Grade Point Average (GPA)
A grade point average (GPA) is a simple numerical index which summarises a student's academic performance in a course in either a single teaching period, over a year or for the duration of the student's enrolment in the course. It takes account of the relative size of units so that larger units contribute more to the GPA:
- For vocational education (formerly TAFE) courses, student contact hours are used.
- For higher education, credit points are used.
GPA does not apply to units with competency grading or grades that do not have marks.
- What can a GPA be used for?
- Swinburne's 4 point GPA scale
- How your GPA is calculated (and examples)
- Further information
What can a GPA be used for?
A GPA can be used for a variety of purposes, including as criteria for an offer to study or for identifying students who are candidates for university academic prizes. You may be asked to supply a GPA when applying for a job or for a place at another university.
The two GPA scales commonly used in Australia and overseas are the 4 point and the 7 point scale. These scales differ in the grade points that they allocate to each grade but the method of calculation is the same.
Swinburne’s 4 point GPA scale
In 2014, Swinburne began using a 4 point GPA scale. A GPA will only be calculated for students from 2014 onwards, with this information appearing on a student's Academic Transcript. If you are applying to another institution you may find GPA information on their website and use this to calculate a GPA.
The following table shows the 4 point GPA scale used at Swinburne.
The 4 point scale
|High Distinction||HD||80 – 100||4|
|Distinction||D||70 – 79||3|
|Credit||C||60 – 69||2|
|Pass||P||50 – 59||1|
|Conceded Pass||CP||45 – 49||0.5|
|Fail||N||0 – 49||0|
How your GPA is calculated
The following tables show some example calculations for Higher Education and Vocational Education results:
Higher Education example (4 point scale)
|Unit||Credit points (CP)||Result||GPA Value (4pt Scale)||Grade Points (CP x GPA value)|
The total grade points divided by the total credit points = grade point average
GPA = 175/100 = 1.75 (4 point scale)
Vocational Education example (4 point scale)
|Unit||Student Contact Hours (SCH)||Result||GPA Value (4pt Scale)||Grade Points (SCH x GPA value)|
The total grade points divided by the total Student Contact Hours = grade point average
GPA = 625/245 = 2.55 (4 point scale)
A range of information about calculating GPAs is available online. The Graduate Entry Medical School Admissions System (GEMSAS) Guide provides comprehensive information.
You can also find GPA information on the websites of other universities.