Does CGPA Really Matter?
For the records, the oldest surviving University in the world was founded 859 AD here in Africa. In 1785, Yale University became the first institution to adopt a grading system in the world. The tree whose seed was planted can be visibly beheld today but with an influence fast dwindling.
Today more than 1000 Universities adopt the CGPA grading system.
The CGPA grading system calculates the overall grade of a student cumulatively as implied in its name – Cumulative Grade Point Average. Most Universities in the western hemisphere and my university (University of Ibadan) adopt this system based on a 4.0 scale.
The CGPA system no doubt encourages hard work and competition amongst students. The survival of the fittest, they call it but it happens that in the long run, the fittest does not survive it. Adversely, the proponents of this system had succeeded in making students better recorders of information instead of becoming information analyzers.
My point is not to discredit the CGPA method or try to expose its demerits because all grading systems whether it be CGPA, GPA, or pass/ fail method, even the non-usage of grades has its merits and demerits. Trying to exude the cons of CGPA will only lead to an infinite tussle of argument.
Therefore, I plan to examine the phenomenon of grading itself.
Not to label it good or bad but to weigh its relevance in the age we have found ourselves. Relevance is the bone of contention. How relevant is one’s CGPA in the 21st century? To what extent does the procurement of good grades guarantee success or failure, usefulness or uselessness?
To start with, I must affirm that the letch for good grades in the Nigerian society started way back in the early 20th century when the few educated elites were able to fill the workforce comfortably as they were little and the competition was less.
As many saw the need to obtain a formal education, competition soared, employments slots –the reason for the sudden interest in education became filled up. The race to get a job became fiercer and grade segregation became a needed tool to sift potential employees. Not too long, low grades translated to poor quality of life and limited employment opportunities.
‘Use what you have to get what you want.’ Here is the voice of the Nigerian society beckoning on her booming young population in various institutions to “excel” and “graduate with flying colors” by any means necessary to attain social security. Practically, society has little or nothing to offer these hapless beings but seeks to engage them in a never-ending race of academic competition at least to salve their frustrations and grant them an illusion of hope in the attainment of good grades.
This has manifested in the desperate deeds of students to ace by all means necessary –sex for grades, cheat for grades, cram for grades, lobby for grads, bribe for grades, etcetera. In every Nigerian institution with no exemption, two or more of these practices pervade.
There is indeed no society where good grades have not been over-hyped since 1785. Grading had been an efficient winnowing tool to detect the “most likely to succeed” students. In the 20th century, the third world could be seen leading in grading obsession ratings. It is quite understandable as she was just experiencing western education in full fledge and had not fully explored it.
Countries like India and my fatherland embraced western education and sent their youths to school with a pervasive mindset of aiming for good grades while countries like China, Singapore, and Japan at that time embraced western education as well, encouraged excellence but were never obsessed with western education or its grades.
In such countries, innovation, not grades marks excellence. The 21st century shows the stark difference between both groups of nations despite having to be at the same stage of development during the 1900s. Progressive nations like the US have gotten the exact relevance of grading. Armstrong J. Scott (2012) in a research “National learning in higher education” opines that the relationship between grades and job performance in the US is low and becoming lower in recent studies.
If not grading, what criterion can we then say holds the supposed level of relevance in the 21st century? According to a Journal titled, The role of higher education in career development: Employee’s perception (Dec 2012), the order of considerations in employability are ;
- Internships and/or work experience
- Choice of extracurricular activity
- The relevance of course work
- College reputation.
It is quite disheartening that Nigerian scholars in various institutions of learning have been made to believe the last three of these considerations are the top three. By the aforementioned order, it is a case of misplaced priority to make grades the number one spot on the list. Barrack Obama in his address at Wakefield high school Valedictory on September 8, 2009:
Here is what the President of the most prosperous country on earth perceive as needed for the juvenile generation of his state. What do we have to say to our upcoming generation?
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In every sector, Africa has been termed ‘lagging in the development cycle’. Imagine holding dear the 18th-century western values in the 21st century. Now, western society has metamorphized out of the larva of grades’ obsession and now flies on the wings of innovation, creativity, and intelligence. In fact, according to a Wall street journal on the 2nd April 2004, Ivy league and Brown University stopped calculating GPA.
As I stated earlier, my point is not to paint grading good or bad but to reveal its relevance as opposed to the predominant Nigerian perspective. Now, on the way forward, Nigerian scholars need to get priorities right to be able to thrive in the global economy. Students need to apply for internships, gain work experience even before entering the labor market officially. Students need to volunteer, participate in extracurricular activities be it sports, debating, journalism, student polity, arts performing, programming, etc. Students need to choose their course of study based on their strengths and not based on popular opinions. Then, students need aim grades, they are needed to prove what students are made of.
We need to build a sense of value around our Institutions so that they may stop churning out good memorizers with certificates alone. We hope to build a world where critical thinking is encouraged and then innovation shall thrive. The global society does not expect less from us.
Nontheless, I you need help on how you can calculate you CPGA, then continue to read this article further
How To Calculate My CGPA In UI / Any Nigeria University
We have basically four standard classes of degree. They are;
- The cumulative GP for First Class Honours is 3.5 – 4.00
- The cumulative GP for Second Class Honours (Upper Division) is 3.0 – 3.49
- The cumulative GP for Second Class Honours (Lower Division) is 2.0 – 2.99
- The cumulative GP for Third Class Honours is 1.0 – 1.99
To Calculate your CGPA In 100 Level, All you need to do is to know that;
- Your total Course Unit for 100 first semester and the second semester 11 + 9 = 20
- Your total Quality Unit for 100 first semester and the second semester 35 + 43 = 78
- Divide your Cumulative Quality point by Cumulative Course Unit.
- That is, 78 / 20 = 3.9 (100 level CGPA)
To calculate your CGPA in 200 level, All you need to do is to know that;
- Your total Course Unit for 200 first semester and the second semester 11 + 8 = 19
- Your total Quality Unit for 200 first semester and the second semester 34 + 46 = 80
- Divide your Cumulative Quality point by Cumulative Course Unit. That is, 80 / 19 = 4.21 (200 level CGPA)
Now listen, when you get your CPGA for 200 level, it is imperative you know your overall performance from 100 to 200 level.
- To know your academic performance from 100 and 200 level;
- Add up all the Course Unit from 100 and 200 level (20 + 19 = 39)
- Add up all the Quality Point from 100 and 200 level (78 + 80 = 158)
- Your academic performance so far from 100 to 200 level is 4.05
158 / 39 = 4.05 (C.P.G.A of 100 and 200 level)
Use this process for 300 to 400 or 500 level your final year.
If you want to join up with other Students of UI or Nigeria University, simply drop your WhatsApp number so we can add you to the respective school.
That’s the much we can take on the topic “How To Know My CGPA“.
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