Determining Grades By Percentages

Written by Diane Sievert
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Determining grades by percentages is a common grading technique, but it is not without its drawbacks. Sometimes the calculating can be rather complex and time-consuming. Grading programs are one way to make determining grades by percentages a much less exhausting process.

The Pros and Cons to Determining Grades by Percentages

One of the best reasons you should consider determining grades by percentages is that you can divide a student's performance into different categories. A student might average an A on unit tests but end up with a D average on homework. If unit tests count for a higher percentage of the final grade than homework grades, the student will be okay; however, if you make homework a bigger percentage of the final grade, that student will be in trouble.

Deciding what percentage a certain grading category will have should be done at the beginning of the term rather than at the end. If you wait until the last minute, your students will never be quite sure of where they stand in the class. Be sure to determine your grading policy at the beginning of the term and explain it clearly to both parents and students in order to avoid misunderstandings later.

Another thing to consider when using percentages in your grading policy is the calculation effort. If you are calculating grades by hand, it can be a real headache. Computer grading systems, however, can do the math at the touch of button and even print up the final grade in pie chart form if necessary.

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