You just failed in a class. What now?

Getting a failing mark for a subject at the end of a semester is one experience every college student should never wish to encounter. Aside from the bad psychological effect of having a grade of 5.0 indicated on your transcript of grades forever, failing a subject also has two more implications.

Since you failed, you will necessarily have to take the subject once more (I loved telling my students that “Starting Over Again” is the theme song for flunking kids).

That means spending another four to five months on the same subject! If the subject that you failed is a prerequisite of a higher level subject, you may not be able to finish your program on time.

And by the way, you do have to tell your parents that you failed and have to retake the subject as a consequence (brace for some volcanic eruptions!). Like any catastrophic event that we know, you getting a failing mark will not happen without any warning signs.

Why students fail

Your performance in a class is a matter that only you and your professor know best. In my two years in the teaching profession, I can say that students will not fail a subject just because he or she flunked the finals test (that will be another incriminating circumstance, though).

He/she will a grade of 5.0 because of frequent unexcused absences. A student who’s not attending classes is bound to miss a lot of quizzes and class activities. He or she is also the one who’s always not aware of class requirements.

technological institute of the philippines students
Giving a shout out to my students at the Technological Institute of the Philippines!

Is it avoidable?

Of course it’s a given that a student has an obligation to attend his or her classes regularly. He or she is also expected to perform to the best extent possible. Your parents are not wasting their money on you, right?

It’s a matter of recognizing that there is a problem and having the willingness to address it head-on. Will doing a special project solve your problem? Ask about it!

Maintaining an open line of communication with your professor will be a big plus. If you sense that you have a problem with your class standing, don’t hesitate to ask the teacher about it.

Teachers are required to be able to show students their class standing when asked for it. Needless to say, teachers must be approached politely. It must also be stressed that students should know how to get in touch with their teachers outside the classroom.

Uhm, grades are now entered and I got a 5.0. What do I do?

If you think that the grade you received is erroneous, make sure you have all the evidence (e.g. checked papers, returned quizzes, etc.) to back up your claim.

Grades, even if already encoded in an online portal, can be changed as long as it can be established that it is wrong. Notably, teachers are usually punished for such mistakes.

What’s next for you?

So, you’ve already come to terms with the fact that you got a failing mark for a particular class. How will you move forward from there? Are you going to get disheartened from doing your best in the coming semesters? Or will you take the failure as a sign for you to strive a little harder next time? The choice is your to make. 🙂

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About Mark Madrona 1191 Articles
Mark Madrona is a prize-winning blogger, online journalist, and educator from the Philippines. Previously a book editor, he is now teaching communication subjects for two public universities in Manila. His blog The Filipino Scribe won 3rd place in a blog competition organized by the Affiliated Network for Social Accountability in East Asia and the Pacific (ANSA-EAP). In 2015, it was one of the finalists in the 2015 Lasallian Scholarum Awards for Best Online Feature Article in Youth and Education. He also won the Best Blog Award during the 2011 Population and Development Media Awards, the youngest recipient of that recognition. Know more about him here: http://www.filipinoscribe.com/about/.

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