How to Deal with a Bad Grade

Emma Quinn
Published on
May 21, 2021

Let’s be honest: This year has been crazy. I don’t think anyone could have predicted our school year to turn out this way. Shifting to mainly online learning has been difficult for both students and teachers, and many high schoolers have been receiving grades that they aren’t used to getting.

Here are a couple of ways to destress when you don’t get the score you were hoping for along with what steps to take moving forward.

Take a deep breath.

No one is perfect. Remember that in times like these, especially, life is far from ordinary. One of the worst things you can do is be too hard on yourself. Accept your score, but get ready to absolutely ace the next exam.

Get your mind off of it for a while.

Remind yourself that you can’t do anything to change it anymore. Go on a walk, listen to some music, focus on something else. Some people have specific playlists or comfort movies/shows(I recommend How I Met Your Mother or Gilmore Girls) that allow them to unwind and destress. Find a routine that can help you calm down and stick with it.

Look over the test.

It may hurt to see the mistakes, but it helps so much to know what you got wrong. Redo some of the problems, so you know where exactly you went wrong. Also, look at what problems you got right! It’s a nice little boost to see you get a question you initially thought was hard correct.

If you’re confused, talk to your teacher.

They want to see you succeed! I’m sure they’d be happy to schedule a meeting or call with you to go over some material that you don’t understand. If you’re not comfortable with that, even just sending them a quick email asking them to go over a particular problem can help you better understand the material moving forward.

See if there’s extra credit.

I know some teachers don’t give any, but sometimes it doesn’t hurt to ask. Teachers will often boost your grade if you complete an extra project or assignment, which will help balance out a lousy grade.

Change small things such as your participation.

Many teachers will boost your grade if you do small tasks such as raise your hand in class or submit your homework on time, and these small points can go a long way.

Prepare for the next test.

Look over your past mistakes and make a plan on how to fix them. Study earlier, and tell yourself that you’re going to ace it next time.

When your next test comes, don’t freak out.

Focus on the material you studied and keep your past mistakes in the back of your mind so you won’t make the same ones this time around. Stay calm; you know the material!

Remember, you are smart, talented, and human! Keep in mind the fact that everyone makes mistakes. Find little ways to motivate yourself as you prepare for the next exam. You got this!

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