How to Calculate Grades

How to Calculate Grades

It’s important to know how to calculate your grades, so you can keep track of your progress in all your classes and where you need to put on more effort to increase your GPA. Keep reading to learn how to find out your current grade, advance a future grade, and see how well you will have to perform on a final exam to improve a final grade.


How are Grades Calculated?


There isn’t a single, unique way to calculate a class grade. Each class will use a different grade calculation method so the first step will be to know how the teacher calculates your grades for each class.The difference is in the weight each class assigns to the different class elements. So it may be that in a particular class the final exam represents 50% on the final grade, while in another it’ll be 40%. Each class has different elements besides the final exam. There will be homework assignments, quizzes, and other tests. Also, each course will have a different number of individual elements. Some classes will have more homework assignments than others, for example.At the end of the course, the teacher will put together all your grades for each individual element, and calculate your letter grade based on that. Of course, the final exam grade will have a deep impact on your final grade, but if you study consistently throughout the course, you will have a better chance to maintain your letter grade in the final exam. On the opposite, if you don’t put the work into your assignments, homework, and quizzes, is not likely you will be able to improve your current grade on your final exam. In order to get a good grade, you need to get good grades in all your class elements.

If your teacher gives your percentage or grade points for your class elements, you can use our GPA scale converter to easily convert your grades between letter grades, grade points, and percentage points.

How can you calculate your grade?


Let’s see how you can find out your grade for any class. Your teacher probably uses a point system to grade assignments, homework, quizzes, any unit test, and the final exam. So the first thing you need to do is to find out how many points did you achieve out of the total number of points available. Make a list and sum all the points you received for each individual element and the maximum number of points for each element as well. You will see that you got, for example, 475 out of 500 possible points.

The second step is a bit more complicated. As most teachers use a weighted grade system, you need to know the grade weight of each class element. For example, assignments may make up 10% of the course grade, while the final exam makes up 50% of the final grade. When you know the weight percentages of each element, you can calculate your weighted points and the total weighted points available. If, for example, assignments make up 15% of the final grade weight, you multiply your points and the total possible points by 0.15. If the quizzes grade percentage is 25%, you multiply by 0.25. In the end, you will know how many weighted points you achieved out of the total points available.

If you want to save time, however, you can use our weighted grade calculator to easily calculate your grades.


Calculate what you need to achieve in your final exam

The final exam is usually the element with more impact on your academic performance. Even if you have worked throughout the term you may be wondering what you need to achieve in the exam to maintain or even increase your grade.

The best and easiest way to do so is to use our final grade calculator. You enter your current grade and your desired grade (you can use letter grades or the points grading scale) and the exam weight. The final grade calculator will tell you the result you need on the exam to achieve your desired grade.

How can you increase a low grade?


The sooner you start working on improving your grade, the biggest impact you will be able to make. Waiting until your final exam to improve your performance will make things difficult for you for two reasons. First, you are betting everything on a single chance to improve a low grade. And second, if you haven’t put in the work throughout the course, it’ll be harder for you to prepare for the exam.

As a student, the best thing you could do to improve your course grade is to start early. Work on your assignments, quizzes, and exams so that you can face the last exam with a good grade and a good preparation, ready to ace it. Teachers will also notice your effort and progress and will be more willing to help you get a good course grade.

What this means is that, to change a grade, you need to change your habits. Changing how you take notes, organize yourself or study is hard work, but it’s necessary. But, how can you know what to change?


Analyze your current grade

The first step is to get your current grade report and understand how your letter grade is calculated. Whether it’s a weighted or unweighted letter grading scale or if it uses a percentage or a points grading system is important. Then focus on your low grades in the report and look for possible patterns. Knowing where the problem lies will allow you to focus on solutions for that particular issue.

You can also get copies of past tests and look for patterns there as well, to see if you need to improve your essays or your performance on multiple-choice questions.


Talk with your teachers

As a student looking to improve your performance, talking with your teachers is one of the best things you can do. Your teacher will help you understand your grade report and help you with tips on how to prepare for a future assignment, accept that you can re-do a previous assignment, or provide you with extra credit work.

If you complete any extra-credit assignments and participate in your class consistently, your teacher will be more willing to help you and answer any question you may have.


Talk with your parents

Let your parents know about your current performance and how you’re working to correct and improve your course results. They will help you with your time commitment, homework, supplies, and any other issues that may be affecting you.


Make a plan to improve your grade

Planning and organization are key to prepare adequately for any test and never miss an assignment. If your teacher allows you to deliver a missing assignment, include it in your planning as well.

You can also join a study group with other students and see if your learning method can be modified to better suit your style.

How do grades affect your GPA?

The cumulative grade point average (GPA) is an average of averages. It’s the average of all your grades across all semesters and is the single most important metric for your academic performance. As such, any low grade will have a severe impact on your overall GPA score.

The cumulative GPA will be used by any prospective college, university, or employer, to evaluate students’ applications. Of course, the higher the score, the higher the number of colleges that will accept your application. It’ll also help you secure financial aid or scholarships.

If you want to know your performance, you can use our cumulative GPA calculator. If you’re in high-school you may want to use our high-school GPA calculator. If you’re already in college, then our college GPA calculator is the tool you need.

Helpful Guides

How to Raise GPA
A good grade point average (GPA) can mean a wider range of opportunities for your career.

How to Calculate Grades
It’s important to know how to calculate your grades, so you can keep track of your progress in all your classes and where you need to put on more effort to increase your GPA.