Failed Class: Now What?!

Failed Class: Now What?!
  • Opening Intro -

    Failure can be devastating especially when it involves a failed college grade.

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For whatever reason, you did not score high enough to pass the class and you now have on your college transcripts a grade that can overshadow your other best efforts. Moreover, an “F” is counted as a 0, pulling down your grade point average with it.

Just because you failed a class does not mean that you’ll have to carry that burden with you for a lifetime. There are ways to turn that “F” into a passing grade, raising your GPA and your confidence with it.

Take the Class Again

An “F” is a waste of time, resources, and money. Rather than dwell on the grade, learn why you received a failing grade in the first place. Meet with your instructor to find out where you failed short and resolve to do better next time.

And there should be a next time: if you retake the class, your earlier grade is typically expunged from your record. Plan to get at least a “C” grade if you are apt to transfer; a “B” grade can help you if you plan to go to graduate school. It will also keep your GPA up.

Review, Then Change Your Approach

What caused you to fail the class the first time? You need to determine what it was and move in a different direction. If it was your own neglect, then admit it. Too much partying, cutting classes, failure to hand in assignments, and not studying for tests is on your shoulders — there is no one else is to blame.

If the class was simply beyond your understanding you’ll need to take a fresh approach. Acknowledge that it was difficult, but look for ways to tackle it carefully. Plan to pour yourself into the class by taking copious notes, reviewing your material, asking the instructor for help, and accepting tutoring, if available. Explain to your professor your difficulties and find out what special assignments you might complete that would raise your grade.

Your College’s Policy

Before you retake a class, understand your college’s retake policy. Most colleges and universities allow students to retake a class and have the lowest grade removed from their records. Accordingly, your GPA is adjusted to reflect the higher grade with the lower score removed.

Know that some schools do not remove an “F” grade from your transcripts even if you repeat a course and get a higher grade. For example, at the University of Illinois, the following policy is in place: “The F is not removed from the record and both grades are used in computing the GPA.”

Clearly, avoiding an “F” grade at any school means staying on top of your work and intervening before the class comes to an end.

See AlsoDo College GPAs Transfer When You Do?

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Categories: Academics