How to Calculate a Passing Grade for a Test

Calculating the grade required to pass a course may help give you direction.
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At the end of each semester or school year, you may be faced with the dreaded finals, which may make or break your grade. Sometimes these finals are given even greater weight than other tests. If you are already at the borderline between passing and failing, this one test can be very stressful. Goals sometimes help alleviate the stress, and that goal is usually the grade you need to achieve on your final to pass the entire course.

    Acquire the necessary data. You will need to know your grade going into the final exam, the generic pass/fail grade and the weight of your final exam. If the final exam weight is expressed as a percentage, such as 30 percent, you can convert that into decimal format by dividing by 100. Therefore, 30 percent becomes 0.30.

    Subtract the final exam weight from "1" to calculate the weight of your current grade going into the exam. As an example, if the final exam counts for 30 percent, or 0.30, then you current grade counts for 0.70 of your course grade.

    Multiply the current grade weight times your current grade to calculate the amount your current grade contributes to your overall course grade. In the example, if you currently had a 62, then you would multiply this figure by 0.70. Therefore, your current grade contributes 43.4 points to your overall course grade.

    Subtract the contributed points of your current grade from the pass/fail grade. In the example, if you need a 70 to pass the course, then you would subtract 43.4 from 70, which means you need 26.6 points contributed from the final exam to pass the course.

    Divide this figure by the weight of the final exam to calculate the final exam grade required to pass the course. In the example, you would divide 26.6 by 0.30, which means you need to make an 89 (rounded up) on the final exam to pass the course.

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