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How to calculate what you need to achieve for x y z classification

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    There isn't really a most fitting section to post such a question to the best of my knowledge, and I often find such threads in this section so I thought I would post this to give a helping hand in some way. This is meant to give you the tools to work out what you need, not for someone to work out the answer for you. If you've read through this and are still stuck, that's fine - just post all of the relevant details and how you've attempted to calculate it and I/someone can point you in the right direction!

    Step 0: Be aware that asking something like 'what do I need in each unit in my 3rd year to get a 2:1?' or anything that involves particular units, unless you only have one unit left, is almost futile, as it will be the average that matters. I could say that you need an average of 70, but I would not be able to say 'you need 65 in unit 1, 72 in unit 2 and 73 in unit 3' because it just doesn't work like that - it's all about averages. I say almost futile because I appreciate that you may know or believe that some units, you will find it harder to get a very high mark in because it's essay/coursework based where it's quite difficult to get a very high mark, or conversely you have a maths unit where, theoretically, it is very much possible to get 100%, and this could be something that you factor in, when saying 'okay, what if I get 65 in this unit that's effectively capped at 70' or 'I know I can get 100 in this unit so...'

    Step 1: Get all of the information together. This includes weightings between years, eg Year 1 counts for 0%, Year 2 counts for 32% and Year 3 counts for 68%. This is something that you need to find out from your uni. Weightings of individual future units are almost irrelevant, as explained in step 0, but weightings of modules that you have results in already may be important if for some reason your overall result to date has not been calculated for you.

    You also need to be aware of the rounding policy, if any, of the university, and any other conditions that come into play when calculating your degree grade. For example, at my university, if you average 68% overall and over 70% on at least half of the modules in the third year then you are awarded a 1st, (58% and 60% respectively for 2:1, etc) and in truth I do not know what happens if you average close to the next boundary without meeting such a condition. These conditions are precisely why I would be reluctant to code a program on Excel or something to work it out for everyone. The logic required would probably hurt my head.

    Step 2: Pen, paper and calculator at the ready. It is easy to mistype things in a calculator and rejoice when you find that you only need 41% in your final year to get a 1st overall. I would strongly advise doing any calculations on paper.

    Step 3: Follow the logic of this example.

    The scenario is that you are a second year student who unfortunately has not had their grade calculated, and just has a list of units and their number of credits and your results. You know that the second year is worth 32% and the final year is worth 68%, and that they have a condition such that if they average 70% or higher in over half of their units, the overall requirement for a 1st is lowered to 68%.

    Your unit results are as follows:

    Unit 1 (6 credits): 47
    Unit 2 (6 credits): 47
    Unit 3 (6 credits): 63
    Unit 4 (6 credits): 60
    Unit 5 (6 credits): 79
    Unit 6 (6 credits): 33
    Unit 7 (6 credits): 50
    Unit 8 (6 credits): 55
    Unit 9 (12 credits): 55

    So, finding out your second year grade. All but one of the units are equally weighted, with credits totalling 60. Therefore each unit of 6 credits is worth 10% (6/60) of your grade, apart from the 12 credit unit which is double that - 20% (12/60)

    so your overall grade is as follows:  (47 \times 0.1) + 

(47 \times 0.1) + 

(63 \times 0.1) + 

(60 \times 0.1) + 

(79 \times 0.1) + 

(33 \times 0.1) + 

(50 \times 0.1) + 

(55 \times 0.1) + 

(55 \times 0.2) = ((0.1) \times (47+63+60+79+33+50+55)) + ((0.2) \times 55) = 54.4

    Okay, you're unlikely to not have your own average calculated for you but that gives you an idea of how weighted averages work.

    To recap:
    You know that the second year is worth 32% and the final year is worth 68%, and that they have a condition such that if they average 70% or higher in over half of their units, the overall requirement for a 1st is lowered to 68%. You now also know that you got 54.4% in the first weighted year.

    Say you want to know how much you need to get a 2:1, ignoring the 58% condition (i.e 60% overall is a 2:1, nothing less)

    You would require  W_{1}a + W_{2}b \geq 0.6 where W1 is (in this case) the weighting of the first year as a decimal, 0.32, and W2 is the weighting of the second year (0.68). For some unis the first year may even be worth, say, 10%, which would just involve adding more variables to the calculation (Eg 0.1a + 0.4b + 0.5c) where a, b and c are the results (as a percentage) of each weighted year. In the example above, only a and b are used for the second and third year grades respectively.

    So to find the answer, you move all of the known values to one side of the equation and the unknowns to the other side.
     0.68b \geq 60 - 0.32a \Rightarrow b \geq \frac {60-0.32a}{0.68} and voila, you have worked out b, the third year grade that you need as a percentage. (b = 62.6 is the answer here)
    If you can follow that then great, there is no need to read the second example as it gets more complex.

    To serve as a second example and to see how conditions can be factored in, say a student is aiming for a first and is attempting to trigger the university-specific rule where if over 70% is averaged across half of the modules in the third year, then the overall requirement (i.e in this case between 2nd and 3rd year) is lowered to 68% for a first. That seems like a messy situation to get your head around, so first calculate 'b' as before, the grade you want in 3rd year, while using 68 instead of 70 to see what happens.

    We require
     0.32a + 0.68b \geq 0.68

     0.68b \geq 68 - 0.32a \Rightarrow b \geq \frac {68-0.32a}{0.68}

    and since a = 54.4, we find that b = 74.5%, which is interpreted as averaging 74.5% in the third year across all modules. However, using 68 as the number instead of 70 in this case requires getting over 70 in at least half the modules (as stipulated by the university). In this case it is fairly safe to assume that you have done so if you have averaged 74.5, and thus you can use 68 and that is the problem solved.

    As above, if you've read through this and are still stuck, you're welcome to post with your attempt if you want. This is not a thread to discuss how remarks, classifications for your uni etc work - those are best discussed on a seperate thread or indeed with your university!

    This thread on tips on how to get a 1st class degree may also help.
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