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Calculating Grades in College Classes

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  1. Calculating Grades in College Classes

  2. College Grading • Calculating your grade in college courses can sometimes seem challenging • Each course may have a different configuration of tests and assignments, with each weighted differently in your final grade • However, professors usually outline their grading structure in the course syllabus

  3. College Grading • Some courses may weight assignments by percentage For example… • Test 1 is worth 40% of your grade • Test 2 is worth 40% of your grade • Paper 1 is worth 20% of your grade • Others may use a points system For example… • Test 1 is worth 100 points • Test 2 is worth 100 points • Paper 1 is worth 50 points

  4. Points-Based Grading • Add up total points earned and divide by total points possible. • Multiply by 100 for the final grade expressed as a percentage. AssignmentPoints PossiblePoints Earned Test 1 100 75 Test 2 100 90 Paper 1 50 45 Total: 250 210 210 ÷ 250 = .84 .84 x 100 = 84% Final Grade

  5. Percentage-Based Grading • For each assignment, divide points earned by points possible. Multiply by 100 for the assignment grade expressed as a percentage. • Then multiply each assignment grade by the percentage that specific assignment is weighted in the total grade. • Last, add up all the weighted grades to get the final grade expressed as a percentage.


  6. Watch Your Weights! • Sometimes, each individual assignment grade will be weighted • Other times, the average of a group of assignments will be weighted • This may mean that a large number of grades actually have little impact on your final grade Tests 50%Quizzes 10%Participation / Attendance 10% Test 1 = 50/100 Quiz 1 = 9/10 Jan. 15 = 2/2 Feb. 19 = 2/2 Apr. 2 = 2/2 Test 2 = 60/100 Quiz 2 = 8/10 Jan. 17 = 2/2 Feb. 21 = 2/2 Apr. 4 = 2/2 Quiz 3 = 8/10 Jan. 22 = 2/2 Feb. 26 = 2/2 Apr. 9 = 2/2 Papers 30% Quiz 4 = 9/10 Jan. 24 = 2/2 Feb. 28 = 2/2 Apr. 11 = 2/2 Paper 1 = 30/50 Quiz 5 = 7/10 Jan. 29 = 2/2 Mar. 5 = 2/2 Apr. 16 = 2/2 Paper 2 = 15/50 Jan. 31 = 1/2 Mar. 7 = 1/2 Apr. 18 = 2/2 Feb. 5 = 2/2 Mar. 19 = 2/2 Apr. 23 = 2/2 Feb. 7 = 2/2 Mar. 21 = 2/2 Apr. 25 = 2/2 Feb. 12 = 2/2 Mar. 26 = 2/2 Feb. 14 = 2/2 Mar. 28 = 2/2

  7. Watch Your Weights! • Most (80%) of a student’s final grade in this course is based on grades on the tests and papers • Even though there are many more grades in the categories of quizzes and participation/attendance, all of those together are only worth 20%

  8. Tips for Watching Your Weights • Pay careful attention to the weights of assignments in calculating your overall grade. • Find this information in your syllabus for each course • If it’s not listed, ask your professor • Use this information to prioritize and manage your time. • Give the most attention to assignments that have the most impact on your grade • e.g., spend the time to revise your paper (15% of grade) before taking an online quiz (2% of your grade)

  9. Practicing Calculating Grades • Using the examples on the worksheet, calculate the final grades for both classes listed. • Then discuss the following questions: • What are the main differences betweenthe two classes? • Why is it important to keep track of your grades in each class?

  10. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.