Effective goal setting is one of the most powerful tools students use to ensure exam success. A 2015 Harvard Business study revealed that individuals with goals typically find ten times more success than people that don’t set any goals.
Looking through the course of study and setting weekly study goals is an effective strategy to study the entire curriculum. However, it is also crucial that students determine how much they must score on their final exam to get their target score for the course.
Having a target final exam score helps motivate students to study hard and meet weekly goals.
This brief guide covers the easiest methods to calculate the test grade you need on your final exam to achieve your target grade.
What Is the Easiest Way of Calculating Your Grade?
You can go about calculating the required final exam grade in two ways:
Method #1: Manual Calculation
The manual calculation method takes a little longer to do than the second method. Further, it involves working out some numbers, which isn’t required in the second method.
To calculate the required final grade manually, you must note down three numbers:
- your current grade in the course;
- the weight of the final exam in the entire course; and
- your target grade on the course.
For the sake of explanation, let’s assume your current grade is 80% (B-), the final exam accounts for 40% of your grade, and you want an 86%(B+) on the course.
Step #1: Find Weight of Course
You must first find the weight of your current grade in the course. Since you know the weight of the final exam, subtracting it from 100% will give you the weight of your current grade.
In our example, the final exam weighs 40% of the total grade of the course. Therefore, the remainder of the course amounts for 60% of the total grade (100% – 40% = 60%).
Step #2: Calculate Weighted Value of Your Current Grade
Now that you know how much your current grade amounts to in your final score, you must calculate the weighted value of your current grade.
Continuing with our example scenario, the current grade is 80%. Additionally, the current grade accounts for 60% of the final grade.
Working out the Weighted Value of Grade (WVG) will help determine the required weighted value of the final exam grade.
We can find WVG by multiplying the current grade and its weight percentage.
80*60% = 80*0.6 = 48
Therefore, the Weighted Value of the Grade (WVG) in this example is 48.
Step #3: Subtract the WVG from Desired Grade
Your target final grade equals the sum of your current weighted grade and your required final grade.
Target final grade=weighted current course grade +weighted required final grade
Weighted required final grade=Target final grade-Weighted current course grade
Substituting known values in the equation:
Weighted required final grade = 86-48 = 38
Step #4: Determine the Required Final Exam Grade
In the final step, you will determine the required final exam grade by dividing the weighted required final grade by the weight of the final exam in decimals.
From our example:
Therefore, to achieve your target 86% grade on the course, you must score a 95 on the final.
Note: If you want to find the weighted average of your grades, divide the sum of the weighted scores by their weights. Alternatively, you could use a GPA calculator.
Method #2: Using the Meta-Calculator Final Grade Calculator
Meta-Calculator’s final grade calculator makes finding the required final exam grade straightforward.
To calculate the score required to achieve a specific grade on the course, you will need to enter:
- Your current grade
- The target grade
- The final exam’s weight
Meta-Calculator’s final grade calculator tool goes through all the steps in the manual method for you. To determine the value, all you have to do is hit the “Calculate” button.
Meta-Calculator also enables you to calculate your final grades in a second way. However, to calculate the course’s final grade this way, you will need to know your scores on all activities and the weights of each activity.
The Meta-Calculator grade calculator requires you to enter all the corresponding values.
When you click the “Calculate” button, Meta-Calculator performs the necessary calculations for you and displays the final grade in the box on the bottom.
Using the Meta-Calculator tool is a fast way to find the grade you should be aiming for.
If your school does not have weighted courses, you can find your final grade by dividing the sum of your grades by the sum of the maximum possible grades.
You can perform this calculation manually or using spreadsheets without much hassle. A Google search should give you the grade ranges and corresponding letter grades if you want to convert your final grades to letter grades.
You could also try using your school GPA calculator. It should be similar to grading calculators like Meta-Calculator.
While using GPA calculators can help you understand how hard you will need to study, you must remember that your GPA isn’t everything.
An impressive college application, standardized test scores, college essay, and performance in extra-curricular activities are all key points of consideration for admission officers.
It is also vital that you remember that it’s never too late to improve your grades. Setting goals and working hard to achieve them can make a big difference in your final course grade.
And with this guide, you’re already a step closer to setting a goal.