4.0 vs 5.0 GPA Scale

A GPA also known as the Grade point Average is a grading system in college, which is used to determine the academic achievement of students at the end of a semester. However, this grading system has two types of scale in which it can be measured. There is that of the 4.0 GPA and there is that of 5.0. This scale is always determined by the school’s academic administrative board. However, you may want to know the difference between the two scales. Let us know about ‘4.0 vs 5.0 GPA Scale’.

4.0 vs 5.0 GPA Scale

4.0 vs 5.0 GPA Scale:

The 4.0 GPA is also known as the unweighted GPA while the 5.0 is also known as the weighted GPA. Firstly, this scale is always determined by the school’s academic affairs, meaning some schools make use of the 4.0 GPA scale while some make use of the 5.0 GPA scale. However, a 3.5 GPA out of a 4.0 scale is equivalent to a 4.5 out of a 5.0 scale. Despite the equivalence in the academic achievement grading system, there are some slight differences between the weighted GPA and the unweighted GPA.

Differences between the Unweighted GPA and the Weighted GPA:

The 5.0 GPA scale(weighted) takes into cognizance the difficulty experienced in classes while the 4.0 GPA scale(unweighted) doesn’t. The 5.0 GPA gives you room to perform better especially when your school gives extra points for courses like advanced placement, etc.

GPA Calculator:

As a student, It is very important to know how to calculate your GPA. A GPA calculator can help you to calculate your high school, college, and cumulative GPA without any mistakes. These calculations are based on the grade you have in each course. For a 4.0 grading system, the grade “A” is 4.0 which is also equivalent to 5.0 on a 5.0 grading scale. This is also applicable to other grades, the B grade is 3 points on the 4.0 grading scale which is equivalent to 4 points on the 5.0 grading scale.

High School GPA Calculator:

Some high schools in the United States and European countries have started using the GPA grading system to measure the academic achievement of their students. This is done by turning your letter grades into a total point in the figure. You need to add all your courses’ grades and calculate the average.

The table below shows a 4.0 grading scale for a student who offered mathematics, statistics, General studies, chemistry, analytical chemistry, and physics in the 200L first semester and had A, B, D, A, B, and C respectively. These courses have their normal unit and this result is calculated using a 4.0 grading scale

Mathematics 3A4×3=12
General Studies 2D1×2=2
Analytical Chemistry2B3×2=6
Total 1543÷15=2.8

Using a 5.0 GPA scale go calculate the above result; we have;

Mathematics 3A5×3=15
General Studies 2D2×2=4
Analytical Chemistry2B4×2=8
Total 1558÷15= 3.8

Cumulative GPA calculator:

The cumulative GPA is used to calculate the gross GPA per session. It is used to measure the academic achievement of students after a session or session. It is done by summing up all the GPA and dividing it by the number of semesters. The table below is used to explain the cumulative GPA of a student after the whole academic program

1st semester3.5
2nd semester4.0
3rd semester3.7
4th semester 3.2
5th semester3.5
6th semester3.6
7th semester3.8
8th semester3.9

(Divide the total number of the GPA by the number of semesters) 29.2/8= 3.65

A 4.0 GPA Scale (unweighted GPA):

Using the 4.0 GPA scale will convert your grade and percentage score to an overall score. This score is used to measure your academic achievement per semester. However, the unweighted GPA does not take cognizance of the difficulty of courses. It is the wish of every college student to have a 4.0 GPA, meaning you have to score straight As in all the courses. The highest grade is A in the 4.0 grading system is 4.0, while the lowest grade is F. Compared to the 5.0, you are only entities to four grades and some courses may have to be done the second time because there is no grade “E”

4.0 GPA scale (A=4.0)

 Grade Grade Point

A+ 4.0

A 4.0

A- 3.7

B+ 3.3

B 3.0

B- 2.7

C+ 2.3

C 2.0

C- 1.7

D+ 1.3

D 1.0

D- 0.7

F 0.0

The 5.0 GPA scale (weighted GPA):

The 5.0 GPA is also known as the weighted GPA, it is used to determine the overall achievement of students by relating the percentage score to a grading scale which helps them to know their qualifications at the end of an academic session, the weighted GPA takes cognizance of the difficulties in the classroom and also,o if you have been taking AP and IB class will give a higher chance of having a higher GPA. However, being serious about academics is another criterion for having a high GPA

5.0 GPA scale (A=5.0)

Letter Grade Grade Point

A+ 5.0

A 5.0

A- 4.7

B+ 4.3

B 4.0

B- 3.7

C+ 3.3

C 3.0

C- 2.7

D+ 2.3

D 2.0

D- 1.7

F 0.0

Convert GPA from 5.0 to 4.0 Scale:

Most schools in the United States use the 4.0 grading scale. Therefore, if you are an international student aspiring to study in the US, it is very good to compare your competence to the standardized grading system of the United States. To convert your G.PA from a 5.0 scale to 4.0, you can use a GPA converter calculator or calculate it yourself. The table below will show you how to convert your GPA from 5.0 to 4.0 grading system 

CourseGrade Total unit
AP Physics A-3
AP StatisticsA+1
Geophysics A+3
Total 13

To convert this weighted GPA to an unweighted one, you have to use the 4.0 grading system:-

CourseGradeUnitCalculation Total point 
AP Physics A-33×3.7=11.111.1
AP StatisticsA+11×4.0=44

44.5/13= 3.42. The Grade point average using the unweighted grading system is 3.42

Criteria for having a high-Grade Point Average: 

A good GPA ranges from 3.0 to 3.49 GPA while an exceptional and excellent GPA usually ranges from 3.50- 4.0 GPA. Having a high GPA boils down to excelling in your academic pursuit and attaining academic success. Some laws and principles guide life and academics are not an exception, to come out with flying colors, you have to be disciplined and effective in your study habits.

The following tips will help you have a high GPA and also build yourself the best and most amazing academic records

  • Go to class regularly
  • Involvement in active participation in class
  • Organize yourself
  • Do a weekly study review and give yourself an assignment outside the scope of your course
  • Make friends with smart people
  • Set SMART goals 
  • Be accountable
  • Make use of the library
  • Study in a smart way
  • Be vast in your learning, don’t be limited to what you learn in class alone 


In conclusion, as an exceptional student, you need to know how to calculate your GPA, the conversion from 5.0 to 4.0. When you take cognizance of the calculation procedure of your GPA, it will be easy for you to keep track of your GPA, and also be aware of any mistakes from the school 

Frequently Asked Questions: 
  • What is the difference between a 4.0 GPA and a 5.0 GPA?

The 4.0 GPA is the unweighted GPA while the 5.0 GPA is the weighted GPA

  • Why is the 4.0 GPA  called an unweighted GPA while the 5.0 is called a weighted GPA?

It does not take cognizance of the difficult courses and easy ones, the 5.0 GPA takes cognizance of these difficult and easy ones

  • What is the similarity between the 4.0 and 5.0 grading systems?

The letter grade of each course equals the grading scale. That is, a 3.5 GPA out of a 4.0 scale is equivalent to a 4.5 out of a 5.0 scale.