What's the Difference between GPA and CGPA?

What’s the Difference between GPA and CGPA?

As a student, calculating and keeping track of your grades and grade points are important. However, you also need to know and understand the different methods of assessing your academic performance. For example, do you know the difference between your GPA and CGPA? Do you know how to calculate them?

These are common terms used when computing students’ results. They both refer to the average grades of a student. Different universities have different methods of assessing, calculating, and grading your result. So, you need to know what works in your school. 

This article will give you a general view of how GPA and CGPA work in most schools. Let’s get down to the basics.

What is GPA?

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This is a common term you will come across often in your school. It is what sums up your stay in school. In fact, you are not a university student without a GPA. 

GPA means Grade Point Average. It is a number that indicates your average academic score in a semester. Your grade point can be represented with a number or letter of the alphabet. 

For example, if your grade is A it stands for a number. In some schools, it could be 5 or 4—the scale changes according to the school’s grading system. Let’s assume that in your school, A stands for 4. If you get an A, your GPA will be 4. If you get a B, then your grade point is 3. Your grade point reduces with each letter, C, D, E, and the least if F. 

This grade point average is used to determine your result for each semester. 

What is CGPA?

CGPA means your Cumulative Grade Point Average. It is used to measure your overall academic performance in an academic year. In most schools, an academic year consists of two semesters. 

Your CGPA is calculated by summing your mean GPA for both semesters and dividing it by the total number of credit units. With this, you can calculate your CGPA from your first to your final year to get your overall grade. This is what determines if you will graduate with a First Class, Second Class Upper, Second Class Lower, or Third Class.

READ: How to Calculate GPA and CGPA 

Difference Between GPA and CGPA

While your GPA and CGPA measure your academic performance, there is a significant difference between them. The main difference between GPA and CGPA is that GPA measures your performance for a single unit or semester. In contrast, CGPA measures your performance throughout your study, including all credit units and semesters.  

Let’s discuss the difference between GPA and CGPA in detail to help you understand better. 

1. Meaning

GPA is used for grading your result in a single semester, while CGPA is an accumulation of your total marks and credits across all the semesters.

2. Time Frame

GPA covers your grade for a shorter period, usually a semester. On the other hand, CGPA covers a longer academic duration. It covers the entire duration of your undergraduate or postgraduate study, including all the semesters you spent in school.

READ: What GPA Do I Need For an Ivy League Admission?

3. Interconnection

Your GPA and CGPA are interrelated because, without your GPA, you can’t get a CGPA. Your GPA affects your CGPA. Remember, your CGPA accumulates your grades for all semesters. So, you need to have a good GPA in each semester to score a good average (CGPA). 

That’s how it works. You can’t mess up throughout the first three years of your study and expect to do magic in your final year and scale through. If your current GPA is low, start working to prove it now if you are still interested in graduating with a First Class. 

4. Relevance

Both your GPA and CGPA are relevant in your future endeavors. You think that all people care about when you graduate is your CGPA, right? Sorry to burst your bubble, but you are in for a surprise! Here is where it gets interesting.

When applying to study abroad for your master’s degree, most schools will request for your university transcript. This is because they are interested in something other than your CGPA. They will also consider your GPAs to assess your consistency with your studies throughout the course duration. We bet you didn’t know that.

Now, you do. So, if you plan to further your studies abroad after your bachelor’s degree, you better buckle up and keep your grades intact. 

READ: The Advantages of Using a GPA Calculator


We will end by asking, “Do you know how good or bad your grades are?” Don’t just guess. You have to be absolutely sure. The only way you can really know the level of your academic performance is by calculating your GPA. Instead of doing guesswork, download our Effiko GPA calculator and keep track of your grades now. 

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