How Can I Deal With a Bad Grade?

Today is the release of school examination results. If you have achieved good grades or meet your personal expectation, congratulations! If you have not, read on as I will share some tips that you can do right now so that you can improve in the new semester.

The first thing that you have to do is to come to terms and accept your bad grades. Getting a bad grade is not the end of the world. A friend of mine who is a teacher in Singapore shared with me that the journey of learning is a lifelong marathon and not a sprint. The grades that we are getting right now are just checkpoints to our learning journey and not the finish line. One bad grade does not adequately represent who you really are and your worth as a student. So do not be too hard on yourself. The very fact that you feel bad and concerned shows that you have high expectation of yourself and is motivated to change to be better. Talking it out with your parents and close friends will help to make yourself feel better.

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The second and the most important thing that you can do have self-reflection because you have to find out what is causing the problem. We cannot fix anything without finding out what is causing the problem first. It is very important at this stage that you are truly honest with yourself. Is it because you do not understand the materials being taught? If so, look for your teacher and schedule revision/extra lessons during your free time. Is it because you lack practice? If so, you can do more problems from the textbook, workbook and ask your teacher for extra problems/practice papers. Stamford Teachers and teachers, in general, are willing to help students as long as you inform them beforehand so that they have some time to schedule it in their calendar and prepare some revision lessons for you.

One useful thing that you can do is to spend some time with your subject teachers and ask for a detailed feedback on your paper. Have a separate notebook to note down the comments and feedback from your teacher. Next, you should re-attempt all the questions that you have gotten wrong and write down the correct solutions in your notebook. You should tell yourself at this point that you must not make the same mistake again. Revise this notebook frequently so that you become very familiar with the subject matter/common mistakes that you made.

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Another thing that you can do, which is no less important is to reflect on your study habits. You can ask your top performing classmates or seniors on their study/revision strategy and see if you can adopt it. Ask your teachers to help you plan your day and give you tips on the proper way of studying. Prioritise your activities. If you spend too much time on computer games and social media, take yourself away from the distraction by giving yourself solid study time without your mobile phone and away from the gaming console. After finding out the information, you have to make a commitment that you are going to follow the new study plan to get better grades. Announce it to your family and close friends, so that you will always be reminded when you are straying away from your plan. Do not be too hard on yourself if you stray, but you have to make the conscious effort to go back to your study plan whenever you stray.

You can also seek out other resources if the textbook that you are reading may be too difficult for you to understand. There are usually alternative textbooks in the library that you can check out and see if it explains the same topic better for your understanding. Alternatively, you can request your teacher to explain it to you again in simpler terms. Teachers are most willing and happy to help students understand the topic better, so don’t be shy to ask!

It all boils down to you eventually. How badly you want to improve to get better grades? If you want it bad enough, you will naturally take steps to change your present situation and improve. I will end this discussion with my favourite all-time quote:

If you change nothing, nothing will change.

Make that change today!

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