How to Calculate Semester Grade

By Melissa Cole

There should be no mystery in your course grade, especially when so many things can rely upon how well you do in one class. There is no need to guess, and you can calculate your semester grade for a course on your own. Professors should thoroughly disclose how they would determine your final semester grade for a course either in orientation or in a course syllabus. You can use the percentage values that the professor has assigned to each area (i.e., tests, quizzes, class participation) to plug into an easy formula to help you keep track of how well you are doing.

Step 1

Review your syllabus. Find the section of your syllabus where your professor or teacher has disclosed the percentage breakdowns of how your final grade will be determined. Make note of how areas like tests, homework, quizzes, attendance and class participation will factor into your final grade, percentage wise.

Step 2

Determine your average in each of the areas your professor has designated as a part of your final semester grade. Test grades, quiz grades, homework assignments, a midterm, a final exam and class participation may all be factored into your final grade. Average your test grades, for example, by adding up all of your grades and then dividing by the number of tests you added—this would not be necessary for areas where there is only one grade, like your midterm or your final exam grade. Also, your class participation grade may be at the discretion of the professor at semester’s end, and therefore not quantifiable.

Step 3

Multiply each average or grade by its percentage value, according to how your professor has determined it would be weighted. For example, if the final exam is worth 50% of your semester grade, and you received a score of 100% on the final exam, then multiply your grade of 100% by .50 to get 50%, the full value of its weight. Continue this for each of the averages you calculated from the above mentioned steps. Add each of the final percentages to arrive at a reliable estimation of what your final semester grade will be.

About the Author

Melissa Cole began writing as a local newspaper reporter in 2008. Her work also appears on various websites. Cole is a public-television producer and media professional, as well as a vegan and former varsity track-and-field MVP and team captain. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and politics from New York University.