Note: If you don’t want to build your own GPA calculator and would instead like to use a free template, use one that we built here.
Why a GPA Calculator Is Important
GPA is one of the most important metrics college students focus on. A high GPA can open doors to internships, more financial aid, scholarship opportunities, and ultimately a better job at the end of your college education.
Keeping track of your GPA can help you stay on top of your grades throughout college. If you know what your GPA is and what happens if you get certain grades, it will keep you focused and prevent any surprises. A good way to stay on top of your GPA is to keep a spreadsheet that you update periodically (at least once a semester). Below is an example.
How to Build a GPA Calculator
The first step in creating a GPA calculator is to list every class you plan on taking before you graduate, separated by semester. For students doing a 4-year program, this will usually be 8 semesters of classes. Then, you need columns where you can input how many credits each course is, a place for you to input your letter grade, and a place for you to calculate what your GPA is for that class. To calculate your GPA, you will need a key for what each letter grade represents in the context of a 4.0 scale: for example an A is a 4.0, a B is a 3.0, and so on.
The easiest way to automatically input your GPA based on your letter grade is to create a lookup using the key. This way, when you type in your letter grade, the spreadsheet will automatically fill in the GPA for that class. You can do this using an Index Match formula off of the key.
How to Calculate Weighted GPA
Once your individual class GPAs are populated, you can create a summary table to calculate what your GPA is per semester and your overall GPA. To ensure you don’t pick up any blank sells, you could manually average the classes for each semester. But a better way to calculate your weighted GPA is to use the SUMPRODUCT function, which multiplies arrays together and returns the sum of products. In this case, you can use the SUMPRODUCT formula on the Credits and GPA columns. Then divide the answer from the SUMPRODUCT by the SUM of the Credits column. This will give you the weighted average.
Make sure to update your GPA calculator spreadsheet at the end of each semester to stay on top of your grades!