It has happened to the best of us. You study until the midnight hour for a test and feel confident that you are going to ace it, only to be surprised with a less impressive grade than you expected. Don’t worry! There are a few ideas on how to bounce back after getting a poor grade.
It is natural to feel a little down or frustrated after getting a poor grade, especially if you were not expecting it. It is always best not to beat yourself up about it! Relieve some stress after getting a poor grade by doing a short and fun physical activity, like going for a bike ride, a swim, or to the gym. This helps clear your mind and allows you to later objectively try to understand why you got a poor grade. Even more importantly, if you mentally linger on the bad grade, this may also affect your performance in other classes, assignments, or exams. The good new is that while a bad grade may have a psychological affect, individual grades are normally averaged out, so if you focus on performing better in your other assignments, the poor grade’s impact naturally gets diminished. Therefore, your primary focus should be on the overall grade for a class and not on one single or individual grade. Remember, class participation, a positive attitude, and good grades on projects or assignments can also help to boost your overall class grade.
Review the mistakes you made and correct them in case they appear in the future. Everybody makes mistakes, what’s more important is not to repeat them. Go over your assignment or exam again and review all the areas you went wrong. If you are not sure why you got a poor grade in a particular section, do not hesitate to ask your teacher or professor for clarification. Talking to your teachers or professors helps ensure that you fully understand why you received the grade in order to prevent a reoccurrence in the future. Teachers and professors want their students to well, and are always happy when a student shows initiative. Ask them if there are any opportunities for extra credit – if there are, take them!
Most importantly, ask yourself this question: Did I truly study as hard as I could/should have for this assignment or exam? If your answer is ‘no’, then plan ahead to set aside study time for next time. Also, think about using different study techniques, such as using visual charts, re-writing answers instead of just reading them, write some pop quiz questions on recipe cards for your friends or family to use to test your knowledge, or create a different study atmosphere by going to a library.
My last, and favourite tip to help you ace your next text/exam is to eat CHOCOLATE – not too much though! Recent studies show that eating reasonable amounts of chocolate before a test or exam can help you focus, improve your mood and enhances brain activity.
Good luck on your next exam or assignment!
More great information on the causes of poor grades and how to deal with them
Discover some of the Reasons for Bad Grades