So you didn’t get the grade you were expecting—now what?

A bad grade can come as a complete surprise. You may feel discouraged or start to question your ability to do well in college. College differs from high school in many ways, and prior habits may no longer work in this new environment. So what can you do?

  1. Accept. Recognize that you are feeling discouraged and that this is a normal reaction to the situation.
  2. Learn. Learn from the experience. If you are unsuccessful, you might feel tempted to blame instructors or extenuating circumstances. Ask yourself what can be learned from your current situation. Next, ask yourself what you can do differently next time.
  3. Change. Change pessimistic talk into optimistic statements. Remember what you learned instead of how you were graded. Also, remember that the situation is temporary; you can prepare to do better next time.

Still wondering where to begin? Try the following suggestions:

  • Read the professor’s or TA’s comments and go back over the paper or test to see what you will do differently next time.
  • Go to class and meet with your professors outside of class to ask for help with material you do not understand.
  • Identify what is keeping you from succeeding and create a plan to overcome these issues.
  • Learn what resources are available to you and use them.
  • Find one person on campus who cares about your success and ask for help.

You can also always schedule an appointment with a staff member from Academic Support Resources for Students via My Journey.