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How to Deal with Bad College Grades

Here it comes—your first college test. You spent all week studying and you got good grades in high school, so you know you totally got this! When you sit down for the test, it’s a bit harder than you expected, but you assure yourself that you did fine. The minute you find out your grade you feel the whole world crashing down on you. You failed the test. Oh well. You’re just going to brush it off, you’re sure you’ll do better on the next test. However, test after test you continually get a bad grade. You feel like your shot at life is coming to end and that you might as well just drop out of college and join the circus.


Let me let you in on a little secret: your life isn’t over. Shall I remind you that a few short tests and a bad grade don’t exactly dictate your future. If that thought doesn’t put your mind to ease here are a few other reasons why getting a bad grade isn’t totally life shattering.

College tests are harder than high school tests. Let me repeat that: college tests are harder. You may have been a straight A student in high school, but that doesn’t matter here. College is harder so thinking you’ll do just as well as you did in high school is a little ambitious.

Professors often curve the class. If the class is hard and the majority of the students have a bad grade or are struggling, then final grades may be curved. Meaning you can fail every test and still get a good grade in the class. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try, but don’t stress so much about your grade before the end of the semester.

Visit Professors during office hours. Ask them questions. They’re there to help! If you can’t make it to office hours then talk with your professor and see if you can meet at another time that’s convenient for both of you. If you put forth the effort to come to office hours, your professor may look more favorably upon you when it’s time to decide your final grade.

Get together with some other students from your class to form a study group. You don’t have to meet all the time. Once a week regularly during the semester and more often when it comes to prepping for exams should be good. Studying with others makes getting through the work more fun and allows you to ask others questions when you don’t understand some of the material.

Employers don’t really care about what grades you got. They mostly care about what you can do for them and how you will benefit the company. You got the degree, you have the skills needed for the company—that’s what actually matters.

If you’re upset with a bad grade then take advantage of extra credit opportunities. A lot of times extra credit assignments aren’t very hard, the professor just wants to see that you’re putting some effort into the class. If your professor doesn’t offer  your class an extra credit assignment then speak with them personally and see if you can work something out to help boost your grade.

See Also

In the end D’s get degrees. Probably not the grade you should aim for, but it’s true. College is hard and you aren’t always going to do well. You will get a bad grade here and there,  but in the end there is hope in that little phrase. You are going to make through even if your grades aren’t stellar.

So work hard and do your best! Understand you aren’t always going to get an A on every test, but you’ll make it through in one piece.

How do you deal when you pulled a not so stellar grade on a big test? Comment down below or tweet us @SOCIETY19!


Taylor Lange

Taylor is a student at Colorado State University studying health and exercise science. She loves hockey, is a die-hard Avs fan, and enjoys hiking and the outdoors.

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