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Advice for StudentsExamsSettling inStudent Life

How I dealt with unexpected low grades and their aftermath!

5 March 2024

For more students than not, studying and living at university is a mixed bag- full of great grades, friends, independence and excitement but also low grades, stress, anxiety and more. Dealing with both sides of university sounds way easier than it actually is. No matter how hard you try, some days are just not going to be good days. So, the question is how do you deal with such tough situations and such tough days? Well, my answers were:

1. Seek help from tutors and professors

The first thing I did when I received a concerning and unexpected grade was to email both my personal tutor and my professor who teaches the module. The reason behind this is simple- they can help you get better and look forward. My personal tutor highlighted the ups and downs of that grade and even asked me if I wanted to dispute it. I didn’t. So, the next step was to gain more in-depth feedback from my module leader and evaluate my steps ahead. My module leader gave me a clear-cut explanation of why I didn’t score well and what I should do next time to avoid this from happening.

So, I’d recommend being in touch with your personal tutor throughout the year and to note down every single piece of feedback that you receive from professors and analyse it for further use. It is important to learn ‘what not to do’, especially in first year.

2. Start preparing for upcoming assignments

Another step that I recommend taking right after your assignment results are out is to focus on the upcoming deadlines and ensure you don’t lack any effort in them. This was important to me because I didn’t want to sit and waste my time and energy over a singular mistake. To make it better and to allow me to divert my energy into better and more amendable things, I started drafting plans for my assignments that I could bring with me to my module seminars and get some feedback on. This also allowed me to note down and discuss any questions that I might have for my professor or my seminar leader. They can help guide you so that you don’t make mistakes that could be easily avoided.

So, I’d highly recommend not letting a singular assignment take you aback and affect your further assignments. This can lead to immense amounts of stress and anxiety, thus hampering your mental health and your grades.

3. Sign up for extra help if you need it

This step is of course not something that everyone needs but I absolutely needed to take some time off to do things that make me happy. So, during the break days, I signed up to events conducted by the Student’s Union and tried to gain composure again before my assignments were due again. This allowed me to step back from my rigid routine and find things that make me happy as well such as reading, dancing and more. These healthy distractions allow you to grow and regain confidence so that you can excel after a while again.

So, instead of repeatedly thinking about that one low grade, allow yourself to recover and stabilise and give the next one your best.