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Central Academic Advising Office
Understanding the Grade Point Average
What is a grade point average?
Grade point average (GPA) is the numerical system Laurier uses to measure how our students are doing academically. Whether a
student is allowed to move to the next year in a program, continue in a program, or continue to study at Laurier depends on the
GPA achieved. It’s important that students check their GPA frequently. If it starts to fall or if they’re earning too many grades of C
and D, they should contact their program advisor immediately so the two of them can put together a plan to get their studies back
on track.
Laurier uses letter grades from A+ to F to evaluate performance in each course each student takes here. Each letter grade is equal
to a number, called a grade point.
Credit Weight
Each course also has a weight. Courses marked with an “*” are worth a full credit; courses with “N” are worth a quarter credit. If
there is no symbol, that means the course is a 0.5 credit course
Here are Laurier’s letter grades and their grade point equivalents:
Letter Grade
Percentage
Equivalents
Grade Point
1.0 Credit Course
Grade Point
0.5 Credit Course
Grade Point
0.25 Credit Course
A+
90–100
12
6
3
A
85–89
11
5.5
2.75
A-
80–84
10
5
2.5
B+
77–79
9
4.5
2.25
B
73–76
8
4
2
B-
70–72
7
3.5
1.75
C+
67–69
6
3
1.5
C
63–66
5
2.5
1.25
C-
60–62
4
2
1
D+
57–59
3
1.5
.75
D
53–56
2
1
0.5
D-
50–52
1
0.5
0.25
F
0
0
0
0
XF will appear on the transcript if the final exam is not written. The grade is then based on term work. The XF will count for a
grade of 0.0 in the calculation of the GPA.
DR will appear on a student’s transcript if he or she dropped a course after the deadline to drop courses. This is equivalent to a
failed course, and will be recorded as a 0.0.
Overall GPA
The overall GPA is the average of all the courses a student has taken at Laurier. Keep in mind, however, that to graduate a student
must not only meet a certain cumulative grade point average, which varies according degree and faculty, but must also achieve a
specific average in his or her honours subject.
Calculating the Overall GPA
Step 1: Write down the all the courses taken at Laurier and the grade point earned for each. (If a course is repeated, include the
grade and weight of the second attempt. If more than 2.0 credits have been repeated, both grades factor into the calculation.) The
grade point earned in a 0.5 credit course is given half the weight of that earned in a 1.0 credit course.
Step 2: Total the number of credits earned
Step 3: Total the grade points achieved (remember a 0.5 credit course has half the weight of a full credit course; a 0.25 credit
course has one-quarter the weight)
Step 4: Divide the Total Grade Points by the Total Credits Earned to determine the Overall Grade Point Average.
Example: Here’s an Overall GPA calculation for an honours BA student who has just finished first year
Course Name
Credit
Grade Point
HI110* Topics in Canadian History
1.0
9
HI220* History of French Canada
1.0
8
FR102 Introductory French II
0.5
3.5 (Grade point of 7 ÷ 2)
FR203 French Grammar
0.5
3 (Grade point of 6 ÷ 2)
PS100* Introduction to Psychology
1.0
6
GS101 Introduction to Global Studies
0.5
3.5 (Grade point of 7 ÷ 2)
GS102 Global Studies: A Case Study
0.5
4 (Grade point of 8 ÷ 2)
Total
5.0
37
Overall Grade Point Average
7.4
The total grade points (37) divided by the total credits (5.0) gives you the Overall Grade Point Average, which in this case is 7.4
What happens when a course is failed?
If a course is failed, the student will receive a grade point of 0.0, which will be included in the calculation of his or her GPA. This
is especially damaging if the course is one that is required for the student’s honours subject. Depending on the student’s other
grades, it could also mean that he or she will be put on academic probation. Honours Arts and Honours Science students who do
not meet their progressions requirements may only be allowed to progress in a general BA/BSc with no designation or may be
placed on academic probation as an unclassified student.
And if course is repeated?
When a student repeats a course, the grade achieved in the second attempt is the one that will be used in all GPA calculations. The
F of the original course will remain on the student’s transcript. Students can attempt a course a maximum of two times, and they
can repeat courses up to a maximum of 2.0 credits. Students may repeat more than 2.0 credits, but BOTH attempts will then be
used in GPA calculations
Students who fail more than 5.0 credits (including repeated courses) must withdraw from the university.
www.wlu.ca/academicadvising
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