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GPA conversion

Posted: Thu Nov 08, 2007 6:30 pm
by tomar

I am studying Applied Math in Canada, and hoping to get into a top US physics school. However, we don't use GPAs, we use %. I have a 93.5% Math/Physics Average and 89% overall average. What GPA does that translate to? Anyone know? Here usually A is 85-90% and A+ is 90+


Posted: Thu Nov 08, 2007 7:05 pm
by butsurigakusha
I am not really sure how to convert. Here is our (approximate) system:

A = 4
A- = 3.7
B+ = 3.4
B = 3
B- = 2.7

or so.

At my school, in a class, an A typically requires 93%, sometimes a little more, and sometimes a little less. We don't have A+ at my school, and I would guess most schools don't have them either.

I would guess that both of your averages would probably fall somewhere between 3.7 and 4.0, which is pretty good.

Posted: Thu Nov 08, 2007 8:58 pm
by vicente
What is your class average

Although it is true that most U.S. schools take A- to be 90-93% and A to be 93-96% and A+ to be 97-100%, many U.S. schools have crazy mark inflation. I know that the average mark in my physics classes at U of T is around 69%, which would be a D+ if you used the American percentage conversion scale. I think most American schools have an average in the low to mid 80's (a "B" to them).

So you should probably include what your class average is. What school do you go to? If you go to UBC, McGill, or U of T, I would consider that you have a perfect 4.0, or at least a 3.9+ if you have marks below 85.

Posted: Thu Nov 08, 2007 9:11 pm
by tomar
Hi again, thanks for your replies. I go to the University of Waterloo. Our averages vary, usually I think it is around 75%, some courses are higher, some lower.

And yeah, the US conversion scale of A being 93-96 is pretty high, that way very very few would ever get A's here. So when I apply, should I just put my %, and assume they know the conversion?

Posted: Thu Nov 08, 2007 11:09 pm
by grae313
I was filling out a grad school application and they had a pdf worksheet for calculating your gpa, and on it they had a conversion table for schools that use percentages. I looked but I don't remember which school had this. I think I remember that if you were in the top 5% of your class it was an A+.

The easiest thing would be to just call up one of the schools you want to go to. It's anonymous, and they'll tell you right away how to convert it. No guessing.

Posted: Sat Nov 10, 2007 9:14 pm
by kyros
My school apparently does do some level of conversion prior to sending out my transcript - 4.33 -> 90%+ in a course, ext. It sounds like alot of schools in the states are doing nasty grade inflation if they need to set the bar for an A that high.

Posted: Fri Dec 21, 2007 3:58 pm
by schandre
I keep wondering how the admission committees will look at my undergraduate records. I am from Brazil and here during undergraduate studies we are graded on a 0 to 10 scale on 0.5 point increments and on graduate studies we are graded just like in the US, in a 0 to 4 scale with 1 point increments.

My GPA for undergraduate studies is 7.97, which looks pretty bad compared to someone from an American institution with a GPA greater than 3.0, but is outstanding for the Physics program I attended, where less than 20% of the people who start the program actually finish it and only around 5% manage to do it without failing a single class.

In my MS studies, in the same University, my GPA was 3.83, the only class I failed to get an A being the one the professor asked me if I thought I deserved it. I hope my Master's GPA, Physics GRE and research experience will help erase the bad impression that the 7.97 will surely cause.

Posted: Sat Dec 22, 2007 3:41 am
by rohan
((ure percentage/10) -2 )/2

Posted: Sat Dec 22, 2007 5:14 am
by grae313
no way, rohan. that assumes a 4.0 is 100%, but we all know you can get a 4.0 with a much lower percentage than that. That puts an A- at 94%

Posted: Sat Dec 22, 2007 5:27 am
by rohan
hmmm... then how do you convert the percentages to a gpa??? because, at least at my college... the grades depend on the profs... so you could get an A for something like 35% too :P ... i guess you had simply report the scores as a percentage... and the schools would take care of conversions

Posted: Sat Dec 22, 2007 7:42 pm
by grae313
I've seen apps that ask you to convert them yourself if your school goes by percentages. But really, this is all pretty pointless. Just call up one of the schools you are applying to and ask!