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What is Cumulative GWA and How to Calculate it

Cumulative GWA


The General Weighted Average (GWA), also known as Cumulative GWA, is a crucial metric in academic evaluation, particularly for college and high school students in the Philippines. Understanding and calculating your Cumulative GWA can provide a clear picture of your academic performance and help you plan your academic journey more effectively.

Understanding Cumulative GWA

The term “weighted” in GWA refers to the fact that each course or subject carries a specific weight based on the number of units or credit hours it has. This means that a course with more units will have a greater impact on your GWA than a course with fewer units.

Cumulative GWA differs from term or semester Grade Point Average (GPA) in that it considers all the courses you’ve taken throughout your academic journey, not just those in a specific term or semester. This cumulative measure provides a comprehensive view of a student’s academic performance over time.

How to Calculate Cumulative GWA

Calculating your Cumulative GWA involves a few steps:

  1. List all the courses you’ve taken, along with their respective grades and credit units.
  2. Multiply each grade by its corresponding number of units. This gives you the weighted grade for each course.
  3. Add up all the weighted grades to get the total grade points.
  4. Divide the total grade points by the total number of units you’ve taken.

This calculation can be illustrated with an example. Suppose you’ve taken three courses: Math (5 units, grade 1.50), Science (3 units, grade 2.25), and Arts (3 units, grade 1.00). The calculation would be as follows:

  • Math: 5 units x 1.50 = 7.50
  • Science: 3 units x 2.25 = 6.75
  • Arts: 3 units x 1.00 = 3.00

Total grade points = 7.50 + 6.75 + 3.00 = 17.25 Total units = 5 + 3 + 3 = 11

Cumulative GWA = Total grade points / Total units = 17.25 / 11 = 1.57

Tools for Calculating Cumulative GWA

There are several online tools available that can help you calculate your Cumulative GWA, such as the GWA Calculator Philippines and the GWA Calculator by Omni Calculator. These tools offer a user-friendly interface and can provide accurate results quickly, saving you time and effort.

To use an online GWA calculator, you typically need to enter the grades and units for each course you’ve taken. The calculator then performs the calculations described above and displays your Cumulative GWA.

Understanding the Components of Cumulative GWA:

Grading Systems and Scales:

Different educational institutions may adopt varied grading scales, ranging from letter grades (A, B, C) to numerical scales (0-100). Understanding the specific grading system used is fundamental to accurate GWA calculation.

Inclusion of All Courses:

Cumulative GWA considers all completed courses, including electives, major requirements, and general education classes. Each course contributes to the overall average, highlighting the importance of consistency across diverse subjects.

Cumulative GWA in the Philippines

In the Philippines, different schools may use different grading systems for calculating GWA, with most using either a 4-point or 100-point system. Regardless of the system used, the GWA plays a significant role in the Philippine educational system, affecting academic opportunities and progression.

Tips for Maintaining a High Cumulative GWA

Maintaining a high Cumulative GWA requires consistent academic performance and focus on your grades. It’s also important to balance your academic work with extracurricular activities, as these can also contribute to your overall academic profile. Additionally, preparing for standardized tests like the SAT or ACT can help improve your academic standing.

Difference between Cumulative GWA and Term/Semester GPA

While both Cumulative GWA and term/semester GPA are measures of academic performance, they differ in scope. A term or semester GPA only considers the courses taken within a specific term or semester, providing a snapshot of a student’s performance during that period. On the other hand, Cumulative GWA takes into account all the courses a student has taken throughout their academic journey, offering a comprehensive view of their overall academic performance.

Relevance to College and High School Students in the Philippines

In the Philippines, Cumulative GWA is a significant measure of a student’s academic performance. It is used for student rankings, college admissions, and scholarship eligibility. A high Cumulative GWA can open doors to various opportunities, including scholarships and admission to competitive programs. It also holds weight in the job market, where employers view a good GWA as an indicator of dedication, discipline, and hard work.

Importance of GWA in Academic Evaluation

GWA is a critical aspect of academic evaluation as it provides an overall snapshot of a student’s performance. It reflects their performance across various subjects and plays a significant role in determining their academic and career trajectory. It is an essential component of a student’s academic profile that college admissions committees consider. Moreover, maintaining a good GWA can enhance personal growth and skill development.

Significance of Cumulative GWA:

Academic Progress Evaluation:

Cumulative GWA acts as a concise summary of a student’s academic journey. It allows both students and educational institutions to assess overall performance, identifying trends and areas of improvement.

Graduate School Admissions:

Many graduate programs consider cumulative GWA as a key factor in the admissions process. A strong GWA can enhance an applicant’s chances of securing a spot in competitive programs, showcasing consistent dedication and aptitude.


In the professional world, employers often view cumulative GWA as an indicator of a candidate’s work ethic, commitment, and ability to handle challenging tasks. While not the sole criterion, a high GWA can positively influence job opportunities.

Factors Influencing Cumulative GWA:

Course Difficulty:

The difficulty level of courses undertaken plays a crucial role in GWA. Some institutions may implement a weighted system, giving more importance to challenging courses, and ensuring a fair representation of a student’s capabilities.

Credit Hours:

Institutions may assign credit hours to courses based on their complexity and time commitment. Cumulative GWA may be influenced by the weightage assigned to these credit hours.

Grading Policies:

Variations in grading policies among institutions can impact Cumulative GWA. Some institutions use plus and minus grades, while others stick to whole numbers, adding complexity to the calculation.


Understanding and calculating your Cumulative GWA is an essential part of managing your academic journey. By using the resources available, such as online GWA calculators, you can keep track of your academic performance and plan your future academic endeavors effectively. Remember, your GWA is not just a number; it’s a reflection of your academic achievements and can significantly impact your academic and career prospects.

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