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How does Gradebook calculate grades with an equal weight category?

If your Gradebook is set up to use either Categories only or Categories & weighting, you can enable an Equal Weight option for a category. This option will give all items within the category the same weight in the category average calculation, regardless of the items' individual point values.

You can automatically drop grades in an equal weight category where the items have different point values (in a points gradebook) or relative weights (in a percentage gradebook).

Below is an example of how course grades are calculated when one category has the Equal Weight and Drop Lowest grade options enabled.

Tip: For more information about course grade calculations, see How are grades calculated in a points Gradebook? or How are grades calculated in a percentage Gradebook?

For steps to enable equal weights for categories and dropping/keeping grades in your Gradebook, see How do I set up my Gradebook?

Overview of Example Gradebook

Screenshot of example Gradebook described below. Graphic link opens modal with larger image. Press Escape to exit modal.

Pictured above is a gradebook with two weighted categories: Assignments (60%) and Quizzes (40%).  The Assignments category has the Equal Weight option enabled, drops the lowest grade, and includes three assignments:

  • Assignment 1 - 100 points
  • Reaction #1 - Early Days of UVA - 10 points
  • Assignment 2 - 20 points

The sections below describe how the category average is calculated within the equal weight category, and how it will contribute to the course grade calculation in this example Gradebook with Categories & weighting.

Tip: For more information on dropping grades, see How does Gradebook calculate automatically dropped grades?

Example Calculations - Category Average

Screenshot of Gradebook with grades described below. Graphic link opens modal with larger image. Press Escape to exit modal.

An equal weight category will calculate each item's percentage grade, then drop the lowest of the three grades.

In the Assignments category, Student One received the following grades:

  • Assignment 1 - 80/100 points = 0.80 = 80% (lowest grade, dropped)
  • Reaction #1 - Early Days of UVA - 9/10 points = 0.90 = 90%
  • Assignment 2 - 19/20 points = 0.95 = 95%

The Gradebook calculates the category average in the equal weight category by:

  1. Totaling the student's percentage grades for all graded items in the category.

    Student One earned: Reaction #1 - Early Days of UVA (90%) + Assignment 2 (95%) = 185%.
  2. Finding the total percentage possible for graded items in the category.

    In a category with 2 graded items, the total percentage is 2 x 100 = 200%
  3. Dividing the student's percentage grade by the total percentage possible, then multiplying that number by 100, to determine the category average:

    Student One's category average in Exams is 92.5%:
    • 185/200 = 0.925
    • 0.925 x 100 = 92.5%

Tip: The category average is shown in a column to the right of the gradebook items in that category. The column header includes the name of the category.

Course Grade Calculations with Weighting

When the Gradebook applies the weights to the categories, Student One's course grade is 93.5%, calculated as follows:

  • Assignments (60%) weighted average = 0.6 x 92.5 = 55.5
  • Quizzes (40%) weighted average = 0.4 x 95 = 38
  • Course Grade = 55.5 + 38 = 93.5

Note: In a Gradebook with Categories only, the sum of the points the student received in all categories will be divided by the total points possible. There will be no step at the end to weight the category averages.