**Introduction**

A weighted average, also known as a weighted mean, helps decision-making when various factors are considered and measured. A mathematical formula is used to get the weighted average after each component is given weights based on how significant they are.

Let’s explore the concept of weighted average by learning what it means, looking at some real-world situations, and applying the formula to solve a few examples.

**What is the weighted average?**

**Definition**

The term “weighted average” refers to an average in which each quantity is to be averaged given a weight. A weighted average computation accounts for the varying numbers’ significance levels in a data collection. When calculating a weighted average, a specified weight is multiplied by each value in the data set before the final computation is completed.

A weighted average, as opposed to a simple average, considers the relative weight or contribution of the items being averaged. A weighted average computation accounts for the varying numbers’ significance levels in a data collection. When calculating a weighted average, a specified weight is multiplied by each value in the data set before the final computation is completed.

When the numbers in a data collection are given the same weight, a simple average can be less accurate than a weighted average.

**The Weighted Average Formula**

Compared to the basic average, the weighted average formula is more expressive and descriptive since the resulting average number indicates the relative value of each observation. Unlike the arithmetic mean, the weighted average gives some data points in the data set more weight than others. It can be stated as follows:

$Weighted\: Average=\frac{Sum\: of\: the\: Weighted\: Terms}{Total\: Number\: of\: Terms}$

The weighted average method is utilized in various settings, including financial firms, statistical analysis, and classrooms. Instead of using the simple average alone, a user can better understand a set of facts by using a weighted average. The weight you assign to particular variables in the data set will affect how accurate the results you get using this strategy.

**How to Calculate Weighted Average?**

When there are numerous factors to consider and assess, the weighted average, also known as the weighted mean, helps to make a decision. The weighted average is determined by applying various weights to each component according to their respective relevance. The weighted average gives each of the different quantities a specific weight. The weights are essentially numerical expressions expressed as percentages, decimals, or integers; they do not correspond to any physical units.

There are two methods for weighted average calculation. The first method is used when the weights add up to one, whereas the second method is used when they do not. Method 2 calculates the weighted average by multiplying each value by its weight, adding the products, and then dividing the sum of the products by the total weights.

**Method 1: When the Weights Add Up to One**

Step 1: Arrange the number you want to average.

Step 2: Identify the weight of each data point.

Step 3: Multiply each number by each weighing factor.

Step 4: To get the weighted average, add the data in Step 3.

For instance, you want to calculate your weighted average in Geometry. Your overall course grades are 88, 92, and 95 for the quizzes, performance tasks, and final exams. Assume that the quizzes are worth 25%, the performance assignments are worth 45%, and the final exam is worth 30% of the total weight.

Let us follow the steps to calculate the weighted average.

**Step 1: Arrange the number you want to average.**

The numbers that must be arranged refer to the grades you obtained in your quizzes, performance tasks, and final exam.

Component | Grades |

Quizzes | 88 |

Performance Tasks | 92 |

Final Exam | 95 |

**Step 2: Identify the weight of each data point.**

Once you have all the data, you’ll need to know how much each number contributes to your final average. In this example, the quizzes are for 25%, the performance assignments are worth 45%, and the final exam is worth 30%. Thus, the weights add up to 1 or 100% (25% + 45% + 30%). Convert the percentages to decimal form to identify the weighting factors.

Component | Grades | Weighing Factors |

Quizzes | 88 | 0.25 |

Performance Tasks | 92 | 0.45 |

Final Exam | 95 | 0.30 |

**Step 3: Multiply each number by each weighing factor.**

Once you have arranged your data, multiply each number by the correct weighing factor.

Component | Grades | Weighing Factors |

Quizzes | 88 | 0.25 |

Performance Tasks | 92 | 0.45 |

Final Exam | 95 | 0.30 |

**Step 4: To get the weighted average, add the data in Step 3.**

Here is the math in getting the weighted average,

Weighted Average = ( 88 ) ( 0.25 ) + ( 92 ) ( 0.45 ) + ( 95 ) ( 0.30 )

Weighted Average = 22 + 42.40 + 28.50

Weighted Average = 91.90

Component | Grades | Weighing Factors | Grades × Weighing Factor |

Quizzes | 88 | 0.25 | 22 |

Performance Tasks | 92 | 0.45 | 41.40 |

Final Exam | 95 | 0.30 | 28.50 |

**Weighted Average: 91.90**

Hence, your grade in the course Geometry is 91.90.

**Method 2: When the Weights Do Not Add Up to One**

Step 1: Arrange the number you want to average.

Step 2: Identify the weight of each data point.

Step 3: Find the sum of all the weights.

Step 4: Multiply the numbers by their respective weights, then add up the results.

Step 5: To find the weighted average, divide the result in Step 4 by the sum of all the weights.

For example, you want to calculate the average time you spend traveling to school for 20 days. The table below shows the numbers you recorded.

Time Spent | Number of Days |

15 minutes | 4 |

20 minutes | 8 |

25 minutes | 6 |

30 minutes | 2 |

*Step 1: Arrange the number you want to average.*

Let us refer to the table presented above in our computation. The data collected has been arranged already. The first column indicates the time you spent traveling to school, which are 15 minutes, 20 minutes, 25 minutes, and 30 minutes.

*Step 2: Identify the weight of each data point.*

According to the data, you traveled to school on four days in which you spent 15 minutes, eight days in which you spent 20 minutes, six days in which you traveled in 25 minutes, and two days in which you traveled for 30 minutes. These number of days would be the weighting factors.

Time Spent | Number of Days(Weighing Factors) |

15 minutes | 4 |

20 minutes | 8 |

25 minutes | 6 |

30 minutes | 2 |

*Step 3: Find the sum of all the weights.*

Simply add up all the weights in this example. Hence, we have, 4 + 8 + 6 + 2 = 20 days.

Time Spent | Number of Days(Weighing Factors) |

15 minutes | 4 |

20 minutes | 8 |

25 minutes | 6 |

30 minutes | 2 |

**Sum of all weights = 20**

*Step 4: Multiply the numbers by their respective weights, then add up the results.*

Multiply each number (time spent) by the correct weighing factor (number of days), then add up all the results.

Time Spent | Number of Days (Weighing Factors) | Time Spent × Weighing Factor |

15 minutes | 4 | 60 |

20 minutes | 8 | 160 |

25 minutes | 6 | 150 |

30 minutes | 2 | 60 |

Sum of all weights =20 | Sum of (time spent x weighing factor) = 430 |

*Step 5: To find the weighted average, divide the result in Step 4 by the sum of all the weights.*

Divide the result by the total weights after multiplying each number by its weighting factor and adding the results. Hence, we have,

Weighted Average = 430 / 20

Weighted Average = 21.50 minutes.

Therefore, your travel time to school averages **21.50** minutes for 20 days.

Let us use the formula to calculate the result as an alternative solution.

Weighted Average = (Sum of the Weighted Terms) / (Total Number of Terms)

Weighted Average = ( (15 × 4) (20 × 8) (25 × 6) (30 × 2) ) / (4 + 8 + 6 + 2)

Weighted Average = (60 + 160 + 150 + 60) / 20

Weighted Average = 430 / 20

Weighted Average = 21.5

Therefore, the weighted average is **21.5.**

**Why would you use a weighted average?**

All numbers are given equal consideration and weight when calculating a simple average, also known as an arithmetic mean. However, a weighted average applies weights that predetermine the proportional significance of each data point.

For example, a teacher evaluates a student based on exam results, project work, attendance, and classroom behavior. The teacher also gives weights to each category to create a final evaluation of the student’s performance. The weights assigned to each criterion help the instructor in her student assessments.

**Examples**

**Example 1**

Find the weighted average for the following data sets.

( a ) 5 weighted at 20%, 7 weighted at 65%, and 8 weighted at 15%.

( b ) 10 weighted 25, 12 weighted 30, 16 weighted 20, and 15 weighted at 5.

**Solution**

( a ) 5 weighted at 20%, 7 weighted at 65%, and 8 weighted at 15%.

Let us arrange the data in a table and use the decimal value as the weighing factor. Hence, we will have 0.20 for 20%, 0.65 for 65%, and 0.15 for 15%.

Numbers | Weighing Factors | Number × Weighing Factor |

5 | 0.20 | 1 |

7 | 0.65 | 4.55 |

8 | 0.15 | 1.2 |

Weighted Average = 6.75

Applying the values to the formula we have,

Weighted Average = (Sum of the Weighted Terms) / (Total Number of Terms)

Weighted Average = ( (5 × 0.20) (7 × 0.65) (8 × 0.15) ) / (0.20 + 0.65 + 0.15)

Weighted Average = (1 + 4.55 + 1.2) / 1

Weighted Average = 6.75 / 1

Weighted Average = 6.75

Therefore, the weighted average is **6.75.**

( b ) 10 weighted 25, 12 weighted 30, 16 weighted 20, and 15 weighted at 5.

Let us arrange the data in a table as shown below. We must multiply each number by its respective weights to start the solution. Then add the results and divide by the sum of all the weights.

Numbers | Weighing Factors | Number × Weighing Factor |

10 | 25 | 250 |

12 | 30 | 360 |

16 | 20 | 320 |

15 | 5 | 75 |

Sum of Weighing Factors = 80 | Sum of (Number x Weighing Factor) = 1005 |

Applying the values to the formula we have,

Weighted Average = (Sum of the Weighted Terms) / (Total Number of Terms)

Weighted Average = ( (10 × 25) (12 × 30) (16 × 20) (15 × 5) ) / (25 + 30 + 20 + 35)

Weighted Average = (250 + 360 + 320 + 75) / 80

Weighted Average = 1005 / 80

Weighted Average = 12.5625

Therefore, the weighted average is **12.5625.**

**Example 2**

A manufacturer buys 3000 units at $2 each, 6,000 at $1.5 each, 5000 at $1.3 each, and 1200 at $1.2 each of a product. Calculate the weighted average.

**Solution**

Let us use the table below to look at the given data.

Number (Cost per unit) | Weighing Factor | Number × Weighing Factor |

$2 | 3000 | 6000 |

$1.5 | 6000 | 9000 |

$1.3 | 5000 | 6500 |

$1.2 | 1200 | 1440 |

Weighted Average = (Sum of the Weighted Terms) / (Total Number of Terms)

Weighted Average = ( ($2 × 3000) ($1.5×3000) ($1.3×5000) ($1.2×1200) ) / (3000 + 6000 + 5000 + 1200)

Weighted Average = (6000 + 9000 + 6500 + 1440) / 15200

Weighted Average = 22940 / 15200

Weighted Average = $1.51

**Example 3**

Using the grade sheet below, calculate Joseph’s final grade.

Grades | Weighing Factor |

Quizzes ( 85) | 25% |

Assignments (90) | 15% |

Laboratory (94) | 25% |

Exams (92) | 35% |

**Solution**

To calculate Joseph’s final grade, let us multiply each grade by its respective weighing factor, then add the results. By converting the percentages to decimals, we will have 0.25 for 25%, 0.15 for 15%, and 0.35 for 35%.

Grades | Weighing Factor | Grade × Weighing Factor |

Quizzes ( 85) | 0.25 | 21.25 |

Assignments (90) | 0.15 | 13.5 |

Laboratory (94) | 0.25 | 23.5 |

Exams (92) | 0.35 | 32.2 |

We may add the results in the third column to calculate the weighted average.

Weighted Average = 21.25 + 13.5 + 23.5 + 32.2 = **90.45.**

As for an alternative solution, let us plug the values into the formula.

Weighted Average = (Sum of the Weighted Terms) / (Total Number of Terms)

Weighted Average = ( (85 × 0.25) (90 × 0.15) (94 × 0.25) (92 × 0.35) ) / (0.25 + 0.15 + 0.25 + 0.35)

Weighted Average = (21.25 + 13.5 + 23.5 + 32.2) / 1

Weighted Average = 90.45 / 1

Weighted Average = 90.45

Therefore, Joseph’s final grade is **90.45.**

**Example 4**

About the data below, calculate, on average, how much an employer pays an employee an hour of work.

Employees | Rate | Working Hours |

A | $10 / hour | 20 |

B | $12 / hour | 30 |

C | $20 / hour | 25 |

D | $16 / hour | 15 |

**Solution**

To calculate the weighted average, multiply the rate of each employee by their respective working hours and add the results, then divide the result by the sum of the working hours.

Employee | Rate | Working Hours | Rate × Working Hours |

A | $10 / hour | 20 | 200 |

B | $12 / hour | 30 | 360 |

C | $20 / hour | 25 | 500 |

D | $16 / hour | 15 | 240 |

Let us plug the values into the formula.

Weighted Average = (Sum of the Weighted Terms) / (Total Number of Terms)

Weighted Average = ( (10 × 20) (12 × 30) (20 × 25) (16 × 15) ) / (20 + 30 + 25 + 15)

Weighted Average = (200 + 360 + 500 + 240) / 90

Weighted Average = 1300 / 90

Weighted Average ≈14.44

Hence, the average is approximately **$14.44.**

**Summary**

The term “weighted average” refers to an average in which each quantity is to be averaged given a weight. A weighted average computation accounts for the varying numbers’ significance levels in a data collection. When calculating a weighted average, a specified weight is multiplied by each value in the data set before the final computation is completed.

Compared to the basic average, the weighted average formula is more expressive and descriptive since the resulting average number indicates the relative value of each observation. Unlike the arithmetic mean, the weighted average gives some data points in the data set more weight than others. It can be stated as follows:

$Weighted\: Average=\frac{Sum\: of\: the\: Weighted\: Terms}{Total\: Number\: of\: Terms}$

**Steps in Calculating Weighted Average**

*Method 1: When the Weights Add Up to One*

Step 1: Arrange the number you want to average.

Step 2: Identify the weight of each data point.

Step 3: Multiply each number by each weighing factor.

Step 4: To get the weighted average, add the data in Step 3.

*Method 2: When the Weights Do Not Add Up to One*

Step 1: Arrange the number you want to average.

Step 2: Identify the weight of each data point.

Step 3: Find the sum of all the weights.

Step 4: Multiply the numbers by their respective weights, then add up the results.

Step 5: To find the weighted average, divide the result in Step 4 by the sum of all the weights.

**Frequently Asked Questions on Weighted Average (FAQs)**

**What distinguishes the weighted average from the simple average?**

A weighted average, referred to as a weighted mean, requires more calculation than a simple arithmetic mean. A weighted average, as its name suggests, is one in which the many numbers you’re calculating have various weights or values in relation to one another.

A weighted average computation accounts for the varying numbers’ significance levels in a data collection. When calculating a weighted average, a specified weight is multiplied by each value in the data set before the final computation is completed.

When the numbers in a data collection are given the same weight, a simple average can be less accurate than a weighted average.

**How to solve the weighted average?**

To solve or calculate the weighted average, you may consider the following methods:

**Method 1: When the Weights Add Up to One**

To find the weighted average, multiply each number by its respective weights and then add the results.

For example, specific weights are given to each component in grade computation to get the final grade.

Components | Grades | Weighing Factors | Grades × Weighing Factor |

Quizzes | 87 | 0.35 | 30.45 |

Assignments | 93 | 0.25 | 23.25 |

Final Exam | 91 | 0.40 | 36.4 |

**Weighted Average: 90.10**

Weighted Average = ( (87 × 0.35) (93 × 0.25) (91 × 0.40) ) / (0.35 + 0.25 + 0.40 )

Weighted Average = (30.45 + 23.25 + 36.4 ) / 1

Weighted Average = 90.10 / 1

Weighted Average = 90.10

**Method 2: When the Weights Do Not Add Up to One**

To find the weighted average, multiply each number by its respective weights and get the sum. Then, divide the results by the sum of all the weights.

For example, Maria wants to calculate her average time spent playing online games for 30 days. The data is presented below.

Time Spent (Playing with Online Games) | Number of Days (Weighing Factors) | Time Spent × Weighing Factor |

2 hours | 4 | 8 |

3 hours | 5 | 15 |

4 hours | 7 | 28 |

5 hours | 6 | 30 |

6 hours | 8 | 48 |

Sum of all weights = 30 | Sum of (time spent x weighing factor) = 129 |

Weighted Average = ( (2 × 4) (3 × 5) (4 × 7) (5 × 6) (6 × 8) ) / (4 + 5 + 7 + 6 + 8 )

Weighted Average = ( (8) (15) (28) (30) (48) ) / 30

Weighted Average = 129 / 30

Weighted Average = 4.3

Therefore, Maria’s average time on playing online games is 4.3 hours.

**What is the formula to calculate the weighted average?**

Compared to the basic average, the weighted average formula is more expressive and descriptive since the resulting average number indicates the relative value of each observation. Unlike the arithmetic mean, the weighted average gives some data points in the data set more weight than others. It can be stated as follows:

$Weighted\: Average=\frac{Sum\: of\: the\: Weighted\: Terms}{Total\: Number\: of\: Terms}$

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