How to Calculate Student Grades | Student Handouts
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How to Calculate Grades
Free Guide for Teachers on Calculating Student Grades
There is no set formula for how a teacher must calculate grades.  The only true requirements are that the grading system be fair and consistent.  It is also useful to use a system that allows everyone (parents, students, and teachers) to know a student's current course grade quickly and easily.  One easy way to do this is to assign chapter (or unit) grades.  For example, there are 24 chapters in a textbook, and the teacher issues a test for each chapter.  This amounts to 12 chapters per semester, or 6 chapters per quarter.  (The number of chapters per quarter or semester is actually irrelevant.)  For each chapter (or unit), the teacher assigns point values to various assignments.
For example:

Homework #1 - 10 points
Homework #2 - 10 points
Homework #3 - 15 points
Homework #4 - 15 points
Homework #5 - 15 points
Group Work #1 -  15 points
Group Work #2 - 15 points
Participation - 10 points
Writing Exercise - 20 points
Test - 100 points

The chapter (or unit) above totals 225 possible points.  If a student earns 200 out of these 225 points, 200 is divided by 225 for a percentage chapter/unit grade of 89%.
Some teachers may decide to create a sheet with a table listing each assignment, its point value, the points earned by the student, and the final percentage grade earned by the student.  These sheets are easy to create, and the only writing required on each individual sheet is the student's name and scores.  Curving grades is as simple as changing the total number of points possible to the total points earned by the highest-scoring student. 
Option 1: Print the student's chapter/unit grades from an Excel spreadsheet. 
Option 2: Print a generic grades form with the names and points possible for each assignment.  (a) Complete the forms for the students.  Return with chapter/unit tests.   (b) Have students complete the forms.  Students can complete the forms when they receive their graded chapter/unit final tests. 
The chapter/unit scores are averaged to calculate each quarter grade. 
While calculating all grades over a quarter can be difficult, calculating grades by chapter/unit is relatively simple.  Students, parents, and teachers know a student's exact score.  Beginning with the very first unit/chapter, students can see exactly where and how their grades are high or low.  Students are able to monitor their own progress. 

Teachers are not constantly asked, "What's my grade in this class?"  Everybody wins!

Note: Many schools and districts now use online grading systems which allow parents and students to log in and look up grades from home.  However, many parents are reluctant to embrace technology.  Also, many homes lack internet access.  Paper grading sheets are not yet obsolete.

Another note: Printed grade sheets are a useful tool at parent-teacher conferences.

"As you can see, Sheila stumbled a bit during the first unit, failing to turn in several assignments.  But she did well on the test.  For the next unit, she completed all of her assignments and did even better on the test."

Click below to download or print:
Grade Sheet without Curving

Percentage Scale 1 (80-83, 84-86, 87-89): PDF

Percentage Scale 2 (80-82, 83-86, 87-89): PDF
Grade Sheet with Curving

Percentage Scale 1 (80-83, 84-86, 87-89): PDF

Percentage Scale 2 (80-82, 83-86, 87-89):