Methods for recovering from a bad grade

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After failing an exam, looking forward to the next one can be daunting.  There are many ways to recover from a bad grade, and faculty and tutors at Seton Hall University have a number of different methods so that students can reap the benefits.

Professor Victor Lane said that he understands the shock that comes with earning bad grades. He said that sometimes students think they studied hard for an exam, but when they sit down to take the test, they do not know any of the questions on the test.  

“The first thing is to see the professor.  We want to help you and share our knowledge and what we are passionate about,” Lane said.  He adds that the person who understands best how to pass a class is the professor who is in charge of said class, they can help the student assess where they went wrong in order to learn from their mistakes and work towards better grades in the future.

“Don’t think you’re not good in a certain subject, that is often not the case,” Lane said. Studying is different for every subject and sometimes people just have not figured out the right way to learn a certain subject so he suggests getting help from a tutor to improve grades.  

“Everyone is different, but you can’t wish a bad grade back.  You have to accept that you’re going to go forward from this, it’s a matter of figuring out the strategy that works for you,” Lane added.

Jason Oliveira, a freshman studies advisor said that he encourages students to utilize the resources available and most importantly speak to the professor.  “The ARC has tutors for different subjects and they offer great workshops.” Olivera said.

Oliveira pointed out that he had received some bad grades in college and when he spoke with his professors, they recognized that he was taking too many notes and not focusing on the most important information. “I showed him my notebook and he couldn’t believe how much stuff I was writing. I had so much information that I wasn’t studying what I needed to,” Oliveira said.

When preparing for future exams without the stressful reminder of past failures, Oliveira said, he tells his students that they can’t avoid stress, but they can manage it so it’s important to plan ahead, but not to  plan too ahead that they get overwhelmed by the amount of work.

Tricia Boccard, a tutor in residence at Boland and Aquinas Hall, said her first step to regrouping after failing an exam is to stop looking at it.  

“After  giving yourself some time, go back and look at the exam and try and figure out what you did not do correctly,” Boccard said. “Note what about your study schedule may have affected your grade.  Should you have studied more than one night before?  Did you not sleep well the night before?  These small things can make all the difference in your grade.”

“Above all, always move forward.  Never let one bad grade discourage you from learning and trying to do your best in the future,” Boccard added.

Alexandra Gale can be reached at

Author: Staff Writer

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