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June 17, 2020, by Jayda

How to Handle Getting a “Bad” Grade at University

If you are reading this, then chances are you’ve gotten a disappointing mark on a piece of work. Or maybe you’ve just handed something in and are reading because you anticipate getting a bad mark. Whether you fall into the former category or the latter, just know that a low grade isn’t the end of the world. I know you’ve heard this before but coming from someone who had a disappointing mark or two throughout their university experience, it really isn’t that bad. In fact, sometimes it can be beneficial as, to borrow another cliche phrase, you can turn the negative into a positive.

1. Take your feedback seriously

If you want to improve your work one of the best way to do so is to understand where you went wrong and why. Feedback from markers is there to show you those very things, so to do better in the future implement the improvements suggested in your feedback.

 2.Talk to module convenors

Module convenors are a great resource when it comes to improvement, as they best understand the material covered in their modules, so talking to them is a great way to get a better understanding of something.

3. Attend Lectures/seminars

This may seems like a bit of an obvious one, but many a times you may be tempted to miss a few lectures possibly saying to yourself, “I’ll just look at the lectures notes/slides on moodle”. If you learn better this way then that’s fine, do what’s best for you. But if you find yourself struggling then attending lectures, and being able to ask the lecturer questions can be a good way to improve.

4. Time management

To do as well as you possibly can in any assignment, make sure you leave enough time to complete it. Starting something the night before it’s due and expecting to get a first is just not going to happen (unless you’re a genius) !

5. Don’t give up

The worst thing you can do after getting a bad grade is give up. Although it can feel disheartening if you’ve tried really hard, read all the material, and still don’t do as well as you’d hoped, keep positive and try not to dwell on it. Each time you start a new assignment I find that it helps to forget about the last one and focus wholly on what’s ahead.


My final and most important piece of advice is don’t panic! Most people will get a disappointing grade at some point throughout university. What matters is how you move on from it.


Posted in Jayda