AskRMIT

Grade point average (GPA)

What is a grade point average (GPA) and what is it used for?

A grade point average is a numerical calculation, weighted by student contact hours for TAFE programs and credit points for higher education programs, of the mean of the grades received over a defined study period (e.g. semester/term), program or career.

The GPA has a number of uses, including:

  • being a measure used to select students for prizes and scholarships
  • providing the basis for eligibility for awarding degrees with honours and pass with distinction
  • setting minimum entry levels for students articulating from TAFE to higher education programs
  • providing a basis for eligibility for selection into research programs
  • as a selection criterion or ranking tool for selection into undergraduate and postgraduate programs at other Australian universities.

Why did RMIT adopt GPA?

The GPA provides an overall view of student performance in a program and is a leading indicator of student achievement as required by the RMIT Teaching and Learning Strategy. A GPA is an internationally recognised measure of a student’s performance.

When did RMIT adopt the GPA?

Academic Board and Board of Technical Studies approved the introduction of the GPA in 2001. Transcripts issued from semester 1 2001 include the GPA for the semester/study period (term) and cumulative GPA for the career to date. As of 2007 the transcript will show a yearly and cumulative GPA for the program.

The GPA program calculation includes:

  • TAFE: courses that have been completed since Semester 1 2001
  • HE: courses that have been completed since Semester 1 1998.

How does GPA work?

RMIT has adopted a 4-point GPA scale for the ordinal result scheme:

Grade definition

Key code

Mark range

Grade point value

High distinction

HD

80–100

4

Distinction

DI

70–79

3

Credit

CR

60–69

2

Pass

PA

50–59

1

Pass only

PX

50–100

Not included in the GPA calculation

Fail

NN

0–49

0

Did not sit

DNS

0–49

0

To calculate the GPA:

For each course, multiply the number of credits points (HE)/student contact hours (TAFE) by the GPA result of the grade received. This gives you the grade points for each course.

HE example

Course

Credit points

GPA result

Grade points

xxx

12

4 (HD)

48

xxx

12

3 (D)

36

xxx

24

1 (P)

24

TOTAL

48

108

GPA is calculated by dividing the total grade points by the credit points as follows:
108/48 = 2.25
GPA is therefore 2.25.

Will the GPA include an NN (fail) result in the calculation?

Yes: an ‘NN’ (fail) result will be calculated for the GPA.

TAFE example

Course

Student contact hours

Grade

Grade points

xxx

40

4 (HD)

160

xxx

60

3 (D)

180

xxx

20

0 (NN)

0

TOTAL

120

340

GPA is calculated by dividing the total grade points by the student contact hours as follows:
340/120 = 2.83
GPA is therefore 2.83

How do I find out what my GPA is?

Your GPA is recorded on your academic transcript. A transcript of results will be sent to your mailing address upon conferral of your award. You may request an official transcript at any time by paying the applicable fee at any campus Hub.

What about other result codes? Are they used in the GPA?

The following table outlines the result codes used at RMIT, and identifies whether they are used in the GPA calculation:

Grade definition

Key code

Mark range

Grade point value

Result withheld

RW

N/A

Not included in the GPA calculation

Deferred exam granted

DEF

N/A

Not included in the GPA calculation

No exam scheduled in the study period

NEX

N/A

Not included in the GPA calculation

Withdrawn from the course

WDR

N/A

Not included in the GPA calculation

Withdrawn

WI

N/A

Not included in the GPA calculation

No result recorded

NRX

N/A

Not included in the GPA calculation

Official withdrawal from the course

W

N/A

Not included in the GPA calculation

Not complete

NC

N/A

Not included in the GPA calculation

Credit transfer

TR or EX BX or AL

N/A

Not included in the GPA calculation

Internal RMIT credit transfer

TT

N/A

Not included in the GPA calculation

Result withheld (academic grounds)

RW

N/A

Not included in the GPA calculation

Supplementary exam granted

S

N/A

Not included in the GPA calculation

Pass no higher grade

PX

50–100

Not included in GPA calculation

Who has access to my GPA?

Within RMIT

Your GPA is recorded as part of your academic information on the Academic Management System. Authorised RMIT staff have access to your academic information.

Outside RMIT

RMIT will only release your GPA outside of RMIT if:

  • you apply for admission to another tertiary institution through the Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre (VTAC) and you claim previous study. Your application through VTAC authorises VTAC to collect and circulate your results through Automatic Results Transfer System (ARTS).The ARTS system automatically collects your result and GPA information from RMIT and provides it to the institution/s that you are applying to via VTAC; or
  • you authorise RMIT to do so on your behalf. Contact the Hub.

What does RMIT use a GPA for?

Your GPA is used within RMIT in various ways. Across the University, it is currently used as a ranking device for postgraduate research scholarship applications.

If I disagree with the calculation, what recourse do I have to have it amended?

You will need to establish to the satisfaction of RMIT that the GPA is not accurate and if so, RMIT will take reasonable steps to correct the GPA so that it is accurate. Contact the Hub on your campus or call Tel. 9925 8980.

Definitions

Career: level of study, e.g. TAFE, undergraduate, postgraduate.

Credit points:
Courses in HE programs all have credit points which reflect the total student workload required in order to satisfactorily complete the course. Each full-time year of the program totals 96 credit points: 48 in each semester. Credit points are also the basis for calculating Equivalent Full Time Student Units or EFTSU (96 credit points equal 1.0 EFTSU).

Cumulative GPA:
numerical calculation, weighted by credit points or hours, of the mean of grades received by a student in courses in the program or career to date.

Grade point average (GPA):
numerical calculation, weighted by credit points or hours, of the mean of the grades received by a student over a defined study period (e.g. a semester) or over an entire program.

Mark:
precise determination, usually expressed in percentage terms, of the student’s outcome for a course, e.g. 74%.

Mean:
a value computed by dividing the sum of a set of terms by the number of terms (average).

Pass/fail only:
in courses to which this scale applies, students are assessed either as pass (ungraded) or a fail.

Result/grade:
alphanumeric code given for a course, e.g. ‘C’ (credit).

Term GPA:
numerical calculation, weighted by credit points or hours, of the mean of grades received by a student in courses over a defined study period.

Student contact hours (SCH):
the nominal hours for the TAFE modules/courses undertaken.

Transcript of Results:
formal document issued by RMIT to enrolled students advising of the result and mark (if applicable) for all courses upon conferral of the award.