# What Is a Weighted Score?

After you've finished taking a test, and your teacher hands back your test with a grade you're certain is going to take you from a C to a B on your final score, you probably feel elated. When you get your report card back, however, and discover that your grade is in fact still a C, you may have a weighted score or weighted grade in play.

So, what is a weighted score? A weighted score or weighted grade is merely the average of a set of grades, where each set carries a different amount of importance.

### How Weighted Grades Work

Suppose at the beginning of the year, the teacher hands you the syllabus. On it, he or she explains that your final grade will be determined in this manner:

• Homework: 10%
• Quizzes: 20%
• Essays: 20%
• Midterm: 25%
• Final: 25%

Let's do the math to figure out how the grading works with a weighted score system.

### Student Example: Ava

Throughout the year, Ava has been acing her homework and getting A's and B's on most of her quizzes and essays. Her midterm grade was a D because she didn't prepare very much and those multiple-choice tests freak her out. Now, Ava wants to know what score she needs to get on her final exam in order to get at least a B- (80%) for her final weighted score.

Here's what Ava's grades look like in numbers:

Category averages

• Homework average: 98%
• Quiz average: 84%
• Essay average: 91%
• Midterm: 64%
• Final: ?

To figure out the math and determine what kind of studying efforts Ava needs to put into that final exam, we need to follow a 3-part process.

Step 1:

Set up an equation with Ava's goal percentage (80%) in mind:

H%*(H average) + Q%*(Q average) + E%*(E average) + M%*(M average) + F%*(F average) = 80%

Step 2:

Next, we multiply the percentage of Ava's grade by the average in each category:

• Homework: 10% of grade * 98% in category = (.10)(.98) = 0.098
• Quiz average: 20% of grade * 84% in category = (.20)(.84) = 0.168
• Essay average: 20% of grade * 91% in category = (.20)(.91) = 0.182
• Midterm: 25% of grade * 64% in category = (.25)(.64) = 0.16
• Final: 25% of grade * X in category = (.25)(x) = ?

Step 3:

Finally we, add them up and solve for x:

• 0.098 + 0.168 + 0.182 + 0.16 + .25x = .80
• 0.608 + .25x = .80
• .25x = .80 – 0.608
• .25x = .192
• x = .192/.25
• x = .768
• x = 77%

Because Ava's teacher uses weighted scores, in order for her to get an 80% or a B- for her final grade, she'll need to score a 77% or a C on her final exam.