and F the lowest. So, the actual numerical range that corresponds to each letter grade goes as follows:
Some professors might grade your work using the percent grade, so it is always good to know the scale so that can calculate your letter grade. It is also useful to calculate your high school GPA to give you some idea of how you might perform as a freshman in college.
Why is GPA Important?
Have you ever wondered about the big fuss over your GPA? We’ve answered all your questions about why a GPA actually matters.
The importance of your GPA sometimes depends on your major and it’s also good to understand that most colleges have a minimum 2.0 GPA for their students to comply, if they don’t, they can be put on probation or even kicked out if their grades don’t improve. This can be critical for those that are student-athletes since they can be ruled ineligible if they land on academic probation.
Also, some majors require a specific GPA to remain in the program. For example, those that study Education must have at least a 3.0 GPA. For majors like pre-law or pre-med, it can even be higher. Some require a B or higher in major-specific classes. But, don’t freak out just yet, most courses can be re-taken so that you can get a better grade.
If you have a high GPA, honors societies at school and other recognitions might come your way and those always look good on your resume. To get on the Dean’s List of outstanding academic achievement, you need to finish the semester with a GPA of 3.5 or above.
A graduate degree depends a great deal on your undergraduate GPA. Most programs ask for a minimum of 3.0 and if it’s a very competitive program, it could even ask for a 3.5 or even a 4.0 to have a chance of being admitted.
How Can You Keep a High GPA?
One of the challenges of a college student is being able to balance schoolwork and a social life. If you manage to develop a strategy to keep those in check, then you have a good shot at having a high GPA.
First of all, you have to really understand the GPA scoring system before you start your freshman classes. It’s important to know that GPA is cumulative, so it’s harder to affect your GPA if you take more classes. If you have As and Bs in the majority of your courses, a D will have a somewhat important impact on your GPA.
You should also be strategic when it comes to class selection; try to pick a class with professors that aren’t as demanding or prone to give you pop quizzes and extra homework, so ask around when you have the choice between two or more professors for the same class.
Knowing your strengths and weaknesses is also a good way to pick your classes; there are majors that have classes that can’t be avoided, but often there are two or three selections in those majors that are needed to fill a course-level requirement. Whenever you have a choice, always go with something you know you’re good at and that can help you raise your GPA.
Of course, the time-tested way to keep good grades is by studying and working hard. Making a schedule that has you studying during your peak focus times is a must and turning it into a routine that gives you 4-5 hours of class or study time per day and your GPA is going to stay high.