As your homeschooler prepares to move to the next stage of their education – whether it’s college, the military, or a vocational school – you will need to put together a transcript. Transcripts document successful completion of a student’s high school course of study. Transcripts include a Grade Point Average (GPA).
Determining your child’s GPA requires three basic pieces of information: (1) Class grades; (2) Quality points; and (3) Credit hours.
Individual Class Grades
Final grade for high school level classes should be an objective measure of how successfully a student learned the material. If you purchased a formal curriculum, including a test packet, the final grade can be the average of all the tests. For classes, such as English or History, you may want to use a grading rubric that breaks down how points could be earned. For example, shorter papers may be worth up to 50 points each while a 15-page research paper may be worth 300 points. If your student earned 90% of all possible points for that class, then their end of year class grade would be a B+.
Next, you must determine how many credits the course is worth. Most high school classes are measured by Carnegie Units. One Carnegie Unit equals 120 hours of class time. Class time is defined as direct instruction time – not time spent doing homework or independent work outside of the classroom.
Most high school classes meet for 50-minutes each day, five days a week. Multiply that out and you’ll find that it takes almost 29 weeks – or a little less than a full September to June school year – to reach 120 hours. Classes designed to only last one semester would be counted as 0.5 credit course. Even shorter courses can be designated 0.25 credits.
You can use reasonable flexibility with determining credit hours. For example, if a student successfully completed an entire Algebra 1 textbook in four months, you can still grant one full high school credit for that class. If you’re using an online, self-paced course, you can also document that your child completed the entire syllabus in a shorter period of time and earned their full credit. If a student decides to double up on their history work over a short period of time for a passion project, you may be able to grant a full credit if they’ve produced enough work that documents the learning.
Whether you assign a letter grade or a number grade, you must transform each grade into a set of Quality Points. The chart below shows you how. Record the Quality Points assigned to each class.
Calculating a GPA
Once you’ve gathered your Class Grades; Credit Hours, and calculated your Quality Points for each class, you’re ready to determine your child’s grade point average. You can calculate a GPA for one semester, a full year, or an entire high school career uses the same method: Tally up the number of Credit Hours taken. Divide that sum into the sum of your Calculated Quality Points. That answer (the quotient) is your GPA.
Take a look at the example below to see how we calculate a GPA.
Make It Even Easier
Keep track of your student’s grades with our online Google Drive GPA Calculator. Simply enter your grades and credit hours and automatically see your yearly and cumulative GPA.
There’s nothing to download and no software to buy. All your student data lives in your private Google Drive. Best part: It costs just $3!
Last modified on September 1, 2023