Receiving bad grades is part of every student's experience. Even the most hardworking, gifted person gets a bad grade every now and then. The difference is how they react to them. Follow these 5 simple steps and you'll be back on your feet in no time.
In this post:
1. Deal With The Shock And Anger
Chances are, your first reaction will be shock or disbelief, but it's time to wake up. No, this isn't a dream; you got a bad grade, so it's time to deal with it, not shake your head and stare at the imposing red all over your paper. Once the idea of your grade is firmly in your head, you will probably start to feel the anger; at yourself, the teacher, and the jerk sitting next to you who made higher.
Try to calm down so that you can compose yourself. If you were given the paper at the beginning of class, then you will need to be conscious enough to learn the whole class period, or else you'll be even farther behind. So calm it down. You need to get a hold of yourself if you want to do any damage control.
2. Stop Playing The Blame Game
So now you're listening to your professor and probably cursing his/her existence. Yes, maybe it's true that if you had an easier teacher you would have made a better grade, but blaming them isn't the answer to your problems. The guy sitting next to you who aced it? No, he's guiltless too; it's not his fault he did better than you.
So the last blame goes to yourself. Well, let's face it; you messed up. You didn't study enough or didn't understand some material, but all hope is not lost. This is no time to fall into self-hate. It's time to drop the blame game and move on to solving your problem.
3. Talk To Your Professor
You probably just got past the idea that he/she is the devil, and some rough feelings may still be present, but now it's time to put all that behind you and ask for help. By simply showing that you are not happy with the grade that you received can show the professor that you care.
Avoid accusations that the grading is the problem, but allow him/her to read over it again if that is possible. Sometimes you can get quite a few extra points if the teacher feels like they didn't grade fairly. But for this case, let's assume that you're stuck with this grade.
4. Get Help From Your Professor or Someone Else
As soon as you can, meet with your professor and ask what you could have done better. Sometimes they will give a shifty answer, but if you're lucky they will teach you what you didn't know. This is actually why a lot of them got into teaching, so while you are learning you are also making a valuable ally that you may need when recommendations come along. Even if you don't make an A in the class, your professor can write in his/her recommendation about the hard work that you put in to improve your grade. If your professor is unavailable, getting help from friends or tutors is often a good idea.
5. Work Harder
Whether you'd like to admit it or not, the reason you did poorly on that last test was that you didn't prepare enough or work hard enough on the assignment. The only way to redeem yourself is to buckle down and start working harder.
At this point, you will most likely begin to see that the bad grade was really your mistake and you will find you have a boost of motivation when it comes to future work. Ride this motivation and you'll find that the work you need to do will be easier. When you receive a good grade on the next assignment in that class, you will decide it was all worth it.
Follow these simple steps and soon you'll be back on track in your class and maybe doing better than ever before.