How to convert UK grade to US GPA ?

Rianowl2016
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Jun 26, 2016 4:42 pm

How to convert UK grade to US GPA ?

Postby Rianowl2016 » Wed Jul 27, 2016 6:24 am

I graduate from a UK university with a First (Hons) Classification. But I am not sure that is my result good in US standard. Can anyone tell me how can I calculate the GPA from UK grading system ? (the overall GPA , not just an individual subject)

googy
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Joined: Mon Apr 20, 2015 3:32 pm

Re: How to convert UK grade to US GPA ?

Postby googy » Tue Aug 16, 2016 7:19 pm

The truth of grades is that there is no exact way to translate grades from one system to another. That is because each system in itself is inconsistent between different universities using the same system. A 4.0 GPA in Harvard and a 4.0 GPA in Caltech for example may not hold the same meaning regarding how good a specific person performed in his courses. One institution may be more lenient than the other in its grading culture. The way that admission committiees use to appraise a candidates grades is by familiarity with his undergrad institution, either from previous experience and knowledge (i.e. they accepted candidates from that institution in previous years and saw that they come with good background for research) or by use of academic contacts in said institution (i.e. mail an academic acquaintance in said institute and ask him what does such and such GPA mean, how would such a student compare to the rest of his/her class etc.).

All that said, in your case, you should be fine. Grades are usually only used as a preliminary filter for candidates. Grades don't reflect on the quality of your future research past a certain point of proving learning capability. Being first class honours means you're near the top of your class, so you definitely learned how to study new material efficiently. Beyond that, admission committees will look for other proof that you're capable of becoming a great researcher, mainly previous research experience. In short, I wouldn't worry too much about translating your GPA. If you do have to translate it yourself, just find the most simple method to do it, even if it does not reflect your true GPA (for example direct translation of the ratio of your grade and the max grade possible to your grade in the 4.0 system and 4.0). The admission committees should be aware of these differences anyway.

TakeruK
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Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2012 3:05 pm

Re: How to convert UK grade to US GPA ?

Postby TakeruK » Thu Aug 18, 2016 11:29 am

As far as I know, like googy said, admissions committees don't really distinguish between high level grades. There really isn't much difference between GPAs above 3.8, in my opinion. At this point, I think grad schools care a lot more about other factors than a 0.1 difference in GPA.

A first class honours is the highest level of achievement, right? I would interpret this as equivalent to a 3.8-4.0 in the US scale and therefore I would say that you should not feel limited by your grades when you apply to schools. No need to worry about it :)

phsicsdudeusa
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Joined: Sat Dec 24, 2016 1:35 pm

Re: How to convert UK grade to US GPA ?

Postby phsicsdudeusa » Sat Dec 24, 2016 1:39 pm

They will roughly convert your percent to USA GPA, which is honestly inappropriate. I came from the UK, achieving a 1st class honors at a major university to getting roughly a 4.0 in my studies in the USA. They converted my grades in the way I mentioned above, even though a 1st class honors is NOT THE SAME as a 4.0 gpa. The 4.0 means you understand your subject pretty well, a 1st class honors means you think independently about your subject. The difference between a 1st class honors student and an average 4.0 student is vast, the 1st class honors student thinks in a more sophisticated manner. However, you have to live with what they give you.

TakeruK
Posts: 907
Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2012 3:05 pm

Re: How to convert UK grade to US GPA ?

Postby TakeruK » Sat Dec 24, 2016 3:34 pm

phsicsdudeusa wrote:They will roughly convert your percent to USA GPA, which is honestly inappropriate. I came from the UK, achieving a 1st class honors at a major university to getting roughly a 4.0 in my studies in the USA. They converted my grades in the way I mentioned above, even though a 1st class honors is NOT THE SAME as a 4.0 gpa. The 4.0 means you understand your subject pretty well, a 1st class honors means you think independently about your subject. The difference between a 1st class honors student and an average 4.0 student is vast, the 1st class honors student thinks in a more sophisticated manner. However, you have to live with what they give you.


There are large variations between USA schools in what GPA even means. At some places, a "A" grade really does mean you have to think in a more sophisticated manner because a 4.0 is the maximum possible grade. At other places, there is an "A+" grade means what you say here. Some schools will have variations within the same department (some professors will never award A+, some will, and some will only award one single A+ no matter what). Also, some US schools have a 4.0 GPA system where both A and A+ counts as 4.0 (i.e. no way to tell the two apart) and others will award 4.3 for an A+. For those in the latter case, sometimes the GPA is given out of 4.0 (so straight A+, would somehow be a GPA greater than 4.0) and others it's given out of 4.3. The point is that there is a lot of variations.

In addition, reiterating what I said just above, because the variations are so large, and the small differences in understanding is actually not that important, this is why I don't think the difference between 3.8, 4.0, 4.2 (if that's even possible for that particular school) is very important. They are going to be using other parts of your application to determine your overall profile for grad school. Also, they can understand your ability to think independently from your letters, from your statement of purpose, and from your past achievements.




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