# Understanding Weighted Grades

There are several different ways to calculate weighted totals in Blackboard. The following includes examples on how Blackboard calculates weighted grades. This guide was adapted from Loyola University in Chicago.

- To calculate the weighted total by item
- To calculate the weighted total by weighing by category
- To calculate the weighted total by weighted running total
- To calculate the weighted total when dropping the lowest score from a category
- To calculate the weighted total in categories with equally weighted items consisting of different point values
- To calculate the weighted total in categories with proportionally weighted items consisting of different point values

## Step-by-Step Guide

### Understanding Weighted Grades

**To calculate the weighted total by item**

To illustrate weighted grade calculation, the following example will be used.

**To calculate the weighted total by weighing by category**

If you create categories for items and weight for each category, Blackboard will not total the scores in a given category and multiple the total score of all items by the weight. Instead, Blackboard divides the weight equally to each item in the given category. To illustrate the following process, a new example will be used:

**To calculate the weighted total by weighted running total**

If a student has not finished all of the available quizzes, you will need to figure a Running Weighted Total instead of a Weighted Total. So of the five quizzes, let's say the student has only completed two of them (5/5 and 2/5). The following shows how Blackboard will calculate the running weighted total:

**To calculate the weighted total when dropping the lowest score from a category **

If you are dropping the lowest score in a category, Blackboard will reapportion the percentage given to each item in a category. For the example, this would be one of the five quizzes with scores: 2, 3, 5, 5, 5. Dropping the score of two, the percentage for each quiz will now be 15%/4 or .038 per quiz. The total points for the category will also change because a quiz is being removed from the total score (175 to 170).

**To calculate the weighted total in categories with equally weighted items consisting of different point values**

In the previous examples, all items in the Quiz category were of the same point value. If you give different point values to quiz items within a category but want the percentage of the items to remain equal, Blackboard will apportion the percentage of the weight with the following formula.

**To calculate the weighted total in categories with proportionally weighted items consisting of different point values**

In the previous example, percentages were distributed equally among items in a category. If you will to proportion the weight of the items, the following formula is used by Blackboard.