How to cope with a failed grade

We’ve all been there: you sit down to take an exam and you feel like you’re reading a foreign language. The next thing you know, your teacher hands back the graded tests and you’re staring a failing grade in the face.

But how gracefully we accept this failed grade depends on our coping abilities. Bad grades affect the best of us – it’s a huge blow to our egos! It’s important, though, to remember that everyone has been where you are right now. We’ve all, at some point, under-prepared for something academically. So don’t beat yourself up over it! Instead, turn the bad grade into a valuable lesson.


As with anything you try to do that doesn’t work out, it’s important to take stock and see what went wrong and what can be done differently in the future. These times are actually really great jump-off points for future successes: you can take some time out to consider what went wrong with your study plan and make some changes.

Another important thing to consider is what measures you can take to dampen the failing grade: If it was a test that you failed, is it possible to retake it? Was the test really not worth that much in the long run and will doing really well on other assignments displace this bad grade? Think of all angles.

Take time out to relax

Stress builds up, and if you’re faced with a failing grade, you’ll feel even more stress. Don’t fret — take some time to yourself and do something to de-stress a bit, whether that’s a nice hot bath, a jog, or just some time to take in your favorite movie.

Then, be honest with yourself and set realistic study goals for the next test. Don’t be too hard on yourself and don’t let external pressures get to you, you need to succeed for yourself! So set achievable study goals and get study help if you need, but look after yourself!

Plan your next attack

Once you’ve done that thoughtful thing for yourself that we suggested above, you can move on to putting tip number one into action. Get your study plan in order and make it happen! Did you decide you’d be better off studying with some help? Try a Skooli tutor for online tutoring solutions that work around your schedule.

The worst thing you can do is regress into bad study habits or bottle your disappointment up inside — that just adds more stress to your study time. Let it out, and move on! Your next good grade is just around the corner!

Happy studying!

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