If you’re interested in studying abroad and have already begun researching colleges and universities, you’ll likely have come across the term “Grade Point Average” (GPA). The Indian education system does follow a GPA grading scale, however, it is different from the international GPA scale used by schools abroad, like in the US, Canada, and Australia. International students from schools who follow a different GPA grading scale may be confused when they switch to a new system. SchoolApply can smooth out this transition by calculating your GPA according to the scale used by schools abroad.


What are GPA and CGPA?

GPA is an abbreviation for Grade Point Average. It is a standard method of calculating a student’s average grade over a stipulated period, like one term/semester. GPA is calculated by dividing the average grade points a student achieves by the total credit hours attended by the student.

how to calculate gpa

CGPA  stands for “Cumulative Grade Point Average.” It is used to denote a student’s overall average performance throughout their academic program, be it a high school, a Bachelor’s Degree, or a Master’s Degree program. To start off, credit hours are the total amount of time a student spends in classes. Grade points are the marks you receive for your subjects. To calculate a CGPA, you simply divide your total score of grade points for all subjects throughout your semesters by the total number of credit hours attended. GPA and CGPA are indicated by a number as opposed to the percentages or grades that are assigned under the Indian grading system.

GPA is a standard grading method practiced across the US, Canada, and Australia. However, the grading scale is different for every country. In the US and Canada, the GPA band is 0.0 to 4.0 points, with 4.0 being the highest mark/score. Certain schools in Australia use a GPA band from 0.0 to 7.0, where 7.0 is the highest mark/score.  

At SchoolApply, we calculate the GPA for our students

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How the GPA system compares to the Indian grading system

Students from an Indian education background will find the International GPA grading system used by schools abroad different from what they are used to. This is because Indian schools grade academic performance through one of these two systems: 1) Percentage system, or 2) A 10-point GPA system. In the percentage system, marks are converted to a percentage which is then assigned to a category of four ranks known as divisions: Distinction, which is 75% and above; 1st Division, which is between 60% and 75%; 2nd Division, which is between 50% and 60%; and 3rd Division, which is between 40% and 50%. In the 10-point GPA system, letter grades are normally attached to points, for instance, a grade point of 9 earns an “A” letter grade.

Normally, letter grades and percentages can easily be converted to an International GPA. First, the percentages are translated to letter grades, and these letter grades are matched to the standardized International GPA score. For example, a mark of 95% would be an A grade which equals 4.0; a mark of 85% would be a B which equals 3.0; a C is 2.0 and a D is 1.0.

Here is a US GPA conversion table for your reference:

US Grade Point Equivalent for Percentages and Grade Points Scored in Indian Schools

Indian Percentage Grading System Letter Grades US 4-point GPA System



















For students applying abroad, American and Canadian schools consider a minimum GPA an essential requirement for admission to Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree programs.

If you want to apply to schools that require you to submit your high school grades in a GPA format, just send your Indian high school grades to SchoolApply. Once we receive your transcript, we will convert them for you!


Why is GPA important?

In the same way you receive an average mark at the end of a class, your GPA is an average of how you fared in all your courses over a given period of time. When an admissions officer looks at your required transcript, the first thing they see is the results of the effort you put into your studies. Beyond that, your final grades and GPA can also tell a story of who you are. They get a glimpse of your commitment, perseverance and time management skills. They can get an idea of what your work ethic and study habits are and how productive you are.

Of course, having a higher GPA also means that you are smart and able to understand difficult concepts easily. If your GPA is high enough, you may also be eligible for scholarships to help pay for tuition. On top of that, your future employer might also consider your GPA important. This is why it is crucial that you focus on achieving good grades while at school.

If you graduate with a low GPA, not all hope is lost. You can still get into college with a low GPA and SchoolApply can help you submit your application to the schools that are the best fit for you.


Catch your GPA in time

It is especially important to start focusing on getting good grades from Grade 10. When applying to university you will usually use your marks from Grade 11 but your final marks for Grade 12 can still be a deal breaker! It’s important to start early because your GPA is an average. However, improving your grades every year will also show progress on your official transcript.

If you have a low GPA, take some time to determine the cause. Are you not studying enough? Can you focus while studying? Are you struggling to understand the work? Sit down and carefully think this through. Once you have determined what the cause is, start coming up with solutions. Study at the school library, try a different study method or explore what supportive resources are available to you.

You can also start attending tutoring classes or join a study group. This is a good way to be held accountable for studying and you get to have fun as well! Explaining things to others is often also a great way to learn things yourself. You can also talk to your teacher or instructor to find out how they can help you before graduation.

This is your future. Put in the hard work because you will reap the benefits of it. Make sure that you build up a good portfolio for your college application. Lastly, take a deep breath and enjoy the journey. It isn’t about the destination, but about the journey. If you’re unsure if higher studies or studying abroad is for you, get in touch with SchoolApply to discuss your options and how they can help you find exactly the right path for you.