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How to calculate CGPA

What is CGPA in University? How to Calculate it

Are you a fresher or newbie in the university or polytechnic jungle and the issue of GPA, CGPA and grade points has been baffling your head? Relax, as I am here to break it down for you like a piece of bone.

What is CGPA?

CGPA which stands for Cumulative Grade Point Average is simply the same as “your overall academic performance in university.” It is a single number or score that summarize your grades across all your semesters throughout your years in the university life. Giving you details on how you’re doing academically.

However, before we go into full details on how to calculate CGPA or GPA, let’s first understand the basic and building blocks of CGPA: grade points and credit units.

What is Grade Points and Credit Units?

Grade Points are a numerical values assigned to letter grades where A might be worth 4 points, AB for 3.50, B for 3.25, BC for 3.0 points and so on and so forth. However, note that these grade points values vary depending on your university, polytechnic or college grading system.

Also, you should note that your score in a particular course will decide which grade you get on each courses. for example, score between 75 – 100 might earn you a grade of A with grade point of 4.00.

Below is an illustration of how grade points are valued.

Scores Letter Grade

Grade Point

0 – 39 F 00.00
40 – 44 E 2.00
45 – 49 D 2.25
50 – 54 CD 2.50
55 – 59 C 2.75
60 – 64 BC 3.00
65 – 69 B 3.25
70 – 74 AB 3.50
75 – 100 A 4.00

What is Credit Unit?

On the other hand, Credit units represent the weight of each course offered. think of it like the amount of effort you are expected to put in for each course to boost your CGPA. For instance, A Calculus course might worth 4 unit while GNS course might worth 2 units.

Note that the higher you score in the course with a high unit, the stronger and better your CGPA becomes and the lower you score in those high unit course, the lower and faster your CGPA reduces.

Below is an illustration of a Statistics student credit unit for the courses offered during the first year.

Courses Credit Unit
Descriptive Statistics (STA 111) 3
Element of Probability (STA112) 2
Logic & Linear Algebra (MTH111) 2
Function & Geometry (MTH112) 3
Introduction to Computer (COM111) 3

How to Calculate CGPA: A step-by-step guide

Now that I’ve simplify what CGPA and grade points is, it is time to dive into the formula and/or how to calculate CGPA.

CGPA = Σ (Grade Point x Credit Units) / Σ Credit Units

Don’t be scared of the symbol you’re seeing, it’s actually very simple. Read through as I will be breaking it down right away.

Σ(Grade Point x Credit Units): These is the addition of the multiplication of grade point and credit units for each course.

ΣCredit Units: These is the addition of all the credit unit of all courses offered.

Here is a simplified illustration of the calculation process using the above grade point and unit.

Courses Score Grade Grade Points (GP) Credit Unit (CU) GP x CU
STA111 78 A 4.00 3 12
STA112 63 BC 3.00 2 6
MTH111 55 C 2.75 2 5.5
MTH112 46 D 2.25 3 6.75
COM111 80 A 4.00 3 12
TOTAL: 13 42.25

Total Grade Points: 42.25

Total Credit Unit: 13

Total CGPA: 42.25/13 = 3.25

However, still using the illustration, I will decode what the final CGPA looks like.

Below is an illustration of how a final CGPA looks like. However, note that it depends on your school grading system.

FINAL CGPA Class of Diploma
3.50 – 4.00 Distinction
3.00 – 3.49 Upper Credit
2.50 – 2.99 Lower Credit
2.00 – 2.49 Pass
0.00 – 1.99 Fail

Therefore, with the above illustration, we can now conclude that a student with a final CGPA of 3.25 point is said to have a Upper Credit for the semester/session according to our illustrations.

Why is CGPA so important in University?

CGPA in university plays a very important role in the aspect of university life. It is like a report card that contains how you have progress academically in your university game. Though CGPA does not really determine your progress in life but it is an important one not to overlook.

A higher CGPA may open door for lots of opportunities like scholarships, make you more competitive for graduate school applications, and even impress potential employers for a job opportunity.

Tips for a stellar and Improved CGPA

To maintain a high CGPA is like maintaining a healthy lifestyle as it requires consistency and dedication. Here are some tips to help better your academic performance.

  • Assignments and Projects: Tackle them head-on; Don’t let assignments and projects pile up. Complete them on time and to the best of your ability.
  • Show up and be Engaged: Attending classes regularly and actively participating in discussions is crucial for understanding the material and staying on top of the game.
  • Seek help: If you’re struggling with a concept or feeling overwhelmed, don’t hesitate to reach out to your professors, tutors, or course mate. They’re there to support you.
  • Time management: Master the art of time management to juggle academics, extracurricular activities, and personal life without sacrificing your sleep or sanity.
  • Balance: Remember, university is not just about academics; it’s also about personal growth and exploring new interests. Strike a balance between your academic pursuits and personal well-being.


CGPA is not the end of it all of your academic success, but definitely a valuable tools for tracking your academic progress, identifying areas for improvement, and setting yourself on a path towards academic excellence.

By applying the tips mentioned above and maintaining a consistent focus on academics, students can set themselves on a path towards achieving a high CGPA and ultimately, academic excellence.

So, embrace the challenge, put in the effort, and watch your CGPA shine!

Founder and editor at AcademyPathways. Habeeb is a National Diploma(ND) holder of Statistics graduated from the highly esteemed The Polytechnic, Ibadan, Nigeria. With over a decade of experience in the education sector and career setting, Habeeb provides first hand information on educational and career related topics.

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