How to Calculate a Test Grade

Two Methods:Calculating Your Grade with a Simple EquationConverting a Percentage to a Letter Grade

Not all professors and teachers will calculate your percentage or assign a letter grade when they score tests. To calculate a test grade, you will need to figure out the percentage of questions you got right. All you need to know to find your grade is the total number of questions on the test and how many questions you got right. After that, you will just need to plug a simple equation into a calculator and convert the percentage to a letter grade.

Method 1
Calculating Your Grade with a Simple Equation

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    Count your correct answers. Figure out how many questions you answered correctly and write this number down. Then, draw a line under this number so that it is the top number of a fraction. For example, if you had 21 correct answers, write down 21/. Do not write anything under the fraction yet.
    • For long tests, it might be easier to subtract the number of questions you got wrong from the total number of questions on the test. For example, if you got 5 questions wrong on a 26-question test, subtract 5 from 26 (26 - 5 = 21). Then, use 21 as the top number in your fraction.
    • If some questions are worth more points than others, use the total number of points you earned as your top number instead. For example, if you earned 46 points out of 60 points possible, then write 46 as your top number.
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    Write the total number of questions or points on the bottom of the fraction. Finish the fraction with the total number of questions or points on the test. In our example, if the test had 26 questions, then your fraction would be 21/26.
    • Check your fraction to make sure that it is set up correctly. Remember that the number of questions you got right or the number of points you earned should be on the top of the fraction. The total number of questions on the test or the total number of points possible should be at the bottom of the fraction.
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    Use a calculator to divide the top number by the bottom number. You can use a basic calculator to figure out your percentage grade on the test. Just divide the top number by the bottom number. For example, take 21/26 and plug it into the calculator as 21 ÷ 26. You should get the answer 0.8077.[1]
    • Don’t worry about the numbers past the first four digits of the answer. For example, if the answer was 0.8077777, then you can just ignore the last three sevens. They will not affect your percentage.
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    Multiple your answer by 100 to get your percentage. You can do this with your calculator or just move the decimal point two digits to the right. The answer will be your grade as a percentage (your score out of 100). In our example, 0.8077 x 100 = 80.77. This means your test grade is 80.77%.[2]
    • Depending on your teacher’s grading scale, 80.77% would be a B or a B-.

Method 2
Converting a Percentage to a Letter Grade

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    Check your course materials for a grade range. Grade ranges vary among professors and teachers. If your professor or teacher provided a syllabus at the beginning of the year, it may list the grade range. Your school handbook may have this information as well. If you cannot find a range on any of your materials, ask your professor or teacher.
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    Know the typical grading range in the United States. Although there are variations, this is the most common grading range for schools and universities in the USA. A "B" or higher is typically considered a "good" grade. A D is the lowest passing grade, but it may not fulfill requirements for further courses or college applications.[3]
    • An "A" is 90% to 100%. A grade of 94% or higher would be considered an “A.” A grade of 90%-93% would be considered an “A-.”
    • A "B" is 80% to 89%. A grade of 87% or higher would be considered a “B+.” A grade of 83%-86% would be considered a “B.” A grade of 80%-82% would be considered a “B-.”
    • A "C" is 70% to 79%. A grade of 77% or higher would be considered a “C+.” A grade of 73%-76% would be considered a “C.” A grade of 70%-72% would be considered a “C-.”
    • A "D" is 60% to 69%. A grade of 67% or higher would be considered a “D+.” A grade of 63%-66% would be considered a “D.” A grade of 60%-62% would be considered a “D-.”
    • An "F" is 59% and below. An “F” is a failing grade, so professors and teachers do not usually assign + or – values to “F” grades.[4]
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    Learn the British marking system. The United Kingdom uses several grading scales in primary and secondary school, for tests such as the GCSE and A-levels. These have their own classification terms, but the percentages roughly correspond to the following. This system is also used for undergraduate work in the UK and in India.
    • 70% to 100% is the highest grade, a mark of Distinction.
    • 60% to 69% earns a Merit.
    • 50% to 59% is Pass.
    • Some schools Fail at 49% or below, while others fail at 39% or below.

Tips

  • Some calculators have a function to help work out percentages. You can also use online grade calculators.

Warnings

  • It's easy to make simple addition mistakes when adding test questions. Be sure to double-check your work.

Article Info

Categories: Mathematics | Tests and Exams