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The University of Arizona

Creating Grade Categories

Video Help

Grade Categories can be used to organize your grade book. You can also use them to drop high and/or low scores from a group of grade items. To create a grade category:

1. Make sure you're in Manage Grades. Manage Grades is the default landing page in the Grades tool, but you can change this preference in Personal Display Options.


2. Click the New button and select Category.


The remaining steps depend on the grading system you are using:


If using a Weighted Grading System:

New Category Name Fields3. Enter the Category Name.

4. Enter a Short Name for the Category if you'd like. The Short Name is only visible to members of the Teaching Team with access to the grade book.

5. Enter a Description if you'd like to share additional information about the Category. By default, the Description field is collapsed, so you may need to click Show Description to expand it.


Enter New Category Weight6. Enter the Weight of the Category. 
7. Check the box to the left of Allow category grade it exceed category weight if participants will have any opportunities to earn extra credit or bonus points.


New Category Weight Distribution8. Decide how you'd like weight to be distributed across grade items in the Category:

  • Manually assign weight to items in the category: Allows you to manually assign weight to each grade item in the category. Use this option if grade items within the category should have different weights.
  • Distribute weights by points across all items in the category: Assigns a weight to each item in the category that is proportionate to how many points the assignment is worth. Weights are automatically recalculated as grade items are added to the category.
  • Distribute weight evenly across all items: When grade items are placed in the category, the weights of all grade items are automatically recalculated so that all grade items in the category have equal weight. If you select this option, you have the ability to drop high or low scores from the Category's calculation:
    • Number of highest non-bonus items to drop for each user: Enter the number of high scores you'd like dropped from the Category's calculation.
    • Number of lowest non-bonus items to drop for each user: Enter the number of low scores you'd like dropped from the Category's calculation.

9. Override the grade book's set Display Options by checking the box next to the display option(s) you'd like the Category to have. By default, Display Options is collapsed, so you may need to click Show Display Options to expand it. You can review the grade book's display options by going to Class Display Options.

10. Click one of the Save options at the bottom of the screen to save your changes:

  • Save and Close: Returns you to the Manage Grades screen.
  • Save and New: Allows you to begin creating a new Category.
  • Save: Saves any changes and stays on the same screen.

Tip: You can restrict access to the Category using options on the Restrictions tab. Visit our Visibility Restrictions and/or Release Condition Restrictions help pages for more information.

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If using a Points Grading System:

New Category Name Fields3. Enter the Category Name.

4. Enter a Short Name for the Category if you'd like. The Short Name is only visible to members of the Teaching Team with access to the grade book.

5. Enter a Description if you'd like to share additional information about the Category. By default, the Description field is collapsed, so you may need to click Show Description to expand it.


Can Exceed and Exclude From Final6. Check the box under Can Exceed if participants will have any opportunities to earn extra credit or bonus points.

7. Check the box under Exclude from Final Grade Calculation if you do not want the Category and its grade items to be included in the Final Grade.


Category Points Distribution8. If all grade items in the Category will be worth the same number of points, check the box to the left of Distribute points across all items. Then enter the number of Points per item. If you select this option, you have the ability to drop high or low scores from the Category's calculation:

  • Number of highest non-bonus items to drop for each user: Enter the number of high scores you'd like dropped from the Category's calculation.
  • Number of lowest non-bonus items to drop for each user: Enter the number of low scores you'd like dropped from the Category's calculation.

9. Override the grade book's set Display Options by checking the box next to the display option(s) you'd like the Category to have. By default, Display Options is collapsed, so you may need to click Show Display Options to expand it. You can review the grade book's display options by going to Org Unit Display Options.

10. Click one of the Save options at the bottom of the screen to save your changes:

  • Save and Close: Returns you to the Manage Grades screen.
  • Save and New: Allows you to begin creating a new Category.
  • Save: Saves any changes and stays on the same screen.

Tip: You can restrict access to the Category using options on the Restrictions tab. Visit our Visibility Restrictions and/or Release Condition Restrictions help pages for more information.

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