I'm assigning weights to different course assessments.

Assessment                    Weight
============================  ======
Assignments (best 5 of 8)       50%
Mid-term exam                   20%
Final exam                      30%

Is there a noun or noun-phrase for a grading scheme that counts the best m of n marks? Example: There are weekly assignments worth 10% each, the best 5 of 8 will be counted.

  • 1
    So you're asking for a word for a grading system where the maximum you can score would be 5 x 10% = 50%? Unfair would be one word, but I could think of several other less polite words!
    – TrevorD
    Apr 18, 2016 at 15:36
  • 1
    @TrevorD, there are of course additional assessments that sum to 100%. As an exmaple: weekly assignments (best 5 of 8) 50%, mid-term 20%, final exam 30%.
    – jim31415
    Apr 18, 2016 at 15:53
  • This is similar to the concept of a truncated or modified mean, where the top and bottom scores are discarded and the rest are used to determine the actual score. Apr 18, 2016 at 16:02
  • 1
    I would be helpful to add a sample sentence to your question, like "I grade weekly assignments using a ___" if you want a noun or noun phrase, or "I grade weekly assignments by ___" if you want a verb phrase. Apr 18, 2016 at 16:04
  • @Nathaniel, thanks for the input. I've edited the question to try to clarify some.
    – jim31415
    Apr 18, 2016 at 16:21

1 Answer 1


I don't think there is anything wrong with your usage. I more often hear top 5 rather than best 5, though. This Ngram agrees:

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