Use this calculator to determine a course's grade based on weighted averages. The calculator takes both numerical and letter grades. It can also compute the grade required for the remaining assignments in order to get the desired grade for a current course.

In 1785, Yale students were ranked with "optimi" being the highest, followed by second optimi, inferiore (lower), and pejores (worst). At William and Mary, students were ranked as either No. 1 or No. 2, with No. 1 representing those who finished first in their class and No. 2 representing those who were "orderly, correct, and attentive." Meanwhile, students at Harvard were graded using a numerical system ranging from 1-200 (except in math and philosophy, where 1-100 was utilized). Later, shortly after 1883, Harvard implemented a "Classes" system in which students were classified as Class I, II, III, IV, or V, with V denoting a failing grade. All of these examples demonstrate the subjective, arbitrary, and inconsistent ways in which different institutions rated their students, emphasizing the necessity for a more standardized yet equally arbitrary grading system.

Mount Holyoke College was the first to use letter grades in the same way that they are used today. The college employed a grading scheme that included the letters A, B, C, D, and E, with E representing a failing grade. This grading system, however, was significantly more challenging than what is typically used now, with a failing mark defined as anything less than 75%. The college eventually redefined its grading system, adding the letter F for a failing grade (still less than 75%). This method of employing a letter grading scale became increasingly popular in colleges and high schools, eventually leading to the letter grading systems that are often used today. However, there is still significant variance in terms of what constitutes an A and whether a system utilizes pluses or minuses (i.e., A+ or B-), among other differences.

Letter grades are an easy way to generalize a student's performance. They can be more effective than qualitative evaluations in instances where "right" or "wrong" answers can be easily defined, such as an algebra exam. Still, they may need to provide more feedback for an assessment, like a written paper (which is considerably more subjective).

Although a written analysis of each student's work may be a more practical type of feedback, some argue that students and parents are unlikely to read it, and teachers may need more time to compose such an analysis. There is precedent for this type of evaluation system at Saint Ann's School in New York City, an arts-oriented private school that does not use letter grades. Instead, teachers prepare anecdotal reports for each kid. This form of evaluation focuses on facilitating learning and progress rather than achieving a specific letter grade in a course. For better or worse, these types of programs are a minority in the United States. While the experience may be better for the student, most schools continue to employ a typical letter grading system, which students must acclimate to. This type of evaluation method's time investment for teachers/professors is unlikely to be viable on university campuses with hundreds of students per course. As a result, while other high schools, such as Sanborn High School, use a more qualitative approach to grading, it remains to be seen whether such methods are scalable. Only then will more generalized methods of grading, such as the letter grading system, be eliminated. However, many educators are already working to establish an environment in which grades play a limited role in encouraging pupils. Combining these two systems would be the most practical and effective way to deliver more standardized student evaluations while also promoting learning.

The weighted grade is equal to the sum of the product of the weights (w) in per cent (%) and the grade (g):

Weighted grade is w1×g1 + w2×g2 + w3×g3 +...

Example: A math course with a grade of 80 and a weight of 30%.

Biology class with a grade of 90 and a weight of 50%.

History course with a grade of 72 and a weight of 20%.

The weighted average grade is calculated as follows:

Weighted Grade = 30%×80+ 50%×90+ 20%×72 = 83.4

When the weights are not in percentages (hours or points), you should also divide by the sum of the weights.

When the weights are not in percentages (hours or points), you should also divide by the sum of the weights.

Weighted grade = w1 × g1 + w2 × g2 + w3 × g3 +... Example: 3 points. Math course with a grade of 80.

Five points. Biology course with a grade of 90.

Two points. History course with a grade of 72.

The weighted average grade is calculated as follows:

Weighted Grade = w1×g1 + w2×g2 + w3×g3 / w1+w2+w3

Weighted Grade =3×80+ 5×90+ 2×72 / 3+5+2 = 83.4