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Using the Grade Calculator to Estimate the Effect of Alternative Grading Choices for Spring 2020

The LionPATH GPA Calculator provides a convenient tool for you to explore how the decisions you make in selecting alternative grading for individual courses will impact your GPA. You do not have to make your decision final until after grades are posted; but, based on what grades you think you might earn, you can explore options ahead of time. Decisions about using alternative grading involve more than just your GPA; academic advisers are prepared to discuss the implications with you.

Read more about optional alternative grading for the spring 2020 semester on Penn State News and at remotelearning.psu.edu.

The following instructions detail how to use the tool in LionPATH.

one Step 1

To access the GPA Calculator tool, log into LionPATH and select "Degree Planning and Progress" from the menu.

Screenshot of the Degree Planning and Progress link in the LionPATH menu.

two Step 2

Then click "GPA Calculator" in the next menu.

Screenshot of the GPA Calculator link in the LionPATH menu.

three Step 3

When you first open the GPA calculator, you will see key information from previous semesters. This includes your current cumulative GPA.

Screenshot highlighting the Cumulative GPA field in the LionPATH GPA Calculator.

four Step 4

In the GPA Calculator, you will make all your selections in the "Class Information" section. Use the "+" button at right to create enough rows to accommodate your current schedule of classes.

Screenshot highlighting the Class Information section in the LionPATH GPA Calculator.

five Step 5

For each class, enter its number of credits and your best guess at your final grade.

Screenshot highlighting where to enter estimate grades in the Class Information section in the LionPATH GPA Calculator.

six Step 6

With this information complete, scroll down and click the "Calculate" button. The Estimated Information for your term and cumulative GPA will be displayed assuming no use of alternative grading.

Screenshot highlighting where the estimated GPA information appears in the LionPATH GPA Calculator.

seven Step 7

In the above example, spring 2020 grades are reducing the student's cumulative GPA from 3.80 to 3.74.

To explore the effect of selecting alternative grading for a course on your list (you might choose one with a low grade), you can either set the Class Units to 0 or delete a particular row. If you set the units to 0 you will get a warning note on which you can click "OK." The displayed information will now show your GPA with that grade not included.

Screenshot showing how to explore the effect of using alternative grading in the LionPATH GPA Calculator.

eight Step 8

In the above example, choosing alternative grading would raise the student's cumulative GPA to 3.80.

Try changing the number of credits to 0 for other courses.

Screenshot showing the effect of changing the number of credits to 0 for other courses in the LionPATH GPA Calculator.

In the above example, selecting 0 for a second course further raises the cumulative GPA to 3.81.