Mark Calculator - Calculating Pre Exam Grades

In my previous blog post regarding exams, I talked about the benefits of students calculating their grade in a course prior to writing the exam.  When students do this, it allows them to see what they have to get on the exam in order to accomplish their academic goals for the semester and allocate time accordingly.  Apparently, others at the university had the same thought process and now there’s a new program available to students called Mark Calculator which makes the whole process a lot faster and easier for students. You can find the calculator here: http://www.lib.uoguelph.ca/assistance/learning_services/mark_calculator/

One of my favourite things about writing this blog is that it gives me opportunities to learn about new services on campus and when appropriate, try them out for myself. I’ve been calculating my grades prior to exams for several semesters now and overall, I think the Mark Calculator makes the process a lot easier. I would recommend that students download the Microsoft Excel version available on the website because it will allow them to save their data so they can make alternations as necessary.

My favourite feature is the “Required % on Final” component at the bottom of each course page. After typing in all other marks, it tells students what they need to get on the exam to get a final grade of 50, 60, 70, 80, 90 or 100% in the course. While it’s a tad frustrating being told that I need to get “180%” to get 100% in some of my courses, it’s also reassuring to see that I could pass the course with a 50 if I were to get 12% on my final in others.

I found the calculator to be relatively simple to use but I did find a few hiccups with it. Students should just be sure to delete the page for the 6th course if they’re only enrolled in 5 courses, else wise, the semester average page won’t function properly. Also, some courses have the opportunity for bonus marks to be gained and I wouldn’t suggest students try to enter this in on the calculator. I’ve tried a few different ways and haven’t been able to get it to function correctly. Instead, I just made myself a note reminding me to add x% on to my final grade myself. It’s not quite a perfect system, however, to add your own formulas in excel to function the same way would take a significant amount of time for most people, so I would highly recommend the Mark Calculator because it’s already set up.

If you have any questions on how to use the Mark Calculator, don’t hesitate to e-mail me at family@uoguelph.ca!