Sometimes, it might feel like grades don’t matter as much in middle school as they will in high school and college. Even though the stakes will be higher later, both your grade point average and the classes you take in middle school can affect your options for the rest of your school career. If you do well in middle school, you can set yourself up for course tracks that will take you toward high-paying careers in STEM, medicine or law. However, if you don’t take your studies seriously, it can be easy to fall behind. One way to stay on track with your studies is to keep tabs on your grade point average, or GPA.
Do You Need a GPA Calculator for Middle School?
In middle school, calculating your GPA is simple because your class schedule is less varied. In high school and college, you will have a greater variety of courses from which to choose. Some courses are weighted, such as honors, advanced placement and International Baccalaureate, making GPA calculation more complicated. Because of this, many high school students will use a GPA calculator. Middle school usually doesn’t offer weighted classes, so you probably won’t need to use a GPA calculator in middle school.
What Is a Grade Point Average?
The GPA is a scale that high schools and colleges use to compare students. Most schools calculate GPA on a scale between 0 and 4.0 with 4.0 being the highest, equal to an A+ on the letter-grading scale. Some schools use scales that go up to 5.0 or more, but that is less common.
When grades are weighted, that means 0.5 or 1.0 points are added to the base score for that letter. For example, if you earn a B in a 0.5 weighted class, it will equal 3.5 instead of 3.0.
At some schools, honors classes are weighted 0.5 more than their nonhonors counterparts. Pre-AP and pre-IB classes are also weighted 0.5. AP and IB classes in high school are weighted a full point.
How to Calculate Your GPA
To calculate your GPA for one grading period, first list all of your letter grades. Next, translate each of your letter grades into its numerical score. If any of your grades are weighted, add the appropriate weight to each before the next step.
A = 4.0
B = 3.0
C = 2.0
D = 1.0
F = 0.0
Add up all of the numerical scores for your grades and then divide the total by the number of classes you have. The product is your GPA.
Example: You took seven classes, and you earned the following grades: A, B, A, C, A, A and B.
Numerical Scores: 4 + 3 + 4 + 2 + 4 + 4 + 3 = 24.
Divide that number by 7: 24 ÷ 7 = 3.43, a B GPA.
The easiest way to calculate your cumulative GPA score for middle school is to average your yearly GPA scores together. However, if you’d like to do more math, you can calculate each grading period using the method above and then find the average for each year first.
GPA Scores and Letter Grades
Any GPA of 3.5 or higher would be considered an A GPA score. A B GPA score is any GPA score that falls between 2.5 and 3.49. GPAs between 1.5 and 2.49 are considered C GPA scores. Try to stay at 1.5 GPA or higher because some schools have policies that may prevent you from graduating if you have a GPA that equals a D letter grade or lower.
Rebecca Renner is a teacher and college professor from Florida. She loves teaching about literature, and she writes about books for Book Riot, Real Simple, Electric Literature and more.