The total column is a type of calculated column that generates a grade based on the cumulative points earned, related to the points allowed. You can select which columns and categories are included in a total column's calculation. When creating a total column, you can include other calculated columns.
The following list includes the settings for the default total column:
All grade columns are included in the calculation.
Calculated columns are not included.
Ungraded items are not included. You can change this by editing the column and selecting No forCalculate as Running Total.
Total Points Formula
Add the points possible of all selected columns to find the total points. Then, add a student’s earned scores for all selected columns. This is the total earned out of the total points possible. Exempted items are ignored. The results display according to the Primary and Secondary Display options.
Column 1 points earned + Column 2 points earned + Column 3 points earned + Column 4 points earned = Total Points Earned out of Total Points Possible
Using a Running Total in the Total Column will exempt cells that do not contain data. Choose not to calculate as a running total to include all selected columns in the calculation, using a value of 0 if no grade exists. This can make grades appear artificially low (or high).
Content in this article was taken from help.blackboard.com