Getting a bad grade: What to do and what to learn from it
If you’re a university student, it’s likely that you’ve received a grade on a midterm that isn’t exactly the grade you wanted. Receiving a poor grade on a midterm causes our minds to race with questions, such as:
- How could I mess this up? I studied hard for this midterm and still did poorly!
- Is my professor out to get me?
- Should I drop this class?
- Am I cut out to be a university student?
I’ve asked myself all of these questions in the past. As a student in my last year of studies, I still occasionally receive poor grades on midterms. They happen to everyone in university, but know that there are several steps you can take to reduce the stress that comes with a poor midterm grade and ensure they happen less in the future.
1. Take a break from studying for a few hours. After receiving a poor grade, reviewing material will cause you to become upset and prevent you from focusing. I would often watch a few episodes of my favorite TV show to clear my mind before reviewing the midterm.
2. Ask your friends. If any of them did better than you on the midterm, it doesn’t hurt to ask them for some study tips.
3. Most students don’t know this but professors are usually happy to look over a returned midterm with students if they make an appointment. Just send your professor an email and ask if they’d be willing to look it over with you so you can see which topics you need to study more. Professors are there to help, not to tear you down.
4. Reflect on how you studied for the midterm. Was your method of studying effective? If not, take a step back and evaluate which method would likely work best for you.
5. Make a study plan so that you can perform well on the next test. Typically, you want to start studying for a midterm at least 3 days before it takes place.
Receiving a poor grade can be very discouraging, especially after studying extensively; however, know that you are not alone. It happens to everyone and there are steps that can be taken to prevent it from happening again.