Complete Guide on How to Calculate GPA and CGPA in Nigerian Tertiary Institutions | CHECK NOW

The Complete Guide on How to Calculate GPA and CGPA in Nigerian Tertiary Institutions be it Universities, Polytechnics, Monotechnics, or Colleges of Education should be fully expected from this content.

Before going into details on it we have to know the meaning of GPA and CGPA. GPA simply means Grade Point Average while CGPA means Cumulative Grade Point Average.

Difference Between Grade Point Average and Cumulative Grade Point Average

GPA is a measure of a student’s academic achievement at a Tertiary Institution which is calculated by dividing the total number of acquired Grade Points by the total number of Course Units received. The same definition applies to CGPA.

The only difference between the two terms is that GPA applies to short periods like a Term or Semester in a particular Academic Session, while CGPA applies to the whole period a student spends in getting their degree or certificate. In other words, it simply means GPA is the average grade a student got in a particular semester or term, while CGPA is the average score a student obtained throughout his stay in a tertiary institution.

NOTE: With all the informative details above it simply means that CGPA is what determines a graduating student’s Class of Honor be it First Class. Second Class or Third Class.

How to Calculate GPA and CGPA in Nigerian Tertiary Institutions

Once again before rushing you into things, it should be noted that Grade letters may differ. While some universities make use of ABCDEF, others prefer ABCDF.

Polytechnics make use of AB BC in their grading. However, in this article, we will make use of ABCDF which is in line with the current National Universities Commission (NUC) Benchmarks.

The New National Universities Commission (NUC) Benchmarks states that the new pass mark for all courses in all the Universities in Nigeria is 45% which is the minimum academic standards in Nigerian Universities. In light of this, the new pass grade becomes “D” or 45% and above instead of the previous “E”. Now let’s teach you how to calculate GPA and CGPA in Nigerian Tertiary Institutions.

Nigerian Universities Grading System

Below is the system on which a student’s performance in the University is currently graded in the following letters and each of the letters carries an equivalent number of points, thus:

The New Grading System Table

Percentage Scores Letter Grades Points Rating/Remark
70 – 100 A 5 Excellent
60 – 69 B 4 Very Good
50 – 59 C 3 Good
45 – 49 D 2 Pass
0 – 44 F 0 Fail

It’s should now be of note that 45% is the new minimum pass score and as such the minimum passing grade for all courses, including electives and General Studies will be ‘D’.

The Grade Point Average (GPA)

At the end of each semester, a student’s grade point average (GPA) is calculated using the aforementioned grading system. Assuming the student offers the following courses in his/her first semester:

Course code Title of Course Credit Unit
GSP 101 The Use of English I 2
GSP 111 Use of Library 2
GSP 105 Natural Science I 2
GSP 201 Social Sciences I 2
COS 101 Introduction to Computer Science 2
STA 131 Inference I 2
MTH 221 Real Analysis I 3

Total Credit Units = 15

If the student obtains C, A, D, A, D, B, and C respectively in the courses offered, corresponding to the following grade points respectively 3, 5, 2, 5, 2, 4, and 3. In line with the current grading system, the total point of each of the courses will be calculated as stated below:

The credit unit of each course is multiplied by the grade point corresponding to the letter grade of the course i.e. Total Point of a course = credit unit of the course x Grade point of the course, and do the same for all other courses, as such:

First Semester GPA Calculation Table

Course Code Credit Unit Letter Grade Points Grade Credit x Points Total Points
GSP 101 2 C 3 2 x 3 6
GSP 111 2 A 5 2 x 5 10
GSP 105 2 D 2 2 x 2 4
GSP 201 2 A 5 2 x 5 10
COS 101 2 D 2 2 x 2 4
STA 131 2 B 4 2 x 4 8
MTH 221 3 C 3 3 x 3 9

Total Points = 51

To calculate the grade point average, the total number of points, 51, is divided by the total number of credit units which is 15. There is no room for approximation in the calculation of GPA thus;

First Semester GPA = Total points/Total Credit Units = 51/15 = 3.4

Second Semester GPA Calculation

The same process in the GPA calculation as the first semester should be done in the second semester. Assuming the student obtains the following grades A, A, C, F, D, D and B on the courses offered with a total point of 48 and total credit units of 16, then the calculation for the student’s second semester GPA goes thus:

Second Semester GPA = Total points/Total Credit Units = 48/16 = 3.0

Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA)

This is the point where the student can calculate his/her Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) which is the sum of first semester GPA and second semester GPA divided by two (2). Hence, the student’s first year GPA is calculated as follows:

Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) = First semester GPA + Second semester GPA / 2 = (3.4 + 3.0)/2 = 6.4 / 2 = 3.2.

Therefore, the student’s First Year CGPA = 3.2 (2nd Class Honours Lower (2/2)).

For a student who runs a four years programme, his/her final year result will be calculated thus:

FCGPA = Total sum of all the CGPA/Number of years of the programme. Assuming the student obtained the following CGPA during his/her study:

1st Year CGPA = 3.2

2nd Year CPGA = 2.95,

3rd Year CGPA = 4.40 and

4th Year CGPA = 3.84

Then the FCGPA = (1st Year CGPA + 2nd Year CGPA + 3rd Year CGPA + 4th Year CGPA) / 4 Years.


FCGPA = (3.2 + 2.95 + 4.40 + 3.84) / 4 = 14.39 / 4 = 3.5975 = 3.59 (2nd Class Honours Upper (2/1)).

Note that there is no room to approximate in the calculation of Grade Point Average (GPA)

Polytechnic Grading System

The calculation of Grade Point Average (GPA) in Nigerian polytechnics follows the same method with that of Nigerian Universities. However, polytechnics in Nigeria make use of the following grading system in the calculation of GPA and the awarding of Ordinary National Diploma (OND) and Higher National Diploma (HND):

Polytechnics Grading System Table

Mark (%) Letter Grade Grade Point FINAL CGPA Class of Degrees
100 – 80 A 4.00 3.50 – 4.00 Distinction
79 – 70 AB 3.50 3.00 – 3.49 Upper Credit
69 – 60 B 3.00 2.50 – 2.99 Lower Credit
59 – 50 BC 2.50 2.00 – 2.49 Pass
49 – 40 C 2.00 0.00 – 1.99 Fail
39 – 0 E 0.00

First Semester OND 1 GPA Calculation:

In Polytechnics, if a student offers the following courses and obtains a score that corresponds to the following letter grades that lead to the distribution on the tables below. Bearing in mind that approximation of GPA is not allowed, then such student will calculate his/her GPA as follows:

Course Code Credit Unit Letter Grade Points Grade Credit x Points Total Points
GSP 101 2 C 2.00 2 x 2.00 4.00
GSP 111 2 A 4.00 2 x 4.00 8.00
GSP 105 2 C 2.00 2 x 2.00 4.00
GSP 201 2 AB 3.50 2 x 3.50 6.50
COS 101 2 BC 2.50 2 x 2.50 4.50
STA 131 2 B 3.00 2 x 3.00 6.00
MTH 221 3 C 2.00 3 x 2.00 6.00

Total Points = 39.00, while Total Credit Units = 15

First Semester OND1:

GPA = Total points/Total Credit Units = 39.00/15 = 2.6.

Therefore his/her first semester OND1 GPA = 2.6.

Second Semester OND 1 GPA Calculation:

Assuming the student’s OND1 Second Semester total points is 35.5 and the total credit units is 16, then his/her OND1 GPA = Total points/Total Credit Units = 35.50/16 = 2.21875= 2.21.

Therefore, his/her second semester ND1 GPA = 2.21.

Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA)

In order to calculate the cumulative grade point average (CGPA) for ND 1 (first year), the student is, to sum up, the ND 1 first semester and second semester GPA then divide the obtained result by two (2), i.e. the number of semesters, this:

The student’s OND 1 CGPA = (First Semester ND1 GPA + Second semester ND1 GPA) / 2 = (2.6 + 2.21) / 2.

Hence, the student’s Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) = 4.81 / 2 = 2.405 = 2.40 (no approximation allowed in calculation of GPA)

While The finale CGPA = (OND1 + OND2) / 2 = (2.40 + 3.45) / 2 = 5.85 / 2 = 2.925 = 2.92.

FCGPA = 2.92.



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