What factors affect Elance-Upwork star ratings and how the ratings are calculated

If you are freelancing on Elance-Upwork or similar online job platform you know how important the feedback system’s star ratings are. Majority of clients will look at your average star rating as a key indicator to your level of expertise, trustworthiness and professionalism. So, receiving a 1 or 2 star rating from client is actually worse than receiving no feedback/rating at all. Another important factor accompanying the star ratings is the feedback statement or testimonial from the clients, where the clients have the freedom to explicitly state how much they were impressed or unimpressed by the freelancer’s deliverable. Read on to find out about how Elance-Upwork ratings is calculated and the factors that affect them.

Factors affecting star Elance-Upwork Ratings and how the ratings are calculated

Elance-Upwork ratings can be calculated in two steps. First step is for individual jobs where each client will rate you on a scale of 1 to 5 based on six factors each with different weights signifying different levels of importance.  Here are the six factors based on which star ratings are calculated on Elance-Upwork:

  1. Quality of work (30%)
  2. Responsiveness (20%)
  3. Professionalism (15%)
  4. Subject matter expertise (15%)
  5. Adherence to schedule (10%)
  6. Adherence to cost (10%)

For example your clients rated you 5, 4, 4, 4, 3, 3 respectively for each of the above factors. Now your total rating for that particular job will be (5 x 0.3 + 4 x 0.2 + 4 x 0.15 + 4 x 0.15 + 3 x 0.10 + 3 x 0.10) = 4.1. As you can see even if your work is of excellent quality (5 out of 5), you won’t get a 5-star rating unless you meet your client’s expectations on the other five factors. However, if you have good relationship with your client and you deliver quality work on-time 90% of the time, then getting a 5-star rating won’t be a problem.

The above rating calculates the ratings by individual clients. What about average ratings for a number of jobs you’ve Odesk_Elance_star_ratings_calculationscompleted up until now? The average ratings factors in the amount of earnings from each client meaning higher earnings will carry higher weight. For example- Let’s say you earn $1000 from a client1 and get a 4 star rating, and then earn $500 from another client2 and get a 5 star rating.  Now your average rating would be calculated by the formula (earning1/total earning x star rating1) + (earning2/total earning x star rating2). So, the total average rating for the two jobs above is ($1000/1500 x 4 + $500/$1500 x 5) = 2.66+1.66= 4.3 stars. So you can see if you get a low rating on a low paying job is bad for ratings. Thus, your Elance-Upwork reputation will improve if you get more high paying clients and deliver high quality work to them.

As you can see, the Elance-Upwork rating system is quite easy to understand and at the end of the day it’s up to the quality of your work, your negotiation skills and your relationship with your client that will determine whether or not you will receive a 5-star rating from your client. The Elance-Upwork level is another important factor on a freelancer’s profile and defines his/her “level of expertise” in a particular category, which is a topic for another article- How to increase your Elance level

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  • Shankar

    i was wondering about this formula for a lot time. how did u find about this?