Your report card tells you how you're doing in each of your classes, but it doesn't necessarily paint a picture of how school is looking overall. To find that out, you'll have to calculate your yearly average between all your classes. No matter what grades your school uses, the technique for calculating the average is the same – although if the grades are non-numeric, you'll have to do one extra step.
TL;DR (Too Long; Didn't Read)
Add up all the scores you received, and then divide by the number of classes you took. If you are given non-numeric grades, assign a logical number value to each grade before calculating.
- D = 1
- P = 2
- M = 3
- E = 4
- D = 1
- C = 2
- B = 3
- A = 4
If you get an F on your report card, it's worth zero points. This is the one time you should assign zero; all other grades should get a number.
Convert any non-numeric scores in your report card into numbers. Start by assigning the lowest score (that isn't an F or failing grade) a number grade of "1" (not zero), and then count up as you assign numbers to each progressively higher score. For example, if you're looking at an elementary school report card that starts with "D" for "did not meet grade level standards" as the lowest grade, then moves up to "P" for partially meeting grade level standards, "M" for meeting grade level standards and "E" for exceeding them, you'd assign a number scale as follows:
Note that this also works with the letter grades older students may receive:
In fact, this is the scale used to calculate GPA or grade point average.
Add together all your final scores from the year, using the number scale if you were originally assigned non-numeric scores. So if you made three As, a B and a C this year, you'd have:
But you'll use the number scale instead, which gives you:
Divide the result from Step 2 by the number of classes you took. To continue the example, if you earned 17 points from 5 classes, you'd divide:
The result is your average score for the year. If you used the one-through-four scale to convert letter grades into numbers, it's also your grade point average or GPA.
An Example Using Percentages
What if your scores are given using percentages – for example, 90 percent, 85 percent, and so on? The process works exactly the same way, but you can skip the first step of converting non-numeric grades into numbers.
Imagine that you received scores of 97, 92, 89, 83 and 75 percent in your final report card. Add those scores together:
Divide the result from Step 1 by the number of classes you took. In this case, you have:
So your average score for the year is 87.2 percent.
About the Author
Lisa studied mathematics at the University of Alaska, Anchorage, and spent several years tutoring high school and university students through scary -- but fun! -- math subjects like algebra and calculus.