Bouncing back: What to do if you fail a test


No one wants to fail a test, but sometimes you just don't excel on every exam. It happens to everyone, and trust us, it's not the end of the world (even though it can feel like it). The good thing is that you can always do better, study more and learn from those mistakes. So instead of freaking out the next time you get a test back with a grade that you’re not so happy about, follow these steps to help you get back on track—stat. 

When you first get the test back
Seeing your grade for the first time might be shocking, You may have forgotten to study or struggled with the test a lot, but if you’re not expecting a low grade, finding out you didn’t do as well as you thought is really disappointing. If you're shocked by your grade, take a deep breath and flip your test over. Getting upset in class will only make you feel worse. Try to force a smile, and if anyone asks what you got on the test, just say that you did fine or that you would prefer not to talk about it. Keep your cool and no one will know that you didn’t do your best (and you won't have to feel quite as bad).

At the end of class
Approach your teacher and tell him or her that you aren’t happy with your test grade. Ask if there is any way that you can re-take the test or do an extra credit project. Even if it’s not possible, see if you can come in during your lunch hour or after school to sit down with him or her and go over why you got the answers wrong. This will help you prepare for the next test in the class.

That night
Talk to your parents and tell them that you got a grade that you weren’t happy about. It’s best if you tell your parents right away—that way, they won’t be surprised if they check your grades. Ask your parents if they can help you with your next assignment or test, or see if they would be able to find a tutor for you. 

The rest of the week
Look over your notes and make a serious study plan for the next test. If your teacher allowed you to do an extra credit project or a re-take, start working on that, and talk to your friends and see if you can study with them for the next test or project. Resolve to start paying more attention during class, try different note-taking methods and set aside times in the next few weeks to look over your notes so you don’t have to cram for the next test.

No matter what your grade, remember that you can always bounce back from a bad grade on a test. Your teachers want to help you succeed and if you reach out to them, they can help you feel prepared for the next test. If you complete all your homework and work hard on projects, you’ll get a good grade in the class. The most important thing is not to let this slip-up hurt you in the long run. Remember that failing a test or doing badly on a project happens to everyone, and it’s not the end of the world! Just learn from your mistakes to do a better job next time.

What do you do when you fail a test? Share in the comments below.


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by Dana Hilgers | 3/3/2019