Each O'Dowd teacher has their own way of calculating overall grades. Some teachers weight categories, others use total points, and many teachers have a final that is worth a certain percentage of the overall grade.
The diagram below demonstrates the breakdown of overall semester grades (S)  the numeric percentage values of semester (S), term (T), and final exam (E), which will vary from teacher to teacher.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What does it mean when my teachers says the "final will affect 15% of the overall semester grade"?
A: The semester grade is made up of the term grade (85%) and a final exam grade (15%). This means that if a student does very poorly on the final, the most percentage points the grade could drop would be 15.
Here is an example of grade breakdowns for a class that has a 15% final exam grade as well as categories within the term (nonfinal exam period).
Q: My teacher calculates Term grades with a straight scale (i.e. total points). What does this mean?
A: Every point that is given for any assignment is equally weighted.
Example: A class has 6 assignments in the gradebook, 5 of which are 5point Homework assignments, and 1 is a 55 point Test (80 points total). A student has earned 4/5 on all homework assignments, and a 48/55 on the test. The student has a B = 85.7% = (4+4+4+48)/70 = 60/70
Q: My teacher weights Term grades (i.e. calculates grades with category weights). What does this mean?
A: Every point that is given for every assignment are not equally weighted. I.e. Categories with higher weights will have greater emphasis on the grade those with lower weights.
Example: A class has category weights in which Tests are worth 10% and Homework is work 90% of the term grade. A student has received an average of 80% on all homework assignments, and a average of 87.2% on Tests. View the breakdown below to see how the student has earned a B = 80.7%.
Q: My grade dropped after scoring a higher grade than my overall grade. What happened?
A: This can happen when grades are weighted and if the score on the assignment is lower than the average for that category.
Example: Student’s overall grade is 90% for all categories (Test, Homework, Project) and they get a 92% on the next test. However if their test average is 100% then the weighted average for the Tests category will go down and therefore their overall grade will go down as well.
BEFORE:
Test (95/100)*25% + Homework (90/100)*25% + Project (88/100)*50% =
= 90.25

AFTER entering 92% Test grade:
Test (187/200)*25% + Homework (90/100)*25% + Project (88/100)*50% =
= 89.88

Q: I don't get how such a small assignment could drop me a whole letter grade.
A: You may have a borderline grade.
Example: The student's current overall grade is 90.346%. In the Participation category, he starts out with 10/10=100%, but after receiving a 8.25/10=82.5%, his average participation score is now 18.25/20=92.5%. His weighted Participation category average will drop, thus lowering his overall grade.
BEFORE:
Participation (10/10)*10% + Homework (99.23)*20% + Tests (95)*30% + Projects (80)*40%=
=10+19.846+28.5+32
=90.346
=A

AFTER entering 92.5% Participation grade:
Participation (18.25/20)*10% + Homework (99.23)*20% + Tests (95)*30% + Projects (80)*40%=
=9.13+19.846+28.5+32
=89.476
=B+

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