Getting a grade that is lower than you expected can be very upsetting but it is important to not let it get you down. Always remember that this is not the end of the world. You can learn from your mistakes and become a better student if you can deal with your grades in the right way.
Top tips on what to do when you get bad grade
Come to terms with your bad grade
The first step is accepting that you had a bad grade, and keeping it in mind that a bad grade is not the end of your academic career. Acknowledge that you have chances to make things better in the future. The following tips will guide you on how to come to terms with your bad grade.
- Don’t be too hard on yourself
Getting a single bad grade is not the end of your career and thus you should always know that one bad grade does not represent your overall worth as a student. The fact that you are concerned about the bad grade shows that you are motivated and have high expectations for yourself.
Avoid punishing yourself for receiving a bad grade and try to learn from these mistakes. Work hard to get better grades in the future.
- Take some time to process your reaction
Although it’s possible that you may feel anxious, frustrated, or even confused, it’s also okay to be upset. Let it out. Suppressing your emotions will only make you feel bad later on. You can decide to let it out to a friend, family member, or classmate and this can help you cope with the bad grade and move on.
- Put a distance between you and the bad grade for a while.
Dwelling on it longer while in a heightened emotional state will only make things harder for you than they already are. Come up with activities that will take your mind off the issue for some time. You can try to talk to a friend, listen to music, or do things that you enjoy doing as this will help to relieve anxiety.
The most important step to take after getting a bad grade is to not let the negative thoughts overwhelm you. You must stay positive! When you stay upbeat, there are lower chances of physical health problems, better resistance to the flu, and lower blood pressure. On the other hand, positive thinking can encourage greater creativity, better mood, less severe cases of depression, etc. The following list gives some of the easiest ways to focus on the positives after getting a bad grade.
- Reconsider your errors
Although no one enjoys making mistakes, mistakes are important as they help us grow. Embracing this attitude towards error is known as the growth mindset. Our brain develops when we make mistakes as we learn how to avoid a repeat of the same in the future by applying the knowledge we have acquired through trial and error.
- Recall why you study
Learning can be challenging. Sometimes we forget about the process of learning and only focus on the results. Do not rush when it comes to learning as this can impede skills development. Take time to recollect and understand why and how you can enjoy the learning process.
- Talk to supportive and positive people.
Surround yourself with an optimistic and supportive crew. This can include your friends, classmates, teachers, and even great books that have powerful messages. Learn how the people you spend time with make you feel and choose to spend time with the people who encourage you and make you feel better.
- Be kind to yourself
Do not look at yourself in a negative way or blame yourself as this will affect the extent to which you can handle stress. Always remember that positive thinking and self-talk inspire self-acceptance. Try to identify your strengths and skills and this can help you overcome any difficult situations you might be going through. Ensure you encourage yourself and consider each failure an important lesson that you have learned.
- Don’t forget to believe in yourself
Acknowledging that you can overcome any challenge and learn from your mistakes is the best attitude to adopt. Focus on the things that you can accomplish and not on the mistakes you have made.
Learn from your mistakes
A bad grade should act as a reminder that you need to concentrate more on your studies. In most cases, the A’s, B’s, and C’s do not reflect your overall knowledge as you might have misinterpreted the question. Whenever you have homework or an assignment, make sure you read it carefully and proofread it before turning it in to your instructor for grading. Everyone makes mistakes but the difference comes from how you react to them and whether you learn from them or not. You can learn from your mistakes by following these steps.
- Analyze your mistakes
To fix your mistakes and move forward, you must understand what you did wrong. You can ask yourself the following questions:
- Did you format your paper well?
- Did you miss a key element of the work?
- What if you covered the topic superficially?
- Did you need more time to work on your paper?
From these questions, you can easily identify what went wrong but if you can’t you can ask your instructor, friends, or classmates to help you figure it out. Understanding where the problem came in can help you avoid the same problem in the future.
- Note the mistakes that you are supposed to avoid
For you to grow, you have to understand how to avoid making the same mistakes repeatedly. Start by writing down all the mistakes and find patterns and correlations to understand how your mistakes are connected. After this, find out the main lesson that you can learn from these cases.
- Adjust your expectations
To study well, you must have good time management skills and the right expectations. You can put off work until the last moment and anticipate a good outcome each time. In other words, you can expect to ace something without putting in the hard work. Get better at preparation and manage your expectations correctly.
- Reconsider your priorities
Look at the factors that contributed to you getting a bad grade. You might have gotten a bad grade as you have been missing classes or maybe you have been working extra hours. In some cases, a bad grade can help you look at what you have been doing in the past and evaluate your priorities in life.
- Contemplate what to do next
Come up with possible steps that will help you improve your grades. You can go to your tutor or mentor for advice before deciding on the steps to take. You can also approach your department to see if there is something you can do to straighten your GPA. With this, there might be an opportunity for extra credit to lift your grades. You can also decide to evaluate your mistakes alone, address how to fix them, and how to avoid them in the future.
- Come up with a plan
The next and most important step is coming up with a plan. Here you apply everything you have learned and gathered to create a new plan. For instance, you might have realized that some of your bad habits contributed to your bad grade. Come up with new ways to change how you study to get better results in the future.
Strengthen your discipline
What did you find out after analyzing your mistake? Did you find out that you lack order and consistency when it comes to completing tasks? If this is the case, then time management skills are what you need to master. The following are some of the tips that will help you in creating a schedule and improve your discipline.
- Start with small goals
Don’t create large goals that can’t be achieved. Earning a fortune at once is not easy and it will only overwhelm you with a crazy workload. Small achievable goals are better and you can come up with a step-by-step guide and achieve them one after the other. This will help you achieve even larger goals.
- Prioritize your tasks
Evaluate your tasks and decide which ones require more time and effort. After this, organize your studying process. Start with the most challenging assignments or tasks when the brain is still fresh and finish with easier tasks.
- Allocate enough time for each task
Avoid overestimating your strengths and allocate enough time for every task. Make sure you have enough time to work on each assignment properly. Evaluate your skills and resources to decide on the amount of time you need to complete each assignment.
- Break big tasks into smaller tasks.
A very huge task can be overwhelming to the extent that you don’t know how to start working on it. Try to divide the task into smaller ones that are manageable. The smaller ones can rarely stress you as compared to larger tasks which makes it easy for you.
- Keep your weakness in mind
Every person has a strong and weak side. Don’t ignore this as it can help you manage your time and it also allows you to decide on the tasks to give first priority and what task to allocate more time to. If you struggle with distractions, try as much as possible to avoid them.
- Remove distractions
When studying or working on assignments, make sure you have a comfortable study area. You can put your smartphone on silent mode and turn off all the unnecessary apps on your laptop for maximum concentration. You can choose to study with cool music to avoid other noise. You can also go to the library or a park if you are more productive in such places.
- Try to be flexible
Because we cannot anticipate all the obstacles or unexpected circumstances, it’s important to be flexible. Be ready to adjust your plans and don’t panic if things don’t happen as per your expectations. Learn to organize and adjust your thoughts to get back on track as soon as possible.
Consult your professor
It is the tutor’s responsibility to guide you when learning difficulties arise. In case you have any problems, don’t be afraid to ask your professor for help. You can call them during office hours for clarifications. Ask them about the mistakes you make regularly and what you can do to avoid such mistakes. The following tips can guide you in case you want to talk to your professor.
- Review your mistake yourself
Most universities and professors have a grading rubric which is the ultimate guide for students. You can check it out to evaluate your work accordingly. Using the rubric, highlight the parts that you were unable to meet the requirements while noting what was expected from you.
- Choose when to have this conversation
You can decide to meet the lecturer in the office during working hours. In case it is possible, make sure you arrange your meeting with the lecturer in advance. You can call and arrange a meeting with them depending on the time the lecturer will not be very busy to avoid finding them busy or absent.
- Be polite and straight to the point
Always remember that you are coming to your professor to get help and assistance so as to improve your grades. Have a list of questions that you want to ask them, and be thankful at the end of the session for the time the professor dedicated to you.
- Be open to criticism
Don’t get defensive because learning is a constant cycle of identifying and fixing mistakes. Accept any criticism and recognize your mistakes.
- Clarify how you can do better
Once you have received feedback from your tutor, you can ask them for further advice. There is a high probability that they have tips that can help boost your academic performance.
- Thank the professor for the advice
Once you have gotten all the help you needed, don’t forget to express your gratitude. Even though analyzing mistakes is not the most pleasant procedure, it is very important as it can help you avoid repeating the same mistakes in the future.
Get a study buddy
Most students have trouble concentrating on their tasks. If you are in this group, you could benefit from finding a study buddy or joining a study group. By working on your assignments with a partner or a team you get to exchange your thoughts, opinions, and knowledge. This can help you understand the materials better to produce notable results. Revising with a productive group will also help you avoid distractions that stop you from procrastinating. When looking for a study buddy you can ask friends or classmates. A study buddy should have the following qualities.
- Willingness to study. The main goal of revising with another person is to get motivation from them. Someone who might be interrupting you during the study period to chat is not an ideal study partner. Make sure studying is given the first priority and that both of you needed a study partner.
- Same study style. Some people prefer a group discussion while others prefer to study alongside another person but in silence. Your study partner should have a study style that is similar to yours.
- Something to consider when creating a study session is the schedule. Compare timetables with your partner and find out if you can find a study period that works for both of you.
- Positive approach. A positive mindset can help you stay focused and not give in to stress and anxiety. A good study buddy will encourage you and help boost your mood and also make study sessions enjoyable.
- Strong discipline. Being punctual is an important aspect of an effective study session. Make sure the person you accept as a study buddy won’t add unnecessary stress by consistently arriving late and disrespecting your study time.
Why do students get bad grades?
There are many different reasons why students get bad grades. Some get bad grades due to failure to complete and submit assignments. Although some do assignments, they do not do them well or they might not be putting in enough effort. The following are other reasons why students get bad grades.
Getting a bad grade due to focus issues is very possible. A student can be in class and not hear the teacher especially when they start daydreaming. When the teacher is in class teaching, a student might be thinking about what they will do after school, what they will eat for lunch, how their family or friend are doing, etc.
This might also happen during a test especially when the student does not know the answer to a question, instead of skipping it, they might spend time trying to figure it out and run out of time to finish the rest of the test. A student might also have focus issues by getting carried away by things happening around them in class. Having friends who are passing notes in class, making faces, or outside noise is also a source of distraction.
Focus issues can also stem from a medical condition such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). If that is the case, the student can take a dedicated test by a licensed professional that will be able to uncover whether their focus and grade-related struggles are indeed caused by the underlying medical issue and figure out the way forward. Whatever the reason, in case you can’t focus on what is happening in class, you won’t be able to learn which in most cases will result in a bad grade.
Struggling with motivation
At some point in life, we have all been in a class we couldn’t seem to care about. Maybe the material was dry, or we were struggling to keep up. Whatever the reason, a lack of motivation can lead to serious consequences.
In case you are asking yourself why you get bad grades, consider the fact that when students are unmotivated, they tend to come to class late and unprepared, some fail to do their homework while others fail to participate in group discussions. From this, they end up getting low grades. On top of that, a lack of motivation can lead to boredom and apathy, which will definitely damage a student’s academic performance.
If you are struggling with a lack of motivation, it is important that you consult your teacher or get help from a counselor. You can also consider getting assignment help from Assignment Essays in case you have upcoming assignments that you fear you might get a bad grade or miss a deadline. Contact us immediately if you don’t want to find yourself stuck with a low GPA.
Some students struggle with procrastination and this has resulted in them getting bad grades. When you procrastinate you tend to put off the work that you are supposed to be doing and later on is when you realize that your grades are dropping. This can affect your grades in a great way especially if you are struggling with a certain subject.
Procrastination is a very bad behavior because when you procrastinate, you don’t only waste critical learning time but you also miss opportunities to practice and develop your skills. Thus, most students who struggle with procrastination often find themselves falling behind in their studies. There are certain strategies that can help you overcome procrastination habits. In case you are struggling with procrastination, make sure you look for help as soon as possible to avoid getting bad grades.
Lack of self-confidence
Have you been wondering why you are smart but can’t get good grades? A lack of self-confidence may be the cause. When students lack self-confidence, they tend to doubt their abilities and even think they are not good enough. From this, they may not feel motivated enough to work hard in school or they might not put in enough effort to get good grades.
A lack of confidence can also cause anxiety and stress which might interfere with concentration and focus. As a result, you must look for ways to build self-confidence to succeed in school and get good grades.
Poor work ethic
There are several reasons why a poor work ethic can contribute to a student getting bad grades. Students with a bad work ethic are less likely to complete their assignments on time or even get into hard studying mode. This can result in a snowball effect where one unfinished assignment leads to another and so on.
In most cases, students with poor work ethics are less likely to study for exams or participate in class group discussions or debates. As a result, they will go to the exam room when they are not prepared which will result in a bad grade. In addition, students with poor work ethics tend to be disorganized and more chaotic and most of them do not have a study schedule. This can contribute highly to them forgetting about assignments and due dates and thus missing many assignment deadlines.
Effective communication is one of the most important skills every student should have so as to succeed in school. After all, the biggest part of the learning process involves exchanging ideas and information with others. For some students, communication difficulty can make it difficult for them to participate in class discussions and even understand their teachers.
Some of these communication difficulties can result from a language disorder or hearing impairment. Even students who do not have these problems may have challenges with communication if they are shy or they are introverts.
Regardless of the cause, communication difficulties can affect a student’s performance and that’s why teachers need to be aware of the signs and be willing to support and help students with such problems. The good news is that with some effort and patience, even the most reluctant communicators can learn to express themselves and enjoy the benefits of an engaging education.
How do you deal with a bad grade?
Bad grades can be very disappointing but it is important to always remember that they don’t define you as a person. The main question is “what do you do when you get bad grades?” The following steps will help you get back on track.
Maintain a positive mindset
In case the question “why do I have bad grades” is disturbing you, a change in mindset can help you view things differently. For success, you must have a positive attitude. Getting bad grades can tempt you to give up or feel sorry for yourself but maintaining a positive mindset can help you come out of this storm stronger.
A positive attitude motivates you to keep trying even when things seem to be getting harder. It also helps you see situations more objectively and this helps when it comes to finding solutions. Additionally, staying positive can help boost your confidence and improve your mood. This makes it easier for you to tackle any challenges that come your way. Maintaining a positive attitude can help you deal with any setbacks that you may encounter in your academic life and thus you should maintain it at any cost.
Discover your best learning style
Getting a bad grade can be a very discouraging experience as you may be wondering why you are so bad at school. You might be tempted to give up or accept that you are not good at a particular subject. The good news is that a single step can make a big difference: finding your best learning style. Everyone has different learning styles and understanding what works best for you is very important as it can help you overcome learning difficulties and succeed in academics.
There are three main study styles i.e. visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. Visual learners absorb information best when it is presented graphically or pictorially. Auditory learners prefer to listen to lectures, audio files, and discussions. On the other hand, kinesthetic learners learn best through hands-on experience.
Once you understand your best learning style, look for resources that match the style and start learning in a way that works best for you. With this, you can be sure to get the best grades possible.
Stop putting things off
One of the most dangerous behaviors that is most likely to affect your grades negatively is procrastination. It becomes very challenging especially when you put off working on an assignment or preparing for an exam to do things that add no value to your life, or to concentrate on things that are less important. This can contribute highly to you falling behind in class and getting bad grades.
Thus, if you want to improve your grades, try to break the cycle of procrastination and start getting things done on time. While breaking this cycle might be difficult, the rewards will always be worth it. You can learn more about how you can overcome procrastination here. How to avoid procrastination and laziness.
Hire a private tutor
In case you are struggling with a bad grade, hiring a private tutor for the remaining part of the semester is a great way to get back on track. A private tutor can help you understand the course material, catch up on missed assignments and classes, and develop good study habits. With the extra help, you get from the tutor, you can bring your grades up and avoid being left behind in your coursework. A tutor can also provide you with moral support when you feel discouraged.
If you are struggling with your grades look for help as soon as possible. A tutor might be all that you need to turn your grades around. You can also invest in an essay help service like Assignment Essays for assistance with assignments, coursework, and anything else that might be giving you a hard time.
Discuss additional credit with your tutor
A low grade on an assignment or an exam can make the student feel like a failure making it hard for them to move on from the setback. However, you should always remember that grades are only one measure of success in college. In fact, most lecturers love offering extra credit and help to students who admit to having bad grades and are ready to ask for help.
Contact your teachers and discuss with them the options available to you that will help improve your grades and get you back on track. Contacting your teacher shows that you are willing to work hard and take responsibility for your education. Always remember that asking for help has never been a sign of weakness but it is a sign of strength. Thus, if you need extra credit, feel free to contact your lecturer for help.
Fill in knowledge gaps
Bad grades can be a result of knowledge gaps and they indicate that some knowledge gaps must be filled and could be tied to poor grades in high school. The good thing is that these gaps can be remedied easily with a little extra effort.
For instance, if you are struggling with a subject like mathematics, you can practice independently or look for a private tutor. The main aim here is to identify the areas where you are weak and take all the necessary steps to improve. Hard work can help improve a bad grade to a good one. If you are struggling with bad grades, feel free to contact Assignment Essays for assistance.
How do you get over a bad grade?
Finding immediate relief
- Remind yourself that one bad grade won’t break your academic career
- Go through the test and recalculate your points to be sure
- Find out the grades your classmates got
- Let your panic pass quickly
Seek help to improve
- Consult your teacher on how you can improve your grades
- Get help from students who did well on the test
- Consider telling your parents that you got a bad grade
Acing the next test
- Study effectively, not necessarily longer
- Take good notes in class
- Take a break now and then to refresh your memory
- Take practice tests before the actual test
- Try not to cram
- Get a good night’s sleep before the test
- Have a good meal on the morning of the test
What not to do when you get a bad grade
As a student, there is a high probability that you might forget any advice if you get a bad grade. This is because getting a bad grade might make you feel lost and brokenhearted which is understandable. This is why we have come up with a list of the things you should avoid if you found yourself in a similar situation. Learning the consequences of destructive behavior can help adjust your reactions accordingly. The following are some of the things you should avoid.
Ignore your problems
A single bad grade is a sign of poor preparation, concentration, or understanding of the subject. However, failing to work on your mistakes puts you at risk of getting more bad grades in the future which will end up impacting your GPA negatively. Here are some of the problems that you should not ignore.
- Approaching the topic in chronological order. Whenever you are preparing for your final or midterm exams, always make sure you prioritize some subjects over others. Give more time to subjects that seem challenging to make sure you understand everything.
- Procrastinating first, panicking later. Sitting down to study might seem scary and even at times impossible but the hardest step is always the first one. Immediately you start the process, you will find that you are more motivated and eager to work on your assignment or study.
- Avoiding help until the last minute. Some students find asking for assistance difficult and this can have dire consequences in an academic setting. Your professor is more willing o help you go through the study materials and thus you should not hesitate to approach them if you have a question or a suggestion.
- Studying with distracting people. Avoid creating study groups with people who are not focused. You will not be able to focus if your study group constantly distracts you with idle characters. Always look for people who are eager to learn as they will actively learn with you. With such people, you will always find help and advice whenever you are confused about a certain subject.
- Ignoring your study preferences. Come up with the best method that makes information stick in your mind and the revision process will become easier and more effective. For instance, you might find that learning by watching videos or taking quizzes works best for you. Select the method that brings the best outcome with you.
- Avoid multitasking because switching quickly between different chunks of information does not give you enough time to understand any of it. Ensure you plan and prioritize your study schedule in advance to avoid getting overwhelmed by all the work you have to complete within a certain period.
- Studying without a break. Taking a break is important as it gives your brain time to rest and process all the new information. When creating your study schedule, don’t forget to include small breaks to breathe before going back to the grind.
Fixate on a failure
Getting a single B, C or even an F does not make you a failure or a bad student. Don’t set yourself up for failure or think that you can’t better grades in other assignments. Concentrating on bad grades will not help you work on your mistakes and it will only worsen your mental health and self-esteem.
It is easy to get stuck in a cycle of constant negative self-talk when you are feeling down. This can make you feel more anxious and depressed. As a result, you might end up concentrating on the little flaws in your work instead of being happy about something else that you did well. A negative inner dialogue leads to a distorted perception of reality and yourself which results in you lacking motivation and missing great opportunities.
To avoid falling into a pessimistic outlook, you have to work on how you process your internal thoughts. Here is how you can transform negative self-talk into a positive one.
|Negative thinking||Positive thinking|
|It is not possible to accomplish this.||I will give it my best shot|
|This is too hard for me.||I’ll try a different approach|
|I’m too lazy to do this.||I don’t have to do this but I will come back later|
|I don’t have what it takes||I know I can figure this out.|
|This is new to me, and I will make mistakes||This is an excellent opportunity to enhance my knowledge.|
|No one has offered to help me.||I will try asking for help myself.|
|I’m scared of changes||Nothing ventured, nothing gained|
|I’m not improving at all||I will keep trying again and again|
Get obsessed with studying
Preparation and diligent revision for every subject is a worthwhile cause. However, avoid being a bookworm who only thinks about books. This will not only impact your mental health negatively but it will also exhaust you physically. This will also make you forget about life outside the academic institution. You can try to follow the advice given in this blog post to get better at your studies.
Tips on becoming a better student
Always be organized
Make a structured timetable to keep track of your deadlines, meetings, exams, and classes. Although you might have never used an organizer before, using one can prevent you from being overwhelmed and missing deadlines. You can invest in a planner or you can download a dedicated app for your phone and always remember to use it consistently.
Attend all the classes
Most professors have mandatory attendance policies which can affect your grades. Apart from this, listening and participating in classroom debates is a great way to absorb new knowledge. Avoiding missing out on classes unless you have a valid reason.
Whenever you attend classes, make sure you pay close attention to your tutor and their insight. Try to be a good listener and always ask for clarification whenever you need it. Don’t fear to take part in classroom discussions as this will help boost your understanding.
Take notes during classes
Although interacting with your tutor and classmates is educational and fun, you should never forget to take notes as forgetting everything you have heard is very possible. Take notes of all the crucial points brought up in class and revise them afterward. You can also organize and rewrite them to understand everything better.
Read all the required materials
Your tutor will assign you a reading list for a reason. All those books are important for your studies. Make sure you go through all these materials, jot down and highlight the most important parts to review them later on.
Learn to edit and proofread
Whether you are going through your notes or working on an assignment, always remember to edit and proofread your work. You cannot produce a final draft in one sitting and thus you should always go through your work severally to make sure it is high-quality and error-free. This will also help you memorize and understand any material in the work.
Get better at taking tests
Exams are very important in the academic field and in most cases, they comprise a large portion of your final grade. You can get better with exams by practicing with old copies and familiarizing yourself with the question format. When practicing this, make sure you time yourself and also follow other exam conditions.
Master essay writing
Essay writing is a very important skill that you should master as a student. Learning how to write short essays or term papers will help you greatly when it comes to doing assignments. If you want to master the art of writing, make sure you practice by creating outlines, editing, and proofreading. You can also request your professor to go through your drafts and give you feedback.
Improve your speaking skills
Although presentations are not in every class, you might still encounter them. The best way you can prepare yourself for a presentation is by rehearsing your speech as often as possible. You can also invite a few friends to listen to your presentation and ask you questions at the end to make sure you can answer any questions asked during the presentation.