Grade Calculation

Semra Kilic-Bahi
Author Profile
This material was originally developed by Spreadsheets Across the Curriculum as part of its collaboration with the SERC Pedagogic Service.


In this Spreadsheets across the Curriculum activity, students calculate their own course grade and cumulative grade point average. Students will learn to utilize Excel spreadsheets as a tool for completing repetitive calculations. The use of basic formulas, as well as more advanced tools like the "Lookup" function, is explained throughout the module. The main focus of the module is to use the concept of weighted averages in a context that students will find useful and applicable to their everday lives.

Learning Goals

Students will:
  • Create and work with spreadsheets in Excel.
  • Gain experience working with percentages and averages.
In the process, the students will:
  • calculate a course grade in several different scenarios, each with a different grading regime.
  • calculate their semester grade point average.

Context for Use

This module was designed for use in a lower-division, Liberal Arts Math course. It could also be adapted for use in a secondary-education algebra course.

Description and Teaching Materials

PowerPoint SSAC2006.LB3051.SKB1.2-student version (PowerPoint 343kB May2 07)

The module is a PowerPoint presentation with embedded spreadsheets.

If the embedded spreadsheets are not visible, save the PowerPoint file to disk and open it from there.

This PowerPoint file is the student version of the module. An instructor version is available by request. The instructor version includes the completed spreadsheet. Send your request to Len Vacher ( by filling out and submitting the Instructor Module Request Form.

Teaching Notes and Tips

This module best works as an in-class assignment in a computer lab where students each have access to a computer. The module can be completed in a two-hour time block.


The student version of the module includes an end-of-module assignment that can be used for assessment. The instructor version also includes a pretest that can be coupled with the end-of-module assignment.

References and Resources