Understanding Your Grade


Types of Quizzes

There are, broadly speaking, two kinds of quizzes:

  1. Quizzes that are automatically graded.
  2. Placeholder quizzes.

Whenever you do an auto-graded quiz, the points show up on your Quia homepage right away.

But placeholder quizzes work differently. The point values for these quizzes get updated once a week, on the weekend. Here is how it works:

When I pour all your marbles into your Quia jar, I put them into "quizzes".

These are not quizzes in the usual sense; that is, they're not quizzes where you earn points by answering questions. Rather, these quizzes are simply "boxes" or "categories" where I put the points that you've earned from reading, writing, typing, or class activities. That's why I call them "placeholder" quizzes.

Imagine, for example, that we're looking at the Quia homepage of a student called "Julia".

Overall score Overall points
15% 578/24,210
Quiz Points Score
Its / It's 8/10 80%
000 Writing Portfolio 200/10000 2%
000 Typing 50/3200 1%
000 Class Activities 20/1000 2%
000 Reading 300/10000 3%

The quiz at the top of the list is a "true" quiz. Julia has earned 8 out of 10 possible points by taking a quiz called Its / It's. If she wants to improve her score, she can retake this quiz.

The other four quizzes on the list are "placeholder" quizzes. Think of them as jars where I've poured the marbles that Julia has earned from doing non-Quia activities.

The first thing I want you to notice is that they all start with the prefix "000".

Next, I want you to notice that all of them have very large denominators (in the points column). That's because there really is no "upper limit" to how many points you can earn from these activities.

Because of these things, these "placeholder quizzes" have large denominators, and therefore Julia's percentages in these categories are small.

So here is the first—and most important thing—that I want you to learn from this lesson:

For "placeholder quizzes", don't worry about percentages! All you need to worry about is the numerator of the points column. The numerator is the number of points that you have earned in each category.

Similarly, near the top of the page, don't worry about your "Overall score". This percentage is meaningless! The only number that really matters is the numerator of the fraction called "Overall points". This is the total number of points that you have earned since the beginning of the year.

Retaking Quizzes

Here is another key difference between auto-graded quizzes and placeholder quizzes.

You can retake an auto-graded quiz as many times as you like, and only your best score counts.

But you cannot retake placeholder quizzes. That's because they aren't quizzes! They are simply "jars" where I pour all the marbles that you've earned from doing non-Quia activities.

Students who fail to understand this sometimes ask me:

"Mr. Hall, I noticed that I only got 3% on the Reading quiz. Can I re-take that quiz to try to get my grade up?

And my answer is this: "Don't worry about percentages. The fact that you have a 3% for Reading is absolutely meaningless. It's the points in the numerator that matter. Right now, you have earned ____ points from reading. If you want more points in this category, you need to read more. And then you're going to let me know how many more pages you've read, and then I will update the number of points in this category."

Lastly, I want to emphasize this point:

Of all the numbers on your Quia homepage, the numerator of the fraction called "Overall points" is by far the most important—because that is the number that I'm going to transfer over to Synergy. And your percentage on Synergy is what determines your overall grade.

The numerator of your overall points is the total number of points that you have earned.


And one last key point:

Whenever you do one of these activities:

  • Typing Club
  • Writing
  • Reading
  • Class Activities

You won't see those points added to your Quia grade (or your Synergy grade) until the weekend.


Lesson Steps

  1. Login to your Quia homepage and find the placeholder quizzes. They should be at the bottom of the list.
  2. When you are finished, return to this page and take the quiz.

Instructions for the Quiz

Answer the questions.