GPA VS GWA: 6 Key Differences You Need To Know

If you’re applying to study abroad or simply want to compare your grades, understanding the difference between GPA vs GWA is crucial.

GWA and GPA both are used to evaluate the student’s academic performance in a semester or annually but the difference is that both are calculated on different grading scales. 

In this blog post, you will be able to read about what is GWA and GPA, how it’s calculated, and the key difference between them.

General Weighted Average or GWA:


General Weighted Average or GWA is the grading system used in Philippine educational institutes that lets you know about the student’s academic progress in the form of varying weights of different subjects.

How to Calculate:

For calculating the GWA, list the subject with its corresponding grades and credit hours or units.

1 – In the First step, multiply each course grade by its corresponding credit hours.

2 – Sum all subject overall weight that is calculated in step one.

3 – Now, you have to add all the units/credit hours.

4 – In the final step, you need to divide the total subject weighted that is calculated in step 2 with all the credit hours in step 3.


Let’s assume, you have three subjects English, Math, and Science with the following grades and units.

Math: 1.25 (3 units)

Science: 2.0 (3 units)

English: 1.75 (3 units)

Multiply grades by units:

Math: 1.25 * 3 = 3.75

Science: 2.0 * 3 = 6.0

English: 1.75 * 3 = 5.25

Sum of products: 3.75 + 6.0 + 5.25 = 15.0

Total units: 3 + 3 + 3 = 9

GWA: 15.0 / 9 = 1.67 (approximately)

Grade Point Average or GPA


GPA or Grading Point Average is a numerical representation of a student’s academic performance in the semester that is calculated by the average of the grades earned in all subjects.

How It’s Calculated

Convert each of your letter grades into their numerical equivalent on a 4.0 scale:

A = 4.0

B = 3.0

C = 2.0

D = 1.0

F = 0.0

1 – For each course, multiply the grade point value by the number of credit hours for that course.

2 – Add up the quality points you calculated in step 2.

3 – Add up the credit hours for all your courses.

5 – Divide the sum of quality points (step 3) by the total credit hours (step 4).


Let’s say you took 4 courses with the following grades and credit hours:

Biology: B (3 credit hours)

History: A (4 credit hours)

Math: C (3 credit hours)

English: B+ (3 credit hours)


Grade Points:

Biology: 3.0

History: 4.0

Math: 2.0

English: 3.3 (B+ is often equivalent to 3.3)

Quality Points:

Biology: 3.0 * 3 = 9.0

History: 4.0 * 4 = 16.0

Math: 2.0 * 3 = 6.0

English: 3.3 * 3 = 9.9

Total Quality Points: 9.0 + 16.0 + 6.0 + 9.9 = 40.9

Total Credit Hours: 3 + 4 + 3 + 3 = 13

GPA: 40.9 / 13 = 3.15 (approximately)

Key Differences Between GWA and GPA

Grading SystemGWAGPA
Stands ForGeneral Weighted AverageGrade Point Average
DefinitionMethod used in the Philippines to calculate overall academic performanceNumerical representation of overall academic performance
Grading Scale1.00 (highest) – 5.00 (lowest)4.0 (highest) – 0.0 (lowest)
Unit ConsiderationConsiders the number of units/credit hoursTypically weighs all courses equally
Calculation MethodA sum of (Grade * Units) / Total UnitsA sum of (Grade Points * Credit Hours) / Total Credit Hours
Used in CountriesPhilippinesUsed globally including USA, Canada etc.

GPA VS GWA: Which is More Widely Used?

GPA is the most widely used grading system around the world as compared to GWA. Following are some of the reasons

USA originated: The GPA system was initially used and originated in the USA and has become the standard and popular among educational institutes.

International Adoption: Countries with a strong bond with the US and various international institutions adopted the GPA system for easy comparison and consistency.

How to Convert GWA to GPA (and Vice Versa)

Converting GWA to GPA and vice versa can be tricky and need to identify which method works for you. 

It’s tricky because the scale of grading used for both is different. The GWA uses 1.0 to 5.0 whereas GPA is measured on a 4.0 scale. Additionally, GWA considers the number of credit hours/units, and GPA equally weights all subjects.  

There are some ways to make the conversion.

Online Calculators: There are several online calculators specifically designed for GWA to GPA conversions (and vice versa). Here are a couple of popular ones:

  1. GWA to GPA Conversion
  2. GPA to GWA Conversion

Conversion Tables: Some institutions may provide conversion charts or tables that map GWA ranges to approximate GPA equivalents. 

Admissions Offices: If you’re applying to a university that uses a different grading system,  contact their admissions office directly. They can often convert your grades for you using their internal standards

Why Does it Matter

Universities around the world mainly use the GPA system and it matters when you’re applying to different schools in countries like the US, Canada, and Australia, etc then you will need to understand how to convert GWA to GPA equivalent. This will help the academics section to understand your performance in their grading system.

Additionally, converting your GWA to GPA will give you a broader concept to understand your academic performance with an international student or help you when you apply for a scholarship to abroad study.


Understanding both GWA and GPA grading systems and the differences between them helps out have a broader idea of academic performance.