How to Deal With a Bad Grade
If you receive a bad grade, don’t let it get you too down. Everyone receives a lower grade than they had hoped at some point in their lives. What’s most important is that you deal with it effectively. If you take the right steps, you can actually make that bad grade beneficial in the long run. By coming to terms with your bad grade, figuring out what went wrong, and planning effectively for the future, you can turn your bad grade into a positive learning experience.
EditComing to Terms with Your Bad Grade
- Don’t be too hard on yourself. Receiving a bad grade isn’t the end of the world. Don’t think one bad grade represents your overall worth as a student. The very fact that you are concerned shows that you are motivated and have high expectations for yourself.
- Remember that a “C” is usually considered average, a “B” above average, and an “A” exemplary. Putting it into perspective, maybe your grade isn’t as bad as you thought.
- Take some time to process your reaction. You may feel anxious, frustrated, or even confused. It’s okay to be upset. Let it out. Suppressing your emotions will only make you feel worse down the line.
- Put some distance between you and the grade for a while. Dwelling on it further while in a heightened emotional state will just make the problem seem worse than it is. Try to do something that takes your mind off of it.
- Exercising, talking with friends, listening to music, or doing fun things you enjoy are all healthy ways to relieve anxiety.
EditFiguring Out What Went Wrong
- Look for patterns of error. Finding a pattern in your mistakes is a good way to isolate and overcome your problem areas on your own.
- Was there a subject, like math or English, that you didn’t do well on? If so, study more frequently in those areas.
- Was there a group of related test questions you missed? If so, try to categorize them and figure out what subject you could study harder in.
- Did you continually show up to class late? If so, try to be more punctual.
- Ask your teacher for detailed feedback. They know your strengths and weaknesses, so don’t be afraid to ask for help.
- Instead of asking, “why did I get a bad grade,” ask, “how can I restructure my answers in a way that would earn me a better grade?”
- Seek advice from classmates. Ask others if they’re willing to share the grade they received. If they all received similar grades, maybe the problem is with the material and not you. If they did better than you, ask them what kind of strategies they think led to higher grades.
- Sometimes teachers curve the grades in a class in which many students are struggling. If a lot of students did poorly, a low grade won’t be as detrimental as you thought, and you can rest easier knowing that.
EditPlanning Effectively for the Future
- Commit to your goals for improvement. Once you’ve recognized areas where you need to improve, you can take the steps to do so. Make positive changes in your life where necessary:
- Write out a study schedule and follow it routinely. A regular schedule can significantly reduce anxiety and improve performance.
- Get more sleep. The amount of sleep you get heavily affects your mood and ability to absorb and retain information. 
- Don’t procrastinate.
- Eliminate distractions. Prioritize the things that matter most.
- Seek extra credit opportunities to make up lost points. Often times, teachers just want to see that you’re willing to put effort into your work. Ask if they’d be willing to let you improve your grade by completing extra assignments. If you can’t change your grade, maybe you can supplement it.
- Be mindful of helpful resources at your disposal. Tutoring centers, teacher office hours, and study groups all exist to help you succeed. Consider restructuring your future study habits by incorporating some of these resources into your routine.
- Move on. While you may not be able to change the grade you’ve received, you can take the necessary steps to improve. Try to consider it a learning experience. Forgive yourself for your mistakes. One bad grade isn’t going to determine your future, and it isn’t going to define your aptitude as a student either.
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EditSources and Citations
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