So I just got a wonderful question from a reader. She has been working amazingly hard this semester but it’s not seeming to help with having great test grades. She wanted to know how to deal with these failing grades so I decided to write this advice post. This is my advice on how to deal with a failing test grade without crying, dying, or sleeping!
I Have Failed Before
Okay so first off I want to start with a story time. I have failed tests before. I have failed tests in Physical Science and American Nation I to be exact—all in college. I ended up with a B in both of them, honestly I don’t know how I did it with the American Nation class, but I do understand the B in Physical Science so I will explain that more lol. We had multiple tests in Physical Science, the worst test grade was dropped and then there was a comprehensive final. I tried to do my absolute best on the tests—but no matter what I did I would end up with a low grade. Fortunately I was able to study for the final with all the old tests and then I made a really high grade on the final and ended up passing the class with an 80/B!
When you get back your test I want you to do a couple of things:
Remember how much work you spent covering each topic. Did you cover something a lot that wasn’t really even featured on the test? Did you not cover the things on the bulk of the test enough? Think about these things. Of all the time you spent studying was it as effective as you thought? For example this past week I had a test in my Perspectives of Communication class, it wasn’t a failing grade but after I got to the test I realized that I spent time studying the big picture, while she was into studying the smaller picture and expanding out toward the bigger picture. She loved the picky little details, and I’d never really had a teacher like that—not even in my History classes.
Mark the questions that confused you the most on your test. Go to your teacher’s office hours or set up an appointment. Get this nipped in the bud now before it becomes something bigger than what you can handle. Come with specific questions about the test questions if you can. That always helps if you can get as specific as possible. Ask for some pointers or tips on test taking if this is a recurring thing. Maybe you are going about studying all wrong. If you are studying all the wrong material ask for help on identifying material that needs to be studied most. This applies if you realized earlier that the bulk of what you studied wasn’t on the test at all or very little. Ask other kids in the class how they studied, especially if they got an A or B.
Get yourself organized for the next test. Take the advice from your classmates and professors and apply it to your study habits for that class. Start from the day you get the grade for that test—or better yet before you get the test grade back. Just start studying as soon as you can and add new study methods in later.
Other things to note:
- Don’t let your failing grade define you. You are not your test grade. Don’t let a failing grade define you for the rest of the semester. It’s possible and very likely to come out from under one failing grade. I have done it and I know you can too.
- Be Positive: In your room put up an A wall. With every A you get whether it’s a paper, quiz, test, or homework pin it up and be proud of it. Even pin up some Bs too. Strive for those grades. Make the As you have gotten the first thing you see in the morning. Write inspirational sayings and keep them on your desk or make them your computer background. Keep positive things around you at all times.
- Realize You’re Awesome: Regardless of the grade you got on your test realize that a ton of people and I think you’re awesome! You are an awesome person, with an awesome brain, and one failing grade is not going to determine who you are.
I hope this has helped anyone who is having a rough start to the year. Love all my readers, and don’t fret over one bad grade. Your grades don’t define you.