The method of calculating semester, end-of-term, or end-of-year course grades by adding all numerical grades in a course and then dividing the amount by the total number of grades awarded is called grade averaging.
Teachers calculate the mean—or average—final grade for a marking period using this method, which can be recorded as a numerical grade or a letter grade representing a numerical equivalent (for example, an A– may be equivalent to a 90).
The most popular grading practices in American public schools are grade averaging and the cumulative calculation of grade point averages (or GPAs).
Although grade averaging is a simple mathematical method, grading systems differ from school to school, adding layers of complexity.
Some colleges, for example, used weighted grades, which give a numerical advantage to grades obtained in higher-level courses. In contrast, others may assign different levels of importance or “weight” to different grades earned in a course—for example, a final exam may account for 30% of a final grade. In comparison, a homework assignment may account for only 5%. Also, some teachers use non-academic criteria like student conduct, in-class engagement, timely homework completion, or attendance to assign grades. Although the examples above illustrate some very common grading formulas, grading systems and GPA scales can differ significantly from one school or district to the next.
The sum of a set of numbers is divided by the total number of values set to get the average.
Let’s say we’re looking for an average of 24, 55, 17, 87, and 100. To get 56.6, add the numbers together: 24 + 55 + 17 + 87 + 100 = 283 and divide by 5.
A basic problem like this can be solved by hand without too much difficulty, but for more complex numbers with several decimal points, a grade calculator is more convenient. The mean rating calculator performs a similar calculation, calculating an average rating from a collection of votes with values ranging from 1 to 5.
You may assign weights to each number using the weighted average calculator. Its weighting indicates the value of a number. A grade point average is a common form of weighted mean that is calculated (GPA). Take these steps to do it by hand:
Assume an A for a three-credit class, two Bs for four-credit courses, and a C for a two-credit class. Using the standard value of 4 for an A, 3 for a B and 2 for a C, the grade point average is GPA = [4(3) + 3(4) + 3(4) + 2(2)] / (3 + 4 + 4 + 2) = 40/13 = 3.08
The Grade Point Average (GPA) is an internationally recognized calculation used to find the average result of all grades achieved throughout your course.
For example, your grades could be a pass, credit, high distinction, distinction, or something else entirely. All grades are assigned a numerical value, including fail grades and grades from any repeated units, and then those values are combined to give you your GPA.
Your Grade Point Average is a score used to measure your achievement in your degree program in the same way that your teachers and instructors award you a grade to evaluate your advancement or success throughout their course. Your average GPA is a number that reflects how well you did in your classes over the semester, term, and year. Your GPA will fluctuate over your tenure at university and will be influenced by how much you boost your overall grades.
Academic effort or learning growth is not adequately represented by grade averaging. If a student fails at first, works hard, and improves significantly over time, the grades awarded earlier in the course will lower the student’s final grade. As a result, over a semester or year, the commitment and academic gains will not be reflected in the final grade.
The same logic applies to grade point averages: if students fail multiple courses during their first year but then go on to earn all as for the rest of their high school years, their final GPAs will not represent that improvement because those early failures are factored into the final average. Furthermore, when averaging grades, teachers do not have the autonomy to weigh non-academic variables such as an unexpected health problem or a family tragedy that may have a negative impact on a student’s academic performance for some time.
Grade averaging introduces a disincentive to improve. If a student fails a few assignments early in the year, those early failures will place strict statistical limits on the student’s final score. As a result, students may be less motivated to work harder or resolve previous failures because their final grades will not represent their effort or growth.
Students who begin a course prepared gain from grade averaging, while students who begin unprepared fail. Since learning success and effort may not be adequately represented when grades are averaged, students who start school with more preparation, skills, or family support have a significant advantage over students who arrive less equipped in terms of their chances of earning a good grade.
Grade averaging can also pose questions about diversity because academic readiness appears to mirror demographic variables such as socioeconomic and minority status.
Grade averaging does not adequately reflect what students have learned or not learned. For example, proponents of proficiency-based learning might argue that averaging grades is an insufficient method for assessing and reporting academic achievement and progress
If grades are not tied to defined learning expectations and student work is not measured regularly from course to course and teacher to teacher, grades not only convey little details about what students have accomplished, but they may also provide a misleading or inaccurate image of academic achievement. In this view, grade averaging only exacerbates the potential for misrepresentation.