Grade points are associated with letter grades, giving a numerical value to these grades so that they may be calculated into a grade point average, or GPA. A cumulative GPA reflects a student's average grade, expressed in numerical form. Some advanced courses earn a student a higher GPA than the standard letter grade indicates, reflecting the heavier course load, but these weighted grades are not taken into consideration by many employers and graduate school programs. A cumulative, unweighted GPA is the most raw means of establishing a baseline level of academic success throughout your college career.

Note that an A earns four grade points, a B earns three grade points, a C earns two grade points and a D earns one grade point. If you received an F in a class, you will earn zero grade points for that course.

Review your transcript and note any classes that are labeled with a W, standing for withdrawal, or an I, standing for incomplete. These classes, as well as any classes taken as pass/fail, can be removed from consideration when you calculate your cumulative GPA.

Multiply each course's credit hours by the grade points. This will establish the total grade points you earned for each course. For example, you completed a three credit-hour Biology class and earned a C. Multiply 3.0 times 2.0. You accumulated 6.0 grade points for this class. Repeat this process for all the courses you attempted throughout your college career.

Divide the total grade points earned by the total credit hours of coursework. For example, you earned 360 total grade points while attempting 120 credit hours of coursework. Divide 360 by 120, resulting in 3.0, meaning that your total cumulative, unweighted GPA is a 3.0.