Much like the GPA used by many other universities, the Weighted Average Mark (WAM) provides an indication of your overall academic performance here at the University.
The University of Melbourne Academic Board has revised assessment of the Weighted Average Mark (WAM) for 2020. This includes Winter Term subjects but excluded Summer and Yearlong subjects. See WAM assessment for 2020, below, for more information.
What is my Weighted Average Mark (WAM)?
The WAM provides an indication of overall academic performance in each course that a student has undertaken, reflecting both the numeric mark (eg 45%, 87%) and the number of credit points of each subject you complete. It is calculated progressively as your subject results are added in my.unimelb, meaning a 25 point subject will be weighted double that of a 12.5 point subject in your WAM.
What can the WAM be used for?
Apart from providing students with an indication of how they are performing in their course, the WAM is sometimes used to assess applications for further study, employment and scholarships. You will need to contact a particular organisation for specific information about whether they use your WAM to assess applications.
- If another university or organisation requires information about how the University of Melbourne calculates the WAM, please refer them to this page.
- If they use a different calculation for selection purposes, they can use the information recorded on your University of Melbourne academic transcript. Academic transcripts include the titles of your enrolled subjects, the credit points of each subject, the results you achieved (eg 83%, H1; 48% N) and a detailed explanation of the grading scheme (eg H1, H2A, H2B).
Where can I find my WAM?
The WAM appears in the following places:
- Academic Transcript
- Australian Higher Education Graduation Statement (AHEGS)
- Statement of Results
- Results page in eStudent.
The WAM will only display for your course if you:
- commenced the course after 1 January 2010
- are currently admitted to your course
- have results entered on your student record.
How is my WAM calculated?
The weighted average mark (WAM) is calculated using this formula:
Sum of (Mark x credit points for subjects)
Sum of (Total credit points for subjects)
For example, a student has completed three subjects. Two are worth 12.5 points and the third is worth 37.5. They attained 76%, 67% and 81% respectively. The resulting calculation would be:
(76x12.5)+(67x12.5)+(81x37.5) = 4825
12.5+12.5+37.5 = 62.5
WAM = 77.200%
Do fail grades affect my WAM?
The percentage mark obtained for a failed subject contributes toward the WAM.
How will my continuing subject contribute to my WAM?
A continuing subject is when a subject is completed across multiple study periods.
If the grade code is 'CNT' (Continuing) and there is no numeric mark provided, the subject will not count toward the WAM. When a continuing subject is completed, a final grade and mark are entered against all attempts of the subject. All attempts of the continuing subject count toward the WAM.
For example, if a student undertook a subject worth 50 points which was taught over two semesters, the subject would only be counted towards their WAM once the final result (including a grade and numeric mark) was confirmed at the end of the second semester.
Are there any subjects not included in the WAM?
Subjects are not included in the WAM calculation when:
- no mark has been recorded
- the credit points are 0
- they have a 'CNT' (Continuing) grade and no numeric mark (see above section about continuing subjects)
- they are time-based subjects, such as Research subjects
- they are marked on a pass/fail basis only
- they have a 'withdrawn' status
- you have been awarded Advanced Standing (credit) for a subject studied at another institution - the subject grade you received at the other institution will not be added to your WAM.
What can I do if my WAM appears to be incorrect?
If your WAM appears to be incorrect, please first check the WAM calculation by:
- Identifying the subjects that should be included in the WAM (see above for subjects that are not included in the WAM calculation)
- Checking that you are viewing the WAM after all your subject results are recorded in eStudent
- Using the formula to ensure subjects are weighted correctly
- If the calculation still appears wrong after checking the calculation and included subjects, please forward your calculation as an online enquiry with Stop 1.
WAM calculation for 2021
Academic Board has confirmed that the normal WAM calculation as per the Assessment and Results policy will be applied in 2021.
Students experiencing challenging situations impacting their academic performance should consider applying for Special Consideration where appropriate or contacting our health and wellbeing services for advice and support as required.
WAM assessment for 2020
The Academic Board has resolved that results from First Half Year 2020 and Second Half Year 2020 subjects will not be included in the calculation of a student’s Weighted Average Mark (WAM) unless the mark achieved for the subject is equal to or higher than the WAM the student had achieved at the beginning of 2020. Note that this will only be reflected in my.unimelb and on your Statement of Results after results are finalised on the results final release date. See the Academic Board Resolutions
The revised WAM calculation will apply as follows, noting the following arrangements and exceptions:
- The WAM for programs that comprise 50 points or less in total will be calculated using normal practice, as a benchmark WAM based on prior study in that program for a student cannot be established.
- No First Half Year 2020 or Second Half Year 2020 subject will be included in the WAM calculation (noting the Summer Semester exception) for a student who had not completed 50 points of study in their enrolled program prior to 2020, as a benchmark WAM for the student in that program cannot be established (this applies to students not covered by exception (1) above).
- For the Bachelors (Honours) program, subjects that receive a weighted mark below a student’s entry WAM for that program will be excluded from the WAM calculation. For the avoidance of doubt, a student’s entry WAM, in this context, is the WAM presented by the student to meet the selection resolution for that program, not the minimum WAM required for selection into the program. This applies to students who have commenced their Bachelor Honours year in the first half of 2020.
- All subject scores will be recorded on the transcript.
- Where the result does not contribute to the WAM, it will be recorded against a new code. This code makes it clear that the subject is excluded from the WAM because of COVID-19.
- At the conclusion of their studies, students can request that all results recorded against the COVID-19 code be included in the WAM calculation. Any such subjects will then be coded as per usual practice.
- The revised WAM calculation does not apply to any subjects in Higher Degrees by Research.
The University believes this decision is in the best interests of all our students. We will continue to engage with our students as we navigate these challenging times together. At the same time, our focus remains firmly on continuing to deliver the highest quality education experience and upholding the integrity of our academic programs. We thank all students for their commitment to this.
Calculating the Benchmark WAM
The benchmark is your WAM at the beginning of 2020. The benchmark WAM is calculated using all subjects undertaken in 2019 and earlier for which you have results. A benchmark will only be calculated if you have results for at least 50 points prior to 2020. Read more about WAM Calculation above.
Results excluded from your WAM will appear on your academic transcript, Australian Higher Education Graduation Statement (AHEGS) and published in my.unimelb. The results will show the numeric mark and standard grade. The grade will be flagged with a ‘^’ to denote that the result is excluded from the WAM (for example, 75 H2A^). A comment will appear on your transcript with information on how the WAM has been calculated. Find out more about the Grading schema.
For students commencing their studies in 2020
No First Half Year 2020 or Second Half Year 2020 subjects will be included in your WAM calculation as a benchmark WAM for you in your program of study has not been established (that is, you had not completed 50 points or more prior to 2020) – note exceptions for Summer subject, Year Long subjects and Honours students commencing in 2020. However, at the conclusion of your studies, you can request that all results recorded against the COVID-19 code be included in your WAM calculation.
For prospective employers
If you have COVID-19 grades, your academic transcript will include this comment to explain why some grades are flagged with a ‘^’:
‘If a ^ appears after a grade, the % mark recorded for that subject is excluded from the Weighted Average Mark in recognition of the impact of the 2020 COVID-19 Pandemic.’
The comment will also appear on your AHEGS once your degree has been conferred.
3rd parties can visit the University website for official information about the COVID-19 grades and changes to the WAM calculation and the Assessment and Results Policy which explains the ‘^’.
Academic statements, such as an Evidence of Qualification letter, can be ordered and customised to include information on the revised WAM if required by an external organisation. The information that could be included is from this COVID-19 WAM website. A charge applies and these bespoke statements usually take 10-15 days to prepare.
Frequently asked questions about WAM in 2020
What if I have special assessment for a subject?
Results that have an ‘S’ grade will not be assessed for WAM exclusion. After you have completed the special assessment, if your final result is less than your benchmark WAM, the result will be excluded from the WAM.
Can I request to have subjects included in my WAM?
Yes. You can request that COVID-19 grades be included in your WAM at the end of your degree. You can only request this at the end of your course and prior to graduating. If all of your 2020 grades have been excluded from your WAM (e.g. if you did not have a benchmark WAM comprising 50 or more points at the beginning of 2020), by waiting until the end of your course, you will be able to calculate whether including the COVID-19 grades will increase your WAM.
Once your request is processed, all your COVID-19 grades will be changed back to standard grades and included in the WAM calculation.
Note, some course entry requirements may stipulate specific conditions about the inclusion or exclusion of COVID-19 grades in 2020 in determining the WAM to be used for admission. For example, the entry requirements for 2021 entry to the Doctor of Medicine, Doctor of Dental Surgery, Doctor of Optometry and Doctor of Physiotherapy programs. Please continue to check course entry requirements in the Handbook for specific course entry requirements.
How do I request to have subjects included in my WAM?
You can submit the request to have COVID-19 grades included in your WAM online form. If you are completing you course in Semester 2, 2020, please submit your request by 5pm Friday 4 December for your grades to be changed before your academic transcript is issued when you complete your course.
Can I select which subjects are included or excluded from my WAM?
No. You can have either all subjects with the COVID-19 grade code included in your WAM, or none of these subjects included in your WAM. It won’t be possible to select which subjects to include or exclude.
When will I see the excluded grades on the results page of my.unimelb?
Eligible Semester 2 results will be updated before the results final release date.
For non-standard subjects the WAM will be applied within two working days of the final result release for the subject (within 20 working days after the final assessment is sat or submitted).
My WAM has improved with my First Half Year results, does this mean my ‘benchmark WAM’ has changed?
No. Your benchmark WAM, which is calculated using all subjects undertaken in 2019 and earlier for which you have results, will not be updated to include results for subjects completed in 2020 that contribute to your overall WAM. Your 2020 results will only be included in the calculation of your overall WAM if the result is equal to or higher than your benchmark WAM at the start of 2020.
Which subjects are classified as Summer semester subjects?
Subjects that were taught in the Summer Term period 2020 are not eligible to be excluded from the WAM calculation. This includes summer and intensive subjects where part of the teaching or assessment extended into Semester 1 2020.
Are Yearlong subjects assessed for WAM exclusion?
Yearlong subjects are not eligible to be excluded from the WAM calculation unless otherwise approved by your faculty dean. For further information please contact Stop 1.
What if I am in the first 50 points of a concurrent diploma?
If you are enrolled in a concurrent diploma and have completed at least 50 points in your main degree, results from your degree will be used as a benchmark WAM, whether you have cross-credited them to your diploma or not.
I am in the first 50 points of my course and I have received advanced standing. Will my results be assessed for WAM exclusion?
If you have received at least 50 points of advanced standing (credit for prior study) from another University of Melbourne course, these results will be used as your benchmark WAM. Results lower than the benchmark will be excluded from your WAM. If you have received advanced standing from another institution, none of your First Half Year 2020 subjects (if you enrolled in FHY 2020) or Second Half Year 2020 subjects (if you enrolled in SHY 2020) will be included in the WAM.
The graduate course I am enrolled in can be awarded with distinction. Will results that are excluded from my WAM also be excluded when calculating my distinction score?
Yes, COVID-19 grades excluded from your WAM will also be excluded when calculating your distinction score.
The honours degree I am enrolled in is awarded with an overall award level based on my WAM? Will results that are excluded from my WAM also be excluded when calculating my award level?
Yes, COVID-19 grades excluded from your WAM will also be excluded when calculating your award level.