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Weighted Average Mark (WAM) Calculation Guideline

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Section 1 - Introduction

(1) A Weighted average mark (WAM) is the average mark in the units of study completed by a student, weighted according to the unit value and academic level of the particular course.

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Section 2 - Intent

(2) This guideline has been developed to assist staff and students to calculate WAM.

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Section 3 - Instructions

(3) The WAM is calculated as:

  1. A cumulative WAM, calculated over all units undertaken within the program; or
  2. A WAM calculated over a specified number of units or all units at or above a specified level; 
    1. for calculation of Honours in accordance with the Bachelor Honours Policy, the weighted average mark calculated over all 2000, 3000, 4000, 5000 and 6000 level courses;  or 
  3. A WAM calculated over an approved major; or
  4. An annual WAM is the weighted average mark of the results of courses taken in a particular calendar year. 

(4) The WAM can be expressed mathematically as:

WAM = Σ (M V W)/Σ (V W)
M = the mark as defined below;
V = the unit value of the course concerned; and
W = the weighting of the course concerned as set out below.

(5) The value of “M” is defined as followed:

  1. Where the result in a course is given in the range 50 to 100 inclusive, “M” is equal to that percentage mark;
  2. Where the result in a course is a failing grade, in the range 45 to 49 inclusive, “M” is equal to that percentage mark;
  3. Where the result in a course is a failing grade, in the range of 0 to 44, “M” is equal to a mark of 44;
  4. Where the result in a course is a passing grade (P rather than a percentage mark), the mark denoted as “M” will be deemed to be the relevant number listed below:
Grade M
HD 93
D 80
C 70
P 58* (refer to clause 10 below)
UP 58* (refer to clause 10 below)

(6) The weighting for each course is indicated by the course code.

(7) The first number of a course code indicates the level at which the course is offered regardless of the year of study in which it is undertaken and, also indicates the weighting of the course in terms of the Weighted Average Mark (WAM) calculation. For example, if the course INFO1010 is undertaken in the fourth year of study, the course is still considered to be a 1000 level course and the weighting will be 1.

Course Weightings (cumulative WAM)

Course Level Weighting
1000 1
2000 2
3000 3
4000, 5000 and 6000 4

(8) Course Weightings (for Bachelor Honours) – the WAM is calculated on all courses above the 1000 level, weighted at:

Course Level Weighting
2000 2
3000 3
4000, 5000 and 6000 4

(9) The determination of units to be included in the calculation of the WAM is as follows:

  1. Where all units have been completed at the University of Newcastle and within the same program, all units will be included in the WAM calculation;
  2. Where all units have been completed at the University of Newcastle but across different programs, all units that have contributed to the relevant program being awarded will be included in the WAM calculation (including credit);
  3. Where a student has received credit from an external institution (including cross-institutional study) only those units completed at the University of Newcastle will be included in the WAM calculation;
  4. Students who complete any of their studies overseas should be aware that the courses they undertake at an overseas institution will not count towards the WAM.
  5. Where a student has completed more than the maximum units, only the approved units will be counted towards the WAM calculation. For example in a 240 unit program will use only 240 units of approved courses where the student has received a pass (or greater) plus all fail grades. Students who over-enrol (i.e. extraneous enrolment in units additional to the overall program value) the earliest completed courses only are counted.;
  6. Courses completed extraneously cannot be counted within the WAM calculation. Students who have successfully completed a course will not be permitted to undertake the same course again (see definition for extraneous enrolment in a course);
  7. Where through an administrative error a student has passed the same course twice, the grade of the first completion, not the highest mark, will be utilised in the WAM calculation; and
  8. Where a student is studying a combined program, only those units which have contributed to the completion of each single program will be included in the WAM calculation for each of the program or the WAM may be calculated for the overall unit value for the combined program, subject to the conditions outlined above.

(10) *Ungraded passes (UP) and Passing Grades (P) are not included in the calculation of a WAM except:

  1. where these advantage the student, ie when the student has a WAM of less than 58. In this instance the WAM is recalculated including the value of the ungraded pass(es) or the passing grade; or
  2. when more than 50% of the grades presented are ungraded passes or passing grades. In this instance, the WAM would be calculated with the ungraded pass included in the calculation. 

(11) The following will be taken into account when calculating the WAM: 

  1. Students re-enrolling after leave of absence will retain their previous WAM as the basis of future calculations; 
  2. If grades of ‘Incomplete” (I) or Special Consideration (S) are awarded to a students, the WAM will remain uncalculated until the final marks are awarded. 
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Section 4 - Roles and Responsibilities

(12) University staff to calculate WAM in accordance with these Guidelines.

(13) Students can calculate their WAM using these Guidelines and the University's online WAM calculator. 

(14) Students must enrol in courses which comply with their program requirements.