Difference Between GPA and CGPA

5 minute read
Difference Between GPA and CGPA

Calculating and keeping a track of your grades and grade points is important, one needs to be aware of the different methods of assessment. Different boards and different universities have different ways of calculating, assessing, and grading your work. It is important to have a general idea of these terms and how the calculation behind them works. In Indian as well as international grading systems, terms like GPA and CGPA are frequently used and it is essential to familiarize yourself with the difference between them, the necessary calculations, and the conversions required. Here is all the information that you will need to understand the difference between GPA and CGPA.

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What is GPA?

A term that you will come across in your school as well as in college is Grade Point Average (GPA), a GPA is a number that indicates your score on an average. A grade point can be a number or a letter. For example, if your grade is A it usually stands for a number, usually, a multiple of 4 so if you get an A your GPA would be 4 and if you get a B then the grade point goes to 3 and the scale keeps shifting according to the grading system. There are different ways of estimating your grade point depending on what country are you in and what institution you are enrolled in. Let us see how to calculate your GPA through an example:

Let’s assume you took 3 courses with 3 credits each.
Here are the points for different grades:
Subject 1- A (4 on GPA scale)
Subject 2- C (2 on GPA scale)
Subject 3- B (3 on GPA scale) 

Now if we multiply the grade by the credits we get 12 for Subject 1, 6 for Subject 2, 9 for Subject 3. If we add up these numbers your total grade point is 27 and if we divide it by the total credits which are 9 (3+3+3) we get the number 3, hence 3 is your GPA. Hence one can see how credits also play an important role in determining your grade point. 

What is CGPA?

CGPA stands for Cumulative Grade Point Average. It is usually used to measure the overall academic performance of a student. CGPA is calculated by obtaining the mean of the GPA that a student is awarded every semester and is divided by the total number of credits. As per the CGPA system, certain grades are allotted to a range of marks such as Grade Point 9 for 90-95 marks and often academic institutions have their CGPA conversion table available.

Difference Between GPA and CGPA: Defining CGPA 

While both GPA and CGPA measure the performance of an individual in a course, there is a certain difference between them. The main difference between GPA and CGPA is that CGPA measures the performance throughout the course including all units and semesters. But GPA measures the performance of a single unit or semester. 

To help you understand the key differences setting them apart, we have enlisted some pointers below:

GPA is used for grading for a single semester while CGPA accumulates the total marks and total credits across all the semesters.

Time Period
GPA is for a shorter time period, for a semester or a term maybe whereas CGPA covers a longer academic duration, for example, the entire duration of a bachelor’s degree including all the semesters. 

As CGPA accumulates the grades of all semesters, you need to have a good GPA in every semester to score a good average for your chosen degree. Thus, both GPA and CGPA are actually connected with each other and in order to get a good CGPA, you need to ensure that you score better GPAs throughout all the semesters.

When it comes to providing academic scores for higher studies, universities often consider the GPAs of a student to assess their consistency throughout the course duration and lesser emphasis is laid on CGPA. If you are planning to study abroad, universities and colleges will generally ask you to provide GPA rather than CGPA which is more emphasized in Indian universities.

Assessment Scores or Grades
GPA utilizes grades like A, B, C, D, or E while CGPA has grade points commonly from 1 to 10 which are bifurcated across a particular range of marks.

Grade Point System
Amongst the most common differences between GPA and CGPA, Indian universities use a 10-point GPA system while a 4-point GPA system is used in the UK and several other countries abroad. Further, CGPA often utilizes a uniform grading system through the bifurcation of the range of marks that can differ as per the university or the country.

How to Calculate GPA and CGPA?

Here is how you can calculate GPA and CGPA:

GPA Formula 

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GPA Formula is based on the following table:

GradePercent Grade4.0 Scale4.0 + Scale
A +97 – 1004.04.3
A93 – 964.04.0
A – 90 -923.73.7
B +87 – 893.33.3
B83 – 863.03.0
B –80 – 822.72.7
C +77 – 792.32.3
C73 – 762.02.0
C – 70 – 721.71.7
D +67 – 691.31.3
D65 – 661.01.0
D – Below 650.70.7
FBelow 650.00.0

GPA Example & Calculation

CoursesCredit HrsGradePoint for GradesWeighted Grade Pts.
Physics4A44 x 4 = 16
Maths3B33 x 3 = 9
English3B33 x 3 = 9
Science5A45 x 4 =20
Total = 15Total = 54

GPA = 54/15 = 3.6

CGPA Formula 

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CGPA Example & Calculation

SemestersCredit HoursGPAWeight Average GPA
1223.522 x 3.5 = 77
2203.220 x 3.2 = 64
Total = 42Total = 141

CGPA = 141/42 = 3.36

Importance of GPA and CGPA

Now that we have established the difference between GPA and CGPA let us look at why they are important and interconnected at the same time:

  • You need to keep your GPA consistent in order to get a good CGPA.
  • Colleges usually ask for your GPA as well as your CGPA hence one needs to focus on both since both of them are indicated on your mark sheet. 
  • Here are a few fields where your GPA and CGPA will matter:
    • Applying for a program for higher studies.
    • For various scholarships.
    • Applying for placements. 
  • CGPA is considered as an important factor when it comes to cutoffs for various programs and scholarships, students are chosen and rejected due to the difference of a mere decimal number hence one needs to really focus on getting a good CGPA.


What is a GPA?

Grade Point Average (GPA) is a number that indicates your score on an average

What is a CGPA?

CGPA stands for Cumulative Grade Point Average. It is usually used to measure the overall academic performance of a student.

Where do a GPA and CGPA matter?

Applying for a program for higher studies.
For various scholarships.
Applying for placements.

Mentioning your CGPA is an important aspect of the application process, any errors in this section may decrease your chances of getting admitted to your dream college. If you want to ensure that your application form is accurate and highlights all your strengths, let the experts at Leverage Edu assist you through the admission process. Call us immediately at 1800 57 2000 for a free 30-minute counselling session.

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