How to Survive a Disastrous Grade

How to Survive a Disastrous Grade
  • Opening Intro -

    You have just finished the most challenging assignment or exam of the semester and believe that you’ve done well.


However, a few days later you learn that your best effort was to little avail as you have received a D- or some other shockingly low and very disappointing grade.

Calamity has struck and a host of negative feelings are washing through your body. You may be upset, angry, stunned and simply unable to get past what is in all practical purposes a disastrous grade. As difficult as the grade is and the potential adverse impact on your course, even your college tenure, you must find a way to move forward. The following are some tips on how to combat the bad news.

1. Put it in perspective. One bad grade usually does not mean the end of all things as you know it. Certainly, doing your best and coming up short is not good, but you may still have room to breath. Give yourself some time to consider what happened and learn from it. It could be you misunderstood the assignment or simply did not grasp the work to do well on an exam.

2. Speak with your professor. With a level head on your shoulders, speak with the professor to share your disappointment. She or he may have some valuable tips to help you do better next time. Your candor, not your rancor, can help you here — do not put blame on anyone else but yourself and certainly avoid criticizing the professor. Own up to your mistake and, if possible, plead for mercy.

3. Ask for an extra assignment. If your grade was so poor that it may jeopardize your class or even your standing with the college, you need an intervention. Specifically, explain to your professor that you are in danger of being booted out of college if you cannot lift your grade. Likely, your professor will work with you and may be willing to assign you an extra credit assignment. Or, you may learn that your standing is not so bad, that you still have time to pick your grade up by excelling on a term paper or your final exam.

4. Get some help. Perhaps what you need most is help. As in tutoring. Your college has a tutoring lab, staffed by fellow students. Find out the hours the lab is open and make it a priority to stop in. Your professor may point out certain areas where assistance would benefit you the most. If so, then you know your weak points and you can have a tutor guide you through it all.

Stay the Course

As difficult that disappointing news can be, you should stay the course and continue with your studies. A setback does not have to be permanent, rather it can help you identify those areas where improvement is most needed. By doing your part to battle back, you can put this episode behind you and move forward with your academic pursuits.

See AlsoHow to Pull Up Your College Grades (Before it is Too Late)


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Categories: Education Tips