# Term GPA vs. Cumulative GPA: 3 Key Differences

As a student, the biggest thing you need to take care is of the GPA. GPA is the average grade of the subjects you have recommended in one semester. You are always advised to maintain your GPA as high as you can. Usually, when you are in an institution you will get a term GPA and a Cumulative GPA. It makes most of the students get confused between term and Cumulative GPA. Thus here we will discuss term GPA vs. Cumulative GPA.

Quick Takeaways

- Term GPA is the grade you received in a single semester.
- Cumulative GPA is the average grade you receive for all the semesters.
- When you are going for admission to a higher institution, both GPAs are taken into consideration.

However, you must read till the end so that you get a better understanding of the difference between the term and Cumulative GPA.

## Term GPA vs. Cumulative GPA: 3 Key Differences

Following are the three main differences between the term and Cumulative GPA-

### 1. Definition

Term GPA is the total of the grades that you have received in a particular semester. Suppose you have received grades like **triple A and single B, **then your term grade will **be the average of these grades**. It means that the term GPA helps to show your achievements and skills only for a single semester.

On the other hand, the cumulative GPA is the **average of the grades you have received in all the semesters**. Cumulative GPA represents your academic achievement in the whole academic session. It will include the great from the start of the session. Suppose you are in your bachelor’s degree then your cumulative GPA will consider the grades from the first year to the final year.

### 2. System of weighting

How will you term GPA and do stimulative GPA will weight will depend on the institution you are in. There are many institutions that **give equal weight to all the courses.** However, on the other hand, some institutions may weigh differently for the courses depending upon the difficulty level and the number of credits they have.

### 3. Importance of GPA

Usually, when you go for admission to and higher educational institution the admission council will **look at both the term and Cumulative GPA.** Watch the great help the council to understand your performance during the academic years. Further, if you are going for a job then there are chances that the employer May only look at the cumulative GPA.

## How to calculate Term GPA?

Let us understand it with the help of an example –

Suppose you have studied **5 classes per semester each having 3 credits**. Further are the grades you get for all 5 classes-

A (4.0 GPV), A (4.0 GPV), A- (3.7 GPV), A- (3.7 GPV) and B+ (3.3 GPV).

Once you know your grade point value, you will have to calculate the total grade point. Below we have mentioned the grade points for each of the courses –

- Course 1: 4.0 x 3 credit hours = 12 Grade Points
- Course 2: 4.0 x 3 credit hours = 12 Grade Points
- Course 3: 3.7 x 3 credit hours = 11.1 Grade Points
- Course 4: 3.7 x 3 credit hours = 11.1 Grade Points
- Course 5: 3.3 x 3 credit hours = 9.9 Grade Points

So your total grade point becomes 56.1. Your total credits earned become 15. Your term GPA becomes equal to 56.1 /15 = 3.74. Thus the term GPA for this semester is **equal to 3.74 GPA.**

Now that you know how to calculate the term GPA, we will help you to understand how to calculate Cumulative GPA.

## How to calculate Cumulative GPA?

Again let us consider an example. Following are the GPAs for three different semesters with their grade points and credit hours-

- Semester 1: 3.74 GPA with total grade point equal to 56.1 and total credits earned equal to 15.
- Semester 2: 3.5 GPA with total grade point equal to 42 and total credits earned equal to 12.
- Semester 3: 3.1 GPA with total grade point equal to 38 and total credits earned equal to 12.

Thus your cumulative point will be equal to the total grade points of each of the semesters divided by total credit hours. So your cumulative GPA will be, 136.1/39 = 3.4 CGPA.

## Do colleges look at term GPA or cumulative GPA?

Cumulative GPA is the average of the GPA you get in all the semesters. Whereas, the term GPA **represents your GPA for a single semester**. As discussed above the admission council of the educational institution including the colleges will look at your cumulative GPA as well as the term GPA to understand your skills.

## Can you improve the cumulative GPA?

If you are having a low cumulative you can definitely increase it by increasing your term GPA each year. Try to **study hard and make sure to get higher grades **in each of the semesters left. Make sure to get engaged with the activities associated with the academics. It will help to improve your final grades.

## Can you have a high Term GPA but a low Cumulative GPA?

**Yes, it can definitely happen** that your term GPA is high but your cumulative GPA is not. It is because cumulative GPA is the sum of all the GPAs you have received so far. Suppose you have taken up a bachelor’s degree of 4 years then you will be **having 8 semesters**. You are in your sixth semester and have received a 4.0 GPA. However, if you have received a lower GPA in the previous semesters then your CGPA becomes lower.

## Conclusion

Term GPA is the GPA that you received by averaging the grades you received for all the subjects you are studying in a particular semester. However on the other hand cumulative GPA is the GPA that you receive by averaging the GPA of each semester. Both the GPAs are taken into consideration when you are going for admission to a higher institution. Sometimes your term GPA may be higher than the cumulative GPA. It is because you may receive a high GPA in one semester but there will be lower GPAs in previous semesters which make it lower Cumulative GPA.

## FAQs

### Is cumulative GPA the same as year-to-date GPA?

Cumulative GPA is the average GPA of the grade points you have **received in all of the semesters.** Whereas the year-to-date GPA means the total GPA of** both semesters in a single year.**

### Is The Cumulative GPA the same as the overall GPA?

**Yes, both the GPAs are the same** as they are the average of the GPAs of all the semesters you have completed so far.