Raph Sark
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The GRADE POINT AVERAGE (GPA) Used by high schools, colleges, and graduate schools alike, a grade point average (GPA) is a single cumulative number that represents your entire academic performance. Schools calculate GPA by translating letter grades onto a numerical scale that typically ranges from 0.0-4.0.

The CWA is an abbreviation for the (cumulative weighted Average). This is the system that KWAME NKRUMAH UNIVERSITY OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY (KNUST) uses to test its students, to grade them and at the end of the day, some are tipped first class, second-class upper, second-class lower or pass.

This calculation is based on the mark and value of the credit weighting. The CWA of students in their first semester is 100.00. After the students have gone through the whole semester examinations schedule their weighted average is calculated to determine their cumulative average. Below is a table explaining the KNUST grading system

First-class70 and above
Second class-upper69.99 – 60.00
Second class-upper59.00 -50.00
Third class49.00 40.00

READ ALSO: What you need to know: KNUST Students Portal

The score range of the KNUSTgrading system

A70.00 – 100Excellent 
B60.00 – 69.99Very-Good 
C50.00 – 59.99Good 
D40.00 – 49.99 Pass
F0.00- 49.00Fail
I Incomplete (medical reason)
I* Incomplete ( mark not available)
I’Incomplete  ( prevented from writing the examination)
DFcould not register or attend lectures for a class
DF*attended lectures but could not write examinations due to work schedule

How to calculate your CWA using the KNUST grading system

The need to get good grades is a common topic of conversation among students, but there is a difference between working hard to get the grades and dreaming or thinking about how to get the grades. So let’s get to it. 

The first thing you have to know is that KNUST allows their students to register 3 to 10 courses under their programme each academic year; the number, of course, you will be demanded to register for will differ based on your programme thus some students will have to register for 11,12 and even 13 courses. However, interestingly a student offering three courses per semester and those offering eleven per the same semester should all have their credit hours totalling between 16 to 21; nothing less or more.

 Now let us use a more practical example: 

Suppose a first-year student of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences in the Department of Sociology and Social work has registered for the following courses. 

Course No.Credit Hours 
SOC 1533
SOWK 1553
SOWK 1573
CSM 1832
ENGL 1572
MATH 1532
SOC 1513
AFS 1711
Cumulative Credit total19

READ ALSO: All you need to know about KNUST as a fresher

Sample courses and grades

Course No.Credit Hours Marks (100%)Cumulative marks Grade
SOC 153368204B
SOWK 155371213A
SOWK 157376228A
CSM 183263126B
ENGL 157267134B
MATH 153271142A
SOC 151385255A
AFS 17117676A

Calculate your CWA

To get the CWA for a first-year first semester the total cumulative weighted marks is divided by the cumulative credits. To get your cumulated marks, multiply your score/marks percentage by the course credit hour.

Cumulative weighted marks

Eg: for SOWK 157 

76*2= 152

Cumulative weighted average 

 1378/19 =72.53

CWA for the first semester is  72.53, First class

We find from the table above that the student was fortunate enough to obtain the first class in their first year at the university. This mark can either increase or reduce as time goes on, based on how well they perform.

 Hence, it does not matter your class for a particular semester or your overall cumulative average or class, you can still trail if you don’t put in much effort. Lucky for you the school will allow you to resit for the particular course you trailed until you get at least a pass. Therefore, students are implored to take each course seriously.

What does it mean to trail in KNUST?

The KNUST grading system has been ordered in such a way that if a student trails it means that they were unable to obtain a pass mark which is between a 50 -59; a student can also trail under the conditions of incomplete grade (I, I* and I’) or the conditions of deferment of a course ( Df, Df*).

READ ALSO: How to plan your time as a student

Conditions to rewrite your exams in KNUST

Students who fall under these conditions are allowed to rewrite their exams 

  • Students under the grade comment (I’) as a result of owing fees or non-registration
  • Students tagged as Df* for a course as in the case of IDL students 
  • Students who have written a course and failed (F) at the end of the semester 
  • Students unable to write under a medical condition with the provision of a medical report issued or endorsed by the Director of University Health Services; NOTE: such students should have registered and attended lectures, tutorials and practicals to the fulfilment of the course. 
  • NOTE: students tagged as (Df) are not considered eligible to take part in the rewriting of exams. 

How to convert GPA and CWA under KNUST grading system

Grades under the GPA system is basically the same as that of the CWA system. It runs from letters A through to F; it has a weighted scale that goes up to 5 when you convert the CWA to GPA, unlike the traditional GPA that goes up to 4.

A typical GPA looks like this:


To convert CWA to GPA,

Multiply your CWA by 4, and divide it by 100. 

For the example we gave above the student’s weighted average was 72.53, so then

GPA = ( CWA x 4) / 100

= (72.53 x 4) / 100 = 2.90

This is for a CWA of 100% which is equivalent to a  GPA of 4.00

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