Even when you take a non-traditional path to education, you are sometimes required to grade your kid’s performance. You might find yourself giving grades on a transcript to meet a state requirement – help your teen enlist in the military – or, to open the door to college.
Calculating a high school GPA shouldn’t take a college degree. Still, you need to gather some basic information before you can begin figuring out how close your kid is to achieving a 4.0.
- Course Name and Content Area
- Credit Hours
When you complete an entire textbook, such as Algebra 2, then you can easily say the class was a “1” credit course – even if you finished the textbook in 5 months. Generally speaking, a single high school credit hour is equal to 4 to 5 hours of direct instructional time each week for a total of 30 to 32 weeks. Time spent on homework is not considered direct instructional time. High school credits can range from 2 (sometimes given for certain AP science classes that include a lab) down to a 0.25 credit class (that may be something like keyboarding).
- Class Grade
You can always look at your kid’s work and say, “Yeah, that looks like an “A” to me.” But, using a rubric – a simple chart that lists how points were earned in the class – usually makes other people more comfortable in believing parent-issued grades. For example, a rubric may state that end of chapter tests make up 75% of the course grade while a research paper makes up the remaining 25%.
- Quality Points
Each class must have its own Quality Points. To calculate Quality Points you need to first change your letter grade into a number grade. An “A” equals 4.0; B = 3.0; C = 2.0; and D = 1.0. Next, you multiply the converted number grade by the number of credit hourse for the class. For example, a half-credit Health class that earned a “B” will be worth 1.5 Quality Points.
Your overall Grade Point Average is the sum of all your Quality Points divided by the sum of all your Credit Hours.
Sounds like a no-brainer, but the more eclectic approach you take to education, the more thought this may take. What exact instructional and learning experiences are you grouping together to call a course?
Want to make calculating a GPA a breeze – especially if you want to use +/- in your grades? Check out this easy-to-use Excel GPA Calculator that does the math for you!
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