4 Ways to Bounce Back From A Failed Grade

Have you recently taken your final exams and received a failed grade? We all know how exams can be nerve wrecking, especially when it’s the final one of the semester! These exams pretty much determine if you’re going to pass or fail a course, and no one wants to retake a course and have their GPA destroyed. But, things happen, and you just have to pick yourself up and move forward.

Don’t dwell on the fact that you may have failed ONE exam, consider the fact that you made it through the entire semester as a whole. Look at your options, and start from there. If you know there’s no chance of extra credit, here are 4 things you can do to bounce back from failing your exams.

1. Ask your advisor about failed grade

This step is extremely vital in the process of re-building your academics after struggling with an exam. Your advisor will know exactly which classes to enroll in that will either make-up for this class or balance out your GPA. Don’t be afraid to be honest with them, as they are only there to help. Re-set your schedule for the following semester and discuss the possibility of taking additional courses over break.

2. Take additional courses

After meeting with your advisor choose a course or two from the approved courses they’ve given you. There’s always a break in between semesters, so you can take advantage of this time to rebuild your GPA. Whether it’s winter, spring or summer break, there will always be available courses to take. This will give you the chance to catch up on the credits you’ve missed.

3. See a tutor

Chances are that if you failed your exam you struggle with comprehension of this course. If this is a mandatory course for your Major, you know you’ll have to take it again. With this being the case, you can get a leg up in the course with some extra help. Getting a tutor is not only free at most colleges, but will give you some time to practice before re-taking the course. Things will be much easier the next time around.

4. Take part in an internship or volunteer

Some internships and volunteering opportunities can count as course credit and are fun all-around to indulge in. Not only will you be polishing up your resume, but you’ll also be learning new things and having a great time. If you can find one that counts as course credit, it looks great on your resume and will take this exam failure off your mind with something productive.

For the best outcome, try to do at least 2 of these things. From one college students to another, I hope these tips help you! Share them with your friends to save a life! 😊

What other ideas do you have on how to come back from a disappointing grade? Share your tips with us in the comments.


Shaloun Mims is a Secondary English Education Major at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee. With her degree, she plans to give back to the inner-city by educating its fragile youth and restoring a structured education system. Apart from a busy school schedule, Shaloun spends her time blogging, cooking and exercising. She’s very passionate about education and determined to help others become successful. Becoming a Student Ambassador is just the first step in fulfilling a life of educating, leading and supporting students. She is excited to represent the company and to be a part of the Cengage Team!

3 replies
  1. Dalia says:

    Hey thanks for writing this!
    It feels good to know that someone out there doesn’t believe I’m a failure because of a failed class. I’m super grateful for this post.

  2. Constant says:

    I think Cengage should be offering the possibilities to have access to exercises and problem allowing students with their texts book to train and gain knowledge during summer break or winter break. To eliminate pressure exercised on the students during semester, access to any assigning exercises or problems has to be available the entire break period. This kind of favor will incontestably prepare students in the following semester. I believe, with the elimination of pressure, the students will have the chance to assimilate the failed course with plenty success and be totally ready to efficiently face failed course in the following semester. If offering those possibilities will cost Cengage, Cengage can choose to charge students a price that is no more than the cost incurred in implementing the offering.


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