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How to calculate your GPA for GEMSAS

How does GEMSAS interpret your GPA?

by , 29 April, 2016
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Hello again! This latest blog GradReady InterviewReady Course Closing Soonpost goes through the extremely, and unnecessarily, confusing process that is the GPA calculation for purposes of entry into medical school. The purpose of this blog is to really take you through the GPA calculation pages that appear on http://www.gemsas.edu.au/gpa-calculations/, and more or less interpret and shorten them to make logical sense!

 

One of the first questions that need to be asked when considering the GPA is whether it is relevant and/or valid, and this focuses on the degree that will be used to calculate your GP - being a Bachelor degree from a recognised university completed within the timeframe required by medical schools. If you’ve done multiple, the most recently completed will be used.

From the qualifying degree, a GPA is calculated from the last three years of the degree, a “year” being a year of full time study. For those of us who did a four-year course and mucked around in first year, this is great news! If you’ve done a 3 year degree, however, all the subjects studied as part the degree will be used in the GPA calculations. A GPA is calculated for these years by using percentage marks for your subjects – and if percentages are not available, conversions from grades will occur based on a table accessed in Appendix 1 here: http://www.gemsas.edu.au/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/GEMSAS-GPA-guidelines.pdf

It gets a bit more complicated if you don’t do a straight out Bachelor’s degree. Part-time and overloaded-study students will have their subjects tiered across a three year period, working from the end of their degree to the start, based on when subjects were finished. For example, if you did 5 subjects in your last semester, the GEMSAS process will ‘allocate’ four of those to your ‘official’ final year, last semester, and the other will be put into your second last semester, and so on. For part time students, it may mean that multiple years of your part-time degree is considered in one ‘year’ for GEMSAS purposes. If there turns out to be too many courses that finished at the same time to allocate to your ‘three’ years, the system will best advantage you by distributing the subjects with higher scores in the calculation (everything else being equal).

Some medical schools use a ‘weighted GP’ whereby, final year results get weighted by a factor of X 3, second last year is X2 and the third last year by X1. Again, this helps those of us who mucked around a bit early on in our undergraduate!

If you complete higher degrees, such as PhD’s, these will not be included in the GPA calculation, but will be considered in the overall application process if relevant to the medical school you’re applying to. Other considerations exist for course done on exchange etc. and it is recommended you look at the information for these online, which is quite clear.

For subjects you have failed, they will unfortunately be included in the calculation – and if you repeat a subject, then the GP from both attempts will be recorded.
 

How to actually calculate your GPA:
GEMSAS provide a way for you to calculate your GPA, based off their own calculations. This section of the article will try to again interpret this for you in a clear and easy to follow manner!
 

STEP ONE: Group subjects into GPA years. This occurs based on what was discussed above – if you have a three year Bachelor’s degree without any failed subjects, it should be easy. If your course was over a total of 3 years (full time), then just use the last 3 years for the calculation. If you were studying part time over multiple years, use the reasoning as discussed above to allocate your courses to ‘years’ as relevant to be considered.

STEP TWO: Enter points. Now that you’ve got a chronological list of subjects completed, put your result next to each course, as well as credit points/unit values, and subject code. Preferably use percentages, and convert the grade to the GPA in Appendix 1 here: http://www.gemsas.edu.au/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/GEMSAS-GPA-guidelines.pdf.

STEP THREE: GPA Calculation. Multiply each GPA mark by the credit points firstly (equation A). Next, add up the unit values/credit points of all subjects within each GPA year (equation B). Following, add up the values found with equation A for each year (equation C). Finally, divide the total of equation C for that year, with the total in equation B from that same year. This should give you your overall GPA for that year!

 

Example
This is an example of how to calculate your GPA for a part-time course over 5 years, which is a tricky situation. Hopefully this will demonstrate to a wide variety of applicants what calculations go into getting to the ‘GAMSAT GPA’.

Example student going to Griffith University, with subject name, credit points, grade from Griffith, converted grade, and then the following columns are calculations as described in Step 3.

 

Year 1

  • Biomed 1 – 10CP – 4 – 4.5
  • Chemistry 1 – 10CP – 5 – 4.5
  • Psychology 1 – 10CP – 4 – 4.5
  • Biometrics 1 – 10CP- 4 – 4.5

Year 2

  • Physics 1 – 10CP – 5 – 4.5
  • Chemistry 2 – 10CP – 5 – 4.5
  • Psychology 2 – 10CP – 6 – 5.75
  • Exercise Science 1 – 10C – 4– 4.5

Year 3

  • Biomed 2 – 10CP – 5 – 4.5
  • Physics 2 – 10CP – 6 – 5.75
  • Physiology 1 – 10CP – 7 - 7
  • German 1 – 10CP – 5 – 4.5
  • Philosophy of Science 1 – 10CP – 5 – 4.5

Year 4

  • Physiology 2 – 10CP – 6 – 5.75
  • Biomed 3 – 10CP – 7 – 6.75
  • Anatomy 1 – 10CP – 7 - 7
  • German 2 – 10CP – 5 – 4.5
  • Psychology 3 – 10CP – 6 – 5.75
  • Physics 3 – 10CP – 7 - 7

Year 5

  • Chemistry 3 – 10CP – 7 - 7
  • Biomed 4 – 10CP – 6 – 5.75
  • Physiology 3 – 10CP – 6 – 5.75
  • Anatomy 2 – 10CP – 7 – 6.75
  • German 3 – 10CP – 7 – 6.75

GPA x CP (Eq. A)

 

  • 45
  • 45
  • 45
  • 45

 

  • 45
  • 45
  • 57.5
  • 45

 

  • 45
  • 57.5
  • 70
  • 45
  • 45

 

 

  • 57.5
  • 67.5
  • 70
  • 45
  • 57.5
  • 70

 

  • 70
  • 57.5
  • 57.5
  • 67.5
  • 67.5

 

Equation B

Year 1

  • 40

 

 

 

Year 2

  • 40

 

 

 

Year 3

  • 50

 

 

 

 

 

Year 4

  • 60

 

 

 

 

 

 

Year 5

  • 50

Equation C

Year 1

  • 180

 

 

 

Year 2

  • 192.5

 

 

 

Year 3

  • 262.5

 

 

 

 

 

Year 4

  • 367.5

 

 

 

 

 

 

Year 5

  • 320

Overall GPA

Year 1

  • 4.5

 

 

 

Year 2

  • 4.81

 

 

 

Year 3

  • 5.25

 

 

 

 

 

Year 4

  • 6.125

 

 

 

 

 

 

Year 5

  • 6.4


The overall GPA for this person is 5.417 for the entire course – HOWEVER, please keep in mind what is described in Step 1 above, that what you have to do is to group these courses into three full-time years to actually achieve the correct GPA. You do this working backwards (i.e. starting with German 3, Anatomy 2 etc as final year courses and allocating subsequent courses appropriately to the ‘final year’ until a full credit point amount is found for that year, and repeating). For example, the ‘three years’ to analyse would be:


Year 3

Chemistry 3 10CP 7 - 7
Biomed 4 10CP 6 – 5.75
Physiology 3 10CP 6 – 5.75
Anatomy 2 10CP 7 – 6.75
German 3 10CP 7 – 6.75
German 2 10CP 5 – 4.5
Psychology 3 10CP 6 – 5.75
Physics 3 10CP 7 - 7
 

Year 2

Physiology 2 10CP 6 – 5.75
Biomed 3 10CP 7 – 6.75
Anatomy 1 10CP 7 - 7
Biomed 2 10CP 5 – 4.5
Physics 2 10CP 6 – 5.75
Physiology 1 10CP 7 - 7
German 1 10CP 5 – 4.5
Philosophy of Science 1 10CP 5 – 4.5



Year 1

Biomed 1 10CP 4 – 4.5
Chemistry 1 10CP 5 – 4.5
Psychology 1 10CP 4 – 4.5
Biometrics 1 10CP 4 – 4.5
Physics 1 10CP 5 – 4.5
Chemistry 2 10CP 5 – 4.5
Psychology 2 10CP 6 – 5.75
Exercise Science 1 10CP 4 – 4.5


The equations found above in the example can be easily adjusted. Please keep in mind why we made this into a three year degree, when it actually took 5 years for this person to complete – please review the above if you don’t understand! You’re basically constructing your degree to suit the ‘the three year model’ that the GAMSAT® Exam wants to calculate your GPA from.

I hope that was at least a little bit helpful team! I just wanted to frame the whole discussion in a different way to hopefully help with its comprehension, as we’ve had numerous people asking for assistance with this. For information about what your GAMSAT results mean for your med school applications, check out this guide