How Engrade Calculates Grades

This topic explains how Engrade's Gradebook calculates grades.

Unweighted/Total Points Grading

If you choose not to weight your assignment categories in your class settings, Engrade will calculate students' class percentage based on a total points system. This is calculated individually for each student as:

Student class percentage = total points earned / total points possible

Any points a student is given for an extra credit assignment are added directly to the student's total points earned, while his/her total points possible will stay the same.

If you assign a student a score of E (excused) for an assignment or leave his/her score blank, then that assignment will be ignored and not affect either the student's total points earned or total points possible. A score of M (missing) on an assignment will be graded as if the student had earned 0 points possible on the assignment.

Weighted Assignment Categories

If you choose to weight your assignment categories, Engrade will calculate each students' class percentage as follows:

Student class percentage =
(category A weight * category A points earned / category A points possible ) +
(category B weight * category B points earned / category B points possible ) +
(category C weight * category C points earned / category C points possible ) +
... and so forth

Each category's grade is calculated exactly the same as the total points system listed above. The only difference is that Engrade then multiplies each category percent by the assigned weight, and then adds together the results from each category to create a final percentage.

If you have categories that do not yet have graded assignments, Engrade will automatically compensate by ignoring unused categories and proportionately re-weighing existing categories to make a sum of 100%. For example, imagine you have the following weighted categories:

Tests 50%
Homework 15%
Quizzes 35%

If a student's only score in the class is 8/10 on a "Homework" assignment, Engrade will ignore the two categories with no graded assignment ("Tests" and "Quizzes") and weight the "Homework" category as 100%. Therefore, the student's class percentage would be 8/10 or 80%.

Then, if you entered a score of 20/20 on a "Quiz" assignment, Engrade will still ignore the "Tests" category that has no graded assignments, but weight the other categories in proportion to their category weights.

In this example, 50% of the assignment category weights is being ignored due to a lack of graded assignments, and students are being graded out of the remaining 50% of category weights. To figure out at what percentage your categories with graded assignments are being weighted, perform the following calculation:
(graded category weight) / (total graded category weights)

Homework 15%/50% = 30%
Quizzes 35%/50% = 70%

The student's overall grade would then be calculated as:

Homework 8/10 = 80% earned * 30% weight = 24% towards class percentage
Quizzes 20/20 = 100% earned * 70% weight = 70% towards class percentage
Student class percentage = 24% + 70% = 94%

Once you add a graded assignment to the "Tests" category, the students' assignments will be weighted exactly as initially described.

Drop Lowest Score

Engrade allows you to drop the lowest score for any assignment category in your class (weighted or not). The lowest score dropped may vary across students in your class because Engrade will automatically drop the assignment that most negatively affects each student’s overall grade. Since Engrade calculates student grades based on points, the assignment with the largest discrepancy between points earned vs. points possible will be dropped. Additionally, Engrade will only drop an assignment score once a student has at least two graded assignments in an assignment category.

To see which assignments are being dropped, select a student's name from your Gradebook. Dropped assignments will appear with an asterisk (*) next to them on a student's "Scores" page. For example, imagine a student has the following grades in an assignment category which has "Drop Lowest Score" enabled.

Assignment #1 0/10 (0%)
Assignment #2 30/50 (60%)
Assignment #3 75/100 (75%)

At first glance, it appears that Assignment #1 should be dropped since the student received a 0%. However, since Engrade calculates student grades based on points, we must look for the assignment which has the largest discrepancy between points earned and points possible.

Assignment #1 0/10 (-10 points)
Assignment #2 30/50 (-20 points)
Assignment #3 75/100 (-25 points)

It is now clear that Assignment #3 would be dropped since it has the largest discrepancy between points earned and points possible, and would therefore impact the student's overall grade most negatively.