BY JANE HURST
As a college student, it isn’t enough to just sit back and wait for your grades to come in. It is important to know how to calculate your grades ahead of time. That way, if there are any problem areas, you can figure out how to correct the problems, and work harder to get the grades you really want. There are various types of grading systems, and various ways to figure them out. If your professors use a weighted grade, you should understand what that means, how to calculate it yourself, and how to make changes in your study habits to make your grades even better. Let’s take a look at how to calculate weighted grade in college.
- Determine if Assignments are Weighted – If your teachers are using a weighted grading system, your work will have points that are based on each category, and these categories all play together to give you a final grade. Categories can include homework, tests, class participation, lab work, quizzes, and of course, your final exam. Each category is worth a specific percentage of your final grade, and in order to get great grades, you need to score high in all categories. But, it isn’t going to affect your grade too much if you were to make few less points in one category, especially if you are scoring really high in others. To simplify things for the sake of this article, let’s say that each category is worth a number that is equal to its percentage weight (ie 20% equals 20 points). The categories will add up to a total of 100, or 100%.
- Calculate Category Percentages – Once you have figured out each category and what they are worth, it is time to calculate the category percentages. You have the points for the categories figured out, so now you have to convert those percentages into real numbers. For example, if you received a 95% in a category that is weighted at 20%, you would multiply .95 by 20, for a total of 19. So, you have 19 points for that particular category.
- Convert Percentages to Decimals – It is important that when calculating a weighted grade that you always change percentages into decimals, making it easier to multiply. You may even want to check out a grade calculator to make sure that you are getting the right numbers.
- Multiply by Weight – You will now need to multiply each number by its weight. You have the option to do this at the end of your chart, or to do it on one line in a formula. For instance, you might enter 0.9(0.25) to show a 90% grade, multiplied by 25% of the total grade. This is how you weigh out each score to get to your overall grade. There is just one more step in the process.
- Add Weighted Scores Together – Now that you have the weighted scores figured out, you will need to add them together. For example, 0.9(0.25) + 0.75(0.50) + 0.87(0.25). The total weighted class score would be 0.8175. Multiply this number by 100 to figure out the percentage, which in this case would be 81.75%.
Are Your Grades Where they Should Be?
If you have done these calculations, and have figured out that your grades are not where they should be, you can fix them before it is too late. The first thing to do is to talk to your teachers about getting help with weighted grades. Find out what you need to do to raise your weighted grade, and then work on it. It may be that there is just one area that is bringing the grade down, and that grade will go up once you fix the problem.
Jane Hurst has been working in education for over 5 years as a teacher. She loves sharing her knowledge with students, is fascinated about edtech and loves reading, a lot. Follow Jane on Twitter.