There are many blog posts out there that talk about how to gat an A in your classes, however there are not many posts talking about what to do when you get a bad grade on an exam. So as finals approach I want to give some advice on how to salvage your grade in a class. These skills are essential especially becasue you may not get every concept the first time.
- Go to Office Hours This is something that seems so simple and obvious, but you would be surprised how much it helps. For starters your professor now knows your name and he/she knows that you care about your grade and you are not just going to role over, but you are going to improve. It will also help to walk through the exam and see what you are not understanding and what you should be doing to understand the concept. You can also discuss studying strategies becasue you may be trying to memorize things when doing problems may be the better option.
- Change your Approach This means that if you were reading the textbook word for word you amy need to change this becasue it is obviously not working and truthfully successful students never read the textbook. They skim and outline the main topics and write down questions for class. This also means that now instead of maybe checking Instagram during class you need to actively participate, and this may mean asking questions in class or simply writing down questions. If you pay attention you may get hints from professors about what will be on the exam. You are not trying to reinvent the wheel here, but you do need to figure out what studying technique will work for this class.
- Ask Yourself Questions I truly believe this is an underrated technique, but it is very helpful and this way you can see how much you really know. Ask questions that you think will be on the exam. You need to constantly be testing yourself in order to check in to see if you really know the material. This is what separates the average from the great students, when they can answer the whys?
- Don’t wait for motivations to strike You now know you need to put the work in so it is time to suck it up and get down to business. Sure you don’t like your professor and now that you have failed one exam you are questioning whether the class is worth it or if you should even be in that major, but I am telling you that you can do this. It is one exam, and this exam failure will teach you how to put in the work now to see results later.
Hope these four things will help you salvage your semester!!