Don’t let a bad grade get you down — with every mistake comes an opportunity to improve. Read this for tips on finding a way forward after a bad grade.

Maybe you’ve been having too much fun at school or didn’t understand the subject matter. Either way, finding out you got a bad grade is never pleasant. It makes you feel bad about yourself and overanalyze how it’s going to affect your coursework.

Unless you have a scholarship and it’s vital to keep your grades up, getting one bad grade isn’t the end of the world. However, you should use it as a learning experience.

With every mistake comes an opportunity to improve. Read on for tips that’ll help you cope with your bad grade and find a way forward.

Studying Smart

1. Process Your Feelings

It’s okay if you’re upset over the grade you received, especially if you studied hard but didn’t perform as well as you expected. Don’t beat yourself up about it.

Do your best to process what you feel so you can move on and learn from the experience. It won’t do you any good to sit around and dwell on the matter.

Focus on moving forward so you can do well in future classes!

2. Talk to Your Professor

Your professor won’t be able to change your grade, but they can provide feedback.

Find out how you can improve, especially if you plan to take more classes with them. You’ll need to understand their teaching and testing styles if you want to succeed on future exams.

So, ask the professor why which areas you need to work on in order to do better moving forward. You’ll feel good knowing you have a plan of attack for the future.

3. Find a Tutor

There are tutors on every campus who can help you prepare for exams.

For example, if you’re struggling with math, a tutor can walk you through problems to ensure you’re approaching them the right way.

You may have future math classes that relate to the course you didn’t do well in. Getting a tutor will ensure you understand what you did wrong in your last class.

Once you understand the errors you made, you’ll be more likely to succeed in future math classes.

4. Analyze Your Study Habits

Maybe you got a bad grade because you haven’t been using your time wisely. You may be socializing too much and attending too many events. Even though it’s fun to experience life to the fullest, your grades shouldn’t suffer!

To improve your study habits, learn some new techniques.

Here are some ideas on how you can better manage your time:
● Limit your social activities until your grades improve.
● Stop procrastinating and get stuff done.
● Set up (and stick to) a study routine.
● Go to bed at a reasonable hour.
● Get a planner or use an online calendar to keep track of your schedule.
Track your time so you can observe how you’re spending it.

5. Take Care of Your Mental Health

Grades are often affected by things that are out of your control. For example, you may have experienced the loss of a loved one, making it hard for you to focus. Or perhaps you’re feeling homesick and college isn’t what you thought it would be.

Don’t be hard on yourself. Even if your mental health is the root of your academic troubles, you can fix your grades.

Getting treatment is the best approach. By talking to a therapist, you’ll learn to cope with your problems so you can focus on school.

6. Pair Up With Another Student

The next time you feel like you’re struggling in a class, ask another student if they want to study with you. Even if you understand your course material, you can still learn from a study buddy.

They may have study techniques you’ve never considered. Or, they may know more about a particular topic than you. There are always benefits to studying with someone else!

The bonus perk is that you’ll be able to hold one another accountable. You’re bound to excel in class when you team up!

7. Learn From Your Bad Grade

There are plenty of potential reasons for bad grades.

For instance, maybe you’re in the wrong classes or even in the wrong major. If you’re studying science but wish you were in marketing, it’s not too late to change your focus area.

You’re likely to perform a lot better when you take classes you love.

A single bad grade shouldn’t get you down — it should prompt you to look for ways to improve.

Whether you decide to switch to a new department or take a break from school altogether, use it as a learning experience.


Getting a bad grade is something no student looks forward to. But the reality is that it’s pretty normal to get at least one lousy grade while you’re in school.

Not everyone gets straight A’s in every class they take. And if they do, you better believe they make mistakes in other areas of their life.

No one is perfect. So, the next time you don’t do well in a class, remember that your grades do not define your identity. Perform to the best of your abilities, and you’ll succeed in all that you do!

Adam Marshall is a freelance writer specializing in all things apartment organization, real estate, and college advice. He currently works with Verge Las Cruces to help them with their online marketing.