4 answers

Can a student recover from failing a college class?

Asked Wendell, North Carolina

How many classes can a student fail before they are not able to succeed?

Can a student recover from a few failed classes after retaking them and getting a better grade?

What happens when you take a class that cannot be retaken because it is above 3000, but you need it to succeed?

Can I still make a 3.5-4.0 GPA with failed classes that have been retaken?

These are the questions I have as a student who went through failing a couple of classes because of being stressed my first semester and now trying to make up for it.
I have never failed classes before until University and have been an almost straight A student all through HS and community college. Now I'm struggling.

I need reassurance of whether I can make it through college and make the good grades and high GPA I want, but with full honesty.

#college #grades #gpa #classes #failure #help #mental-health #recover #recovery #student #student-development #freshmen #sophomore #class #stress #stress-management #university

4 answers

Dr. Ray’s Answer

Updated Fort Worth, Texas

Dear Brooklyn,


I received one F and two D's during my undergraduate career. Most of my other grades were A's and B's so they did not affect my total GPA that much. I received one of the D's in my first semester in college, partly because I was overwhelmed by how much more demanding college was compared to high school. Perhaps you are dealing with a similar issue. The next semester I made all A's and B's, and your grades will probably improve, although you will not be able to make a 4.0. Even if you retake these courses and make A's the F's remain on your record, so your average grade in each class would be a C. Obtaining a 3.5 may still be doable if you can figure out how to allocate your time and study more effectively. As Angelina mentioned I would definitely talk to the instructors in any classes your are currently struggling with. They can help you see if there is anything you can do differently to pass, of if you should drop the class.


I also want to mention that if F's were in courses in your major, somebody may be trying to tell you something, i.e. maybe this is not the best field for you. I started out as a physics major but eventually switched to psychology, partly because my first D was in an introductory physics course (it also turned out I didn't like the subject).


Mostly I want to reassure you that many incoming students have the same problem and most of them are able to go on to a happy and productive college experience. Albert Einstein failed the entrance exam at the University of Zurich in mathematics the first time he took it. He was admitted on the second try and went on to become one of the greatest scientists in history! Not bad company! I wish you the best in pursuing your goals.


Ray Finn, Ph.D.




Angelina’s Answer

Updated Boston, Massachusetts

I will answer based on personal experience. I failed two chemistry classes my second and third semester and a physics course. My major was biology and those courses were needed. I would have failed more but I dropped the class before the semester was over, that also doesn’t look well but it was better than a fail. If you’re currently in a class that you are failing weight your options, talk to the teacher and plan accordingly to either try and pass or drop the class ASAP. All my failed courses I retook and got a better grade, but it takes a lot to bring your GPA back up even if you get an A+ the second or third time around. However, it is possible but you will need to work very hard from here on out to only receive As and high Bs in all your other classes, to get your GPA back up. Good luck and really try to practice self-care so you don’t burn out and learn about how you study/learn best, everyone is different.

Rachel’s Answer

Updated

You will need to focus on stress and time management. In order to manage stress you have to manage your time wisely. <span style="background-color: transparent;">You have to set a routine for yourself and stick to it for the most part. Once you get into the groove of a routine it will be much easier for you to manage your time and have enough time for everything you need to do (including relaxing). Make yourself to-do lists on a weekly basis, use Google calendar or a planner to keep track of events, deadlines, and due dates. In addition to setting a routine and sticking to it, plan out relaxing activities into your day. Or set aside a time, after everything is done for the day, that you can have "me" time. I have also personally found it essential to not only find time for myself but also make use of that time in a way that is best for me and my holistic wellness. I have found the HeadSpace app to be an essential tool in helping me relax and generally feel more relaxed throughout the day, Guided meditation, even if you have a busy schedule, will make you feel more at ease and relaxed throughout the day as a whole (not just when you have the time to relax and focus on that "me" time).</span>

<span style="background-color: transparent;">Set a routine.Use Google Calendar.Set aside Me TimeWrite weekly to-do lists and use a planner.Find a peaceful and restful activity that will help you feel relaxed.</span>



Ken’s Answer

Updated Cleveland, Ohio

I would not give up. There are some things that you can do in this situation which can help.

Ken recommends the following next steps:

  • Talk to your academic adviser and your professors to work with them to discover how you might be able to get better grades. Sometimes there are tutors or study groups for the subject areas. Sometimes there are programs to help people to develop better study habits.
  • When someone is having such a hard time, I sometimes wonder if they might be studying an area for which they are not well suited. Sometimes talking to the counseling department of your school and arranging to take an interest and aptitude test to determine what career area that most closely matches your personality traits and having it interpreted by a counselor would be a great step forward.
  • Also, when you get the results of the interest and aptitude testing, talking to the person at your school who works with and tracks graduates and arranging to talk to graduates in your career area of interest could give you some ideas about the best way to study and prepare for involvement in that career area.
  • Many people have excelled after having started out poorly. The most important thing for you to do now is to look at the above ideas and work developing a plan to move beyond this point. Many people are there to help you along the way. All you have to do is ask.
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