Weighted grades: what is it and how to calculate | unknown university (2023)

Last updated May 31, 2021 bydavid shaw

Weighted grades: what is it and how to calculate | unknown university (1)

I was taking a math class once and I came across the term "weighted grades" but wasn't sure what it meant. Most people are told that weighted grades help with students' lowest score percentile, but after more research on this topic, weighted grades are more.

What exactly are weighted grades and how are they calculated?

Typically, a weighted grade is a grading system that uses a simple equation formula to give students a numerical advantage in their grades. This grading system often provides benefits based on students' midterm or final exams, since the highest-scoring exams are generally considered throughout the curriculum.

Despite the simple explanation, there is a lot of confusion and debate about the disadvantages of the weighted grading system compared to the normal grading system, where the total points are added together and multiplied by 100%. To avoid further complications, let's understand weighted ranking systems in more depth in this article.

Understand weighted notes

Before we get into the verbal details, let's preview the idea behind weighted notes. in the next pictureRhett Allainuses a great example to show us how we can easily understand how weighted notes work.

In the illustration below, Rhett uses Allain:

(Video) Calculating weighted grades

  1. A suit inscribed with the notes A, B, C, D at equal intervals
  2. 3 metal cylinders, each representing test, design and test modules in onetypical curriculum
Weighted grades: what is it and how to calculate | unknown university (2)

To understand this chart by weight of the "test" cylinder block, imagine where the center of mass would be for the photo assembly. If you score slightly above "B" on your test,the focuswould represent your overall course grade, which is roughly whereyour left index finger labeledin the image, between grades C and B. However, if you scored an A or better on your test, you would shift the center of gravity (the overall grade) to the right, which is between the B and A ranges.

Quiz modules typically make up 30-50% of the course grade, compared to quizzes or projects which make up 10-20% of the overall course grade.

If you were to stack the "Project" cylinder blocks on top of the "Test" cylinder, you would intuitively expect the center of mass to lean closer to the "B" note simply because it carries more weight in your score.

We can see that Rhett uses a larger and heavier cylinder for the “Test” module, as it usually has a higher note or “weight” on the menu in relation to tests and projects, hence the different weights of the cylinder blocks in the configuration.

How to calculate your weighted grades

A weighted grade is the average of a set of grades for each module (percentage) multiplied by its weight (decimal percentage). Each module (Xn) is accompanied by its respective weight, (Wn) established by the teacher. A weighted grade is calculated using the following formula

Weighted rating = (L1 × X1+L2×X2+L3×X3+…) / (V1+V2+V3…)

(Video) How Do Weighted Grades Work?

The formula for calculating your weighted grades is simple with theRapidTables online toolsinstead of physically writing an equation and calculating it. An example calculation would look like this:

Weighted grades: what is it and how to calculate | unknown university (3)
Weighted grades: what is it and how to calculate | unknown university (4)
  • Or if you use RapidTables
Weighted grades: what is it and how to calculate | unknown university (5)

The "1.05" weight rating distribution

Weighted grades have their advantages and peculiarities, if they are not understood correctly, students are often confused with this system. With that in mind, students with higher scores generally don't benefit from weighted grades as much as those with lower scores.

Actual Weighted Ratingsit will harm the studentswith a higher grade when the formula is applied directly, so teachers often use the "1.05 weight", adding an extra 5% to their weighted grade so as not to penalize them. A good example of this scenario can be shown in the following sample data:

(Video) How to Calculate Your Weighted Grade

Weighted grades: what is it and how to calculate | unknown university (6)
Weighted grades: what is it and how to calculate | unknown university (7)

We can see from the data above that students who scored 90.7% and 96.3% on their exams are penalized by the weighted grading system compared to the normal grading system. This is where the 1.05 weight comes into play to keep students from losing points. Some instructors would only apply the weight of 1.05 to the final exam or module, as in the example below:

Weighted grades: what is it and how to calculate | unknown university (8)
Weighted grades: what is it and how to calculate | unknown university (9)

The above examples only represent common phrases, although you should be aware that grading systems and GPA scales can vary significantly between teachers and the school's preferred grading system.

Since weighted grading systems are calculated differently by different teachers in different school systems. It is entirely the student's responsibility to understand and communicate with their faculty to understand how their professors would evaluate their grades and what advantages or disadvantages may apply to students.

Discussions on using the weighted grade system

The rationale behind the weighted grading system is essentially implemented to encourage students to gain a numerical grade advantage if they do poorly on an exam or thesis that they can use and benefit from.

(Video) Calculate Your Average Grade with The Grade Calculator | British University Grading System

From the examples and explanations we've seen and discussed so far, students with higher scores tend to be more numerically disadvantaged.only if your teacher used the weighted grading formula without a multiplierlike the "1.05 weight" that isis rarely the case.

Common critics of the practice include the following arguments:

  • Weighted grades discourage students from taking certain courses

Students can become disheartened when faced with a statistics or music class that provides them with valuable knowledge but also puts them at a numerical disadvantage when calculating grades. It helps to know that grades are weightedmost commonly applied to competitive STEMClasses such as analysis, organic chemistry or physics. These classes are often unavoidable for STEM students, so students don't have to worry about a music or rhetoric class that implements the weighted grading system.

  • Weighted grades are unfair to students with higher scores

It would be unreasonable for teachers to disadvantage students with good grades for performing well in class, so teachers always apply something like a 1.05 weight scale to the overall grade, or say, the final exam or modules. Although this rarely happens, I know teachers who simply multiply the final grade by 1.05, which essentially increases the final grade by 5%. Most professors would choose to apply the 1.05 weight only to exams or finals, or even both.

About equity in the distribution of grades, the professoryou can make grade changes for numerically disadvantaged students by directly applying the weighted grading system. Communicate well with your peers and your teacher, help your teacher decide which motives to use to support students and not affect their results.

  • Weighted grades take advantage of opportunities for students to manipulate the grade matrix.

Logically, there is only a maximum range of 1-5% additional grades that students can earn with this grading system. Realistically, 5% can only help students with a letter grade and nothing else. Instead, think of this system as a leverage opportunity for students. If you simply do poorly in class or on a test, you have a useful opportunity to be excused from a failing grade, or if the opposite is true, you are more likely to get an A+ if you simply do well on the render. classroom.

Good advice is to communicate well with your professors to discuss the reasons for the right choice, let them know if you are doing well or not, give them more feedback so they can decide how to weight your final grades.

(Video) How to Calculate Your Grade in a Class

final thoughts

In general, I personally support the implementation of the weighted grading system, as it can be very useful for the average successful student. I almost never come across students who are numerically disadvantaged by this grading system. It simply serves as a tool that students can benefit from if they put in the effort. A helpful reminder is to communicate well with your professors to discuss the reasons for the appropriate choice, let them know if you are doing well or not, give them more feedback so they can decide how to weight the final grade.


How do you calculate grades with weighted scores? ›

The way to figure this out is to multiply each score by its weight (percentage) and add the products together, then divide by the sum of the weights. These scores are the student's weighted average.

How do you calculate weighted grade without all grades? ›

say these are your grades and what each category is worth.. Find the average of each category and multiply it by the percentage it is worth. Divide that number by the percentage fulfilled so far.. 73.7/ 80% = 92.125.

How do you calculate university grade? ›

To calculate your average grade, use the following formula: [CREDITS OF THE UNIT]/90 x [UNIT GRADE], and add them all together. For example, if you got the grades 68, 72 and 79 in three 30 credit units in final year, you would calculate the average grade as follows: (30/90 x 68) + (30/90 x 72) + (30/90 x 79) = 73.

What does weighted grade mean? ›

Weighted grades are letter grades that are assigned a numerical advantage when calculating a grade point average, or GPA. • Weighted grade systems give students a numerical advantage for grades earned in higher-level courses or more challenging learning experiences, such as honors courses or Advanced Placement courses.

What is a weighted scoring method? ›

Definition of weighted scoring

Weighted scoring is a framework designed to help teams prioritize outstanding tasks by assigning a numeric value to each based on cost-benefit (or effort versus value) analysis. Making decisions is never easy, especially when there's a big team involved.


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