Calculating your courses grade is a useful skill to have. It will help you understand where you stand and how much progress you’ve made. Furthermore, it will help you determine how much more work you need to put in to earn the grade you want.
A 1979 Harvard Business Study found that students that set goals are ten times more successful than those who don’t. Once you know your grade, you’ll know exactly what score to aim for, and you can work towards setting daily and weekly goals to meet your target.
In this post, you will learn how to calculate your grade percentage and determine what grade you need to earn the desired grade for the course.
Common Grade Calculation Methods
There are several methods to calculate grades – and some are a lot easier than others. Here are five ways to calculate your grades:
Method #1: Calculating Grade in Point System
Before you use this method, you must determine whether you are graded on a point system. If you’re being graded on the point system, every activity you do in class will be worth a specific number of points.
If you see point scores on your assignments, you’re being graded on the point system. If you’re not sure, you can ask your teacher how you’re being graded.
Step #1: Determine the Total Points You Can Earn
You can do this quickly by looking at your syllabus and adding the earnable points. Alternatively, you can ask your teacher what the total earnable points for the course are.
If you want to figure out what your current grade is, add up just the maximum possible points for the assignments and activities you completed up to this point.
Step #2: Add Up the Points You Earned
After calculating the total points you can earn in the course, you must add up all of your earned points on activities.
You can find the points you earned on the assignments if the teacher lists your score. If the teacher hasn’t listed your score on the assignment, you can ask the teacher for your scores.
If the course isn’t over yet and you want to determine what grade you’ll get, you will need to estimate your scores on future activities. Then, in the next step, you can add these estimate scores to the points you’ve earned so far to calculate your possible final grade.
Estimating different scores is a great way to set goals. Once you estimate how much you’ll need to score on future activities, you can set study goals to earn your target scores and achieve your desired grade for the class.
Step #3: Calculate Your Grade Percentage
You must divide the total points you earned by the total earnable points. This calculation will give you your score for the course.
If you want to calculate your current grade, divide the sum of points you earned so far by the sum of earnable points for the completed activities.
Method #2: Calculating Weighted Grades
Like the first method, you need to determine if you’re being graded on a weighted system before following the steps.
In a weighted system, the activities you complete will have points. However, every activity will be worth a different amount in your final grade. The percentage that an activity is worth typically depends on the category it falls into. Some common categories include homework, tests, quizzes, and final exams.
Final exam scores typically have the highest weightage in your total grade, making it important to get the best possible score on the final. However, if you score a little less on an activity that, say, accounts for only 10% of the course’s grade, it won’t make a big dent on your course grade.
That said, it is important to remember that different teachers prioritize different activities. For example, the final may have the highest weightage in one course, whereas participation may have the highest weightage in another.
Step #1: Note Your Scores and Respective Weights
Before you can determine your weighted scores, you must note down your scores for every activity and the weightage of the corresponding activity.
If you want to calculate your grade for the overall class but activities are still due, you must estimate your scores for those activities.
Step #2: Multiply Scores and Weights
Calculating your weighted score is as simple as multiplying your scores with the respective activity weight percentages. This will give you the weighted scores for every activity.
Step #3: Add Up Weighted Grades
You must add all of the weighted grades you calculated in the previous step in this final step. This will give you your final grade.
You don’t have to do this process manually – you can use the Meta-Calculator Grade Calculator to find your grade for the course in seconds.
Method #2.1: Calculating Weighted Grades with Meta-Calculator
Using Meta-Calculator’s final grade calculator is the most convenient way to find course grades. All you have to do is enter your score percentages in the “Grade (%)” before entering their respective weightage in the “Weight (%)” column.
You have nothing to worry about if you receive your grade in letter or point forms. Meta-Calculator comes with percentage, letter, and point modes. All you’ll need to do is switch to the appropriate mode and enter the correct values.
After entering the values, calculating your grade for the class is as easy as hitting “Calculate.”
Method #3: Calculating Required Grade on Final
If you know your current grade and the weight of the final, it is easy to determine the grade you need on your final to earn your target grade for the course.
Step #1: Find the Weight of the Rest of the Course
Let’s say the final accounts for 40% of the course’s grade, and your current grade is 80% (B-). Further, for the sake of explanation, let’s assume you want to score 86% (B) on the course.
To find the weight of the rest of the course, subtract the weight of the final from the total weight of the course.
100% – 40% = 60%
Therefore, the rest of the course accounts for 60% of the course’s grade.
Step #2: Determine the Weighted Value of Your Current Grade
Now that you know that the rest of the course accounts for 60% of your grade, you can calculate the weighted value of your current score.
All you have to do is multiply your current grade with the weight of the rest of the course.
Since the current grade is 80% in our example, the Weighted Value of Grade (WVG) is:
80*60% = 80*0.6 = 48
In other words, the WVG is equal to 48.
Step #3: Subtract the WVG from Desired Grade
The grade you’re aiming for will be equal to the sum of the current weighted grade and the weighted grade of the final.
Target course grade=weighted current grade +weighted required final grade
We can write this as:
Weighted required final grade=Target course grade-Weighted current grade
Since we know the target grade and weighted current grade, we can now find the weighted required final grades from the equation above.
Weighted required final grade=86-48=38
Step #4: Calculate Required Final Exam Grade
To calculate the grade you need on the final exam, divide the required weighted final grade by the weight of the final in decimal form:
Required weighted final grade / Weight of final (in decimals) = 38 / 0.4 = 95
Therefore, in this example, to achieve the target 86% course grade, you will need to get a 95 on the final.
Getting extra credit is an excellent way to raise your grade. Remember that the higher the weightage of the task, the higher your grade will potentially increase.
Make sure you speak with your teacher about the weightage of the extra credit. If the task is too big for the credit you’ll earn, taking it up may not be worth your time.
Method #3.1: Calculating Required Grade on Final with Meta-Calculator
Using Meta-Calculator’s Final Grade Calculator makes it easier to calculate the grade you need on your final to achieve your target score.
You don’t need to work out any numbers. Enter your current grade, target grade, and final exam weight in the fields, and hit “Calculate.”
The required grade will appear in the box below.
Method #4: Calculating Letter-Based Grades
Converting percentages to letters may seem complicated, but it’s pretty straightforward. In the United States, most schools use the following letter grading scale.
Standard Letter Grading Scale | |
A | 93% – 100% |
A- | 90% – 92% |
B+ | 87% – 89% |
B | 83% – 86% |
B- | 80% – 82% |
C+ | 77% – 79% |
C | 73% – 76% |
C- | 70% – 72% |
D+ | 67% – 69% |
D | 63% – 66% |
D- | 60% – 62% |
F | 0% – 59% |
You must remember that the letter grading scale varies greatly from state to state. Asking your teachers about the grading scale is the best way to ensure you do the right conversion.
Method #5: Calculating GPA
Your Grade Point Average indicates your performance level across all of the classes you take. For this reason, high school GPAs are used as the benchmark when students apply for college. Later on, the college GPA determines which graduate school the student can attend.
To calculate your GPA, you must first refer to the point values of the letter grades.
Grading Scale | |
Letter Grade | Grade Point Value |
A | 4 |
A- | 3.7 |
B+ | 3.3 |
B | 3 |
B- | 2.7 |
C+ | 2.3 |
C | 2 |
C- | 1.7 |
D+ | 1.3 |
D | 1 |
D- | 0.7 |
F | 0 |
Now, you must multiply the grade point value of all of your courses with their respective credits. This result is sometimes called “quality points earned.”
Next, you must add all of the quality points earned for the semester and divide it by the sum of the credits for the term. This will give you your Grade Point Average.
If you prefer not to calculate your grade manually, you can use one of the several grading calculators online. To find these, search “GPA calculator” on your preferred search engine.
How to Calculate Percentage of Grade (Example)
In the Point System
Let’s assume the sum of the total earnable points is 200, and a student has earned 175 points in total.
To calculate the grade percentage, we must divide the total points earned by the total earnable points.
Total points earned / Total earnable points = 175 / 200 = 0.875 = 87%
In the Weighted System
Calculating the percentage of grade in the weighted system is a little more complicated.
You can do it manually or using a spreadsheet. You have to note down your scores for activities and their respective weights, like so:
Activity | Score | Maximum Possible Score | Weight | Weighted Scores |
Midterm | 89 | 100 | 15% | |
Presentation | 85 | 100 | 15% | |
Homework | 92 | 100 | 15% | |
Quiz | 90 | 100 | 15% | |
Final | 91 | 100 | 40% |
To calculate the weighted scores, multiply your score with the weight percentage.
Activity | Score | Maximum Possible Score | Weight | Weighted Scores |
Midterm | 89 | 100 | 15% | 13.35 |
Presentation | 85 | 100 | 15% | 12.75 |
Homework | 92 | 100 | 15% | 13.8 |
Quiz | 90 | 100 | 15% | 13.5 |
Final | 91 | 100 | 40% | 36.4 |
Adding all of the weighted scores up will give you the percentage of your grade. In this example, the weighted average grade is 89.8%.
Takeaway: The Easiest Grade Calculation Method
We’ve covered every method there is to calculate your grade in this post. What’s important for you to note is that there’s no real need for you to calculate your grade manually unless you don’t have access to a computer.
The easiest way to go about it is to use Meta-Calculator. It’s free, can be accessed from browsers on any device, and can calculate the grade for you in a matter of seconds.