How to Average Grades Using Points

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Averaging grades using the total point system can be relatively simple, provided you keep track of the points so you can calculate your grades. Usually the points are tracked for you in an online system so you can access them at any time. The basic formula for averaging the grades is to take the number of points earned and divide it by the total number of points possible. Multiply the answer by 100 for a percentage grade.

    Earned assignment points are tracked by either the student or an online school system.
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    Collect all the assignments done for the course in question. Make sure not to leave any out because the grade average will not be accurate. If you want to keep track of your points earned by yourself, making an Excel spreadsheet or using graph paper can be helpful. List the assignment names as titles and list the points earned below the appropriate title.

    Add up the points earned from the assignments. This total reflects the amount of points awarded to the student, not the amount of points that could have been earned. It is a good idea to recheck the addition in case an error occurs, such as punching in a wrong number into the calculator. Repeat this task for adding up the number of points that could have been awarded for each assignment, making sure to check the math. Now there should be two sets numbers: one for the points awarded, and one for the points that were possible.

    Divide the number of points awarded from the assignments by the number of points that could have been awarded if you received a perfect score (number of points possible). Multiply the answer by 100 to convert the grade into a percentage. A good formula to follow when doing this calculation is: [(number of points awarded)/(number of points possible at this point in the semester)]*100.


    • It is important to only divide by the number of possible points earned at that point in the semester. If you want to know your average halfway through the course and you divide the points awarded so far by the points possible at the end of the semester, the average may show you are failing when in fact you may be doing fine in the class.


About the Author

Marcia Spear holds a Master of Science in biomedical sciences with an emphasis in Immunology and microbiology. Spear has taught science classes for Weatherford College, Tarrant County College, Dallas County College and HIll College since 2010. Her classes include Biology Majors, Biology Non-Majors, Microbiology, and Anatomy and Physiology.

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