Fall 2020: How To Convert Your CGPA For USA, Germany & Canada
Dear MS aspirant,
Do you have a dream university list on your mind?
Do you know what it takes to get admits from these universities?
No, I don’t mean the broad understanding, I mean specifically – what is the required GRE score, what is the minimum GPA, how long should your SOP be?
Understanding your dream university’s requirements accurately helps you clinch an admit by enabling you to make more informed & timely decisions.
Broadly speaking, the parameters upon which the universities assess your application are :
- Your academics (CGPA/GPA, Projects etc)
- Your Scores (GRE/GMAT/TOEFL/IELTS etc.)
- Practical Exposure/ Professional Experience and Co-curricular
- Statement of Purpose and LoRs
While these aren’t the only factors to consider, it’s a good starting point.
How Important Is Your CGPA In Getting A Top University Admit?
Your academic performance tells the university a lot about your potential as a prospective student there. Apart from qualitative aspects of your academic profile such as your projects and internships, they will look at your marks to assess your capabilities in handling their course-load and adapting to their academic regime.
In India, we calculate CGPA on a ten point scale, 10 being the maximum attainable CGPA. Some universities also use a system of percentages where students are scored out of 100.
Similarly, various universities abroad also have their own marking system to evaluate the incoming international applications.
Let’s look at some of the major study destinations one-by-one.
How Do US Universities Calculate Your CGPA?
Universities in the US assess your scholastic abilities in terms of GPA.
However, there is no official standardized or uniform grading system there and it is left to the individual university or other regulatory bodies to choose and follow a set method of evaluating their applicants.
Commonly, a four-point grading system is followed by universities. This means that a student is graded on a scale of 0 to 4, with 4 being the maximum attainable CGPA.
However, some universities have been known to follow a nine or ten-point grading system as well, e.g: Rackham School of Graduate Studies at the University of Michigan, till 2013, after which they also switched to the more widely used four-point system.
So, do you really have to convert your CGPA?
Most universities will accept your score on a 10 point scale, in fact, some require you to mandatorily report your grades as it is without conversion.
The University of Columbia is an exception as it asks you to convert your score into the four-point scale.
There are also a set of universities that require you to get a third-party evaluation of your transcripts (official statement of your marks) from agencies such as WES (World Education Services), who will report your CGPA/GPA for you, after converting it into the University’s prescribed form, for a fee.
WES also provides a credible free online evaluation of your scores, which you can use to plan your options.
NACES (National Association of Credential Evaluation Services) is an association with several member organizations and agencies that provide such services, these include International Education Research Foundation Inc. (IERF) and Educational Credential Evaluators Inc among several others.
Universities often suggest one or the other Third-Party with whom they are affiliated for such evaluations.
So, third-party evaluation is definitely one credible way to convert your CGPA into the scale accepted by the university.
How can you convert your CGPA at home?
Even if the university doesn’t demand a conversion for the application form, you can do a rough at home calculation to determine your eligibility to apply and chances of admission by using the formula below:
For example, If your transcript (statement of marks provided by your University) says your CGPA is 7.8, and your batch topper’s CGPA is 8.2, then you can calculate your score as :
(7.8/8.2) X 4 = 3.8
GREedge Admission Tip: You must submit your topper’s GPA along with your own GPA when you fill your online application for admission.
If your current university uses a scale out of 100, then using the following scale to understand where you stand in the American 4-point scale.
Note that most universities do not ask you to convert your GPA to the 4-point system and there is a scientific transcript evaluation method that takes into consideration a host of factors before determining what your equivalent GPA would be according to the US grading system!
Disclaimer: The above table should only be used to get a rough estimate of what your GPA would be under the 4 point grading system. The actual equivalent GPA varies on several factors like university name, course pursued, among others. For exact equivalent GPA one should Request a WES(World Education Services) evaluation
How Is Your CGPA Calculated in the Germany?
Calculating your CGPA in Germany is very different from the US or India.
Germany uses a 5 point system for CGPA calculation of their enrolled students, where 1 is the best and 5 is awarded for insufficient performance.
This system is based on the Modified Bavarian Formula.
This formula takes into account the best and the least scores possibly attained in the applicant’s native educational system and convert your grade in correlation to these.
Have look at the table below, for a broad understanding of where your CGPA stands.
While the table above can help you with the conversion of your CGPA, it is important to factor in variations such as:
- Variation in Grading Norms in Universities.
- Variations in Curriculum
i.e if your university is more stringent than others, scoring a 50-60% may be a high score within your university, but a German university may not look at it the same way/.
Since the education systems are varying, most universities do not require students to convert and report their CGPA as they have their own mechanism in place to do so internally. In such cases, students are only required to send the transcripts and report their scores as it is.
You can visit https://www.daad.de/en/ to know more about the required CGPA to apply to German universities.
How Is Your CGPA Calculated in the Canada?
In Canada, every university has its own grading system and the parametric is not common across universities or even regions. Students may be advised to report their scores as it is or convert it.
Some universities provide guidelines for applicants to make the conversions.
For Example, McGill University chooses to give equivalencies to your CGPA based on your country on their site. Here is the table for Indian Students.
Keep in mind that a university can internally evaluate your CGPA based on the GPA of your core subjects alone, or favor some courses in your transcripts over the others.
So, while reporting your CGPA to the universities you must stick to what is mentioned in your transcript and on the university website.
How Can You Find Out How The University Evaluates Your CGPA?
STEP 1: Become aware of the university’s past admission trends.
STEP 2: Study the data on academic scores of students who have made it to your dream universities
STEP 3: Make a more informed prediction of how your CGPA will be seen by the university.
You must be wondering, how does one gather such complex information?
Unless you plan much ahead, you might want to seek help from those around you especially those who have helped others gain admissions before. This will help you research, on your choice of universities to apply, effectively while also preparing your documents and filing your applications.
Eventually, a successful admit is but a summation of several informed decisions taken at the right time, for which you must not hesitate to take help and guidance from your well-wishers and experienced professionals.