An F is a failing grade with zero points assigned to the GPA. It affects your GPA negatively, thus lowering your grade point average and affecting your chances of graduating. An F also causes you to miss the minimum qualifications for financial aid.

You need to improve your GPA to secure a better chance of graduating and accessing the benefits such as financial aid in school by avoiding the F grade. For most institutions, you need to attain a minimum of 2.0 to qualify for enrollment.

In this article, we shall discuss the effect of an F on your GPA and how to improve your GPA. In addition, we shall discuss how to calculate your GPA in different scenarios.

F Grade Affect GPA
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How Much Does an F Affect Your GPA?

GPA means the average grade for your whole academic year and is dictated by the grades you attain for every class you take each semester.

An F contributes zero points to your cumulative or major GPA at the end of the semester. With an F, you lower your chances of enrolling in either undergraduate or graduate school. It may also affect your progress from one academic year to the other.

For those depending on financial aid to study, an F grade will lower the GPA, thus causing you to miss the qualifications for such help. An F in your grades will also affect your market value for jobs from prospective employees. A resume attached with F grades will cause a low cumulative GPA, hence lower chances of getting job opportunities.

Below is a table of the standard grade point average on a 4.0 scale for various grades and their percentage grade. From the table, you can see that an F will earn you a 0.0 GPA.

Number/Letter GradePercentage GradeGrade Point Average (GPA)
A+97 – 1004.3
A93 – 964.0
A-90 – 923.7
B+87 – 893.3
B83 – 863.0
B-80 – 822.7
C+77 – 792.3
C73 – 762.0
C-70 – 721.7
D+67 – 691.3
D63 – 661.0
D-60 – 620.7
FBelow 600.0

The other grading systems, such as those used in United States Public High Schools, include the following.

Letter GradePercentageGPA

Below is an example of a rank-based grading system used in the United States of America.

Grade Rank Percentage of students getting grade
AFourth quintile(top 20%)
BThird quintile(20% – 40%)
CSecond quintile(middle 20%)
DFirst quintile(60% – 80%)
FBottom quantileBottom 20%

Read Also: Negative Effects of Reward Systems in Classrooms

Why Does the GPA Grade Matter?

The GPA matters as it is used as a parameter to qualify one for financial and progressive academic growth. Here are the major reasons why you must improve your GPA.

  • For financial aid qualifications – Most of the financial bodies for higher education, such as the Federal Application for Free Student Aid (FAFSA), require a minimum of 2.0 GPA. You also must maintain the GPA for continuous support.
  • To maintain the school’s enrollment requirements – Most of the institutions have a minimum of 2.0 GPA for enrollment. If your GPA goes below 2.0, you are dismissed on probation and then discontinued if you fail to improve your GPA.
  • For graduation purposes – To graduate from your institution, you must meet the minimum GPA requirements that may vary depending on your institution. The majority cap it at a 2.0 GPA as a cumulative average.
  • For enrollment into a graduate school – You require a minimum of 3.0 GPA to be enrolled in a graduate school. You must have graduated with a high GPA for competitive purposes.
  • For inclusion into your resume – You can attach your cumulative or major GPA to your resume to show prospective employees your qualifications and strengths.

How Can I Raise or Improve My GPA?

To raise your cumulative GPA by the end of the academic year, you need to strategize for every course. You need to maximize getting high grades for a better average.

group study
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Below are a few tricks you can employ to raise your GPA.

  • Avoid taking lessons that you don’t require. Drop the optional classes that aren’t relevant to your major career to save time and energy.
  • Consult with a tutor if you are having difficulty with a particular subject or skill to get assistance, clarify your doubts, and provide feedback.
  • Speak with your professors. They can provide you with direction, information, and tools to help you enhance your performance.
  • Join a study group and set goals for yourself and also as a group. Have a plan on how to achieve the goals of better grades.
  • Improve your study methods, such as note-taking, and ensure you attend classes.
  • Reinforce the class notes with other related reference materials. You can check out from the library and online websites such as Coursera.

How Can I Calculate My GPA?

To calculate your GPA, you can do it manually through simple computations or by use of a GPA calculator to compute your average points. You can calculate your GPA as:

  • Cumulative GPA – This is done for all the classes cumulatively. It encompasses all the units, major and subordinate, that you have enrolled for.
  • Major GPA – This is the average from all the major units or courses that you took in school.

Check Also: How To Deal With Low Marks As a Student

Method 1: Mathematical Computations

For the computations, you need to divide the total number of grade points obtained by the sum of the credit hours.

Let’s say you have taken six 3-credit courses, and you have five A’s and one F. Your total grade points are (5 x 3 x 4) + (1 x 3 x 0) = 60. Your total credit hours are 6 x 3 = 18. Your GPA is 60 / 18 = 3.3.

To check the effect an F has on your GPA, let’s have a look at the following example.

If you had gotten a B instead of an F, your GPA would have been (5 x 3 x 4) + (1 x 3 x 3) = 69 / 18 = 3.8. The difference is significant for the two students.

For the computations, you must check with your institution for their specific credit hours when calculating since some have varying hours.

Apart from the 4.0 – scale used while grading different courses, you can use the weighted GPA conversion system. Check the values below for different grades used in honors and advanced placement.

  • A = 5 or 4.5
  • B = 4 or 3.5
  • C = 3 or 2.5
  • D = 2 or 1.5
  • F = 0

In Denver Public Schools in the United States of America, they use the grading below.

  • A = 5.2
  • A− = 4.77
  • B+ = 4.33
  • B = 3.9
  • B− = 3.47
  • C+ = 3.0
  • C = 2.6
  • C− = 2.17
  • D = 1.3
  • F = 0.0

When calculating your GPA, always check the appropriate grading system for your specific institution since they differ from one school to another.

Method 2: Use Of A GPA Calculator

To use a calculator, first download the software application from the GPA calculator’s online website. Then, feed the personal data such as the number of courses undertaken every semester, the grades attained, and the credits for each course.

Bottom Line

Scoring an F grade, which is considered a failure grade, results in a lower cumulative or major GPA. The F grade has no points and counts for zero GPA in that specific unit.

A low GPA has negative effects on the overall school performance and may cause you to miss enrollment minimum qualifications. Different institutions have varying GPA requirements, and you must improve your grades using the above-listed tricks. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to