I have always been a pretty good student throughout my life. Never once had I ever been close to failing a class until Astronomy 113 hit me. I had switched into the class thinking it would be really fun to learn about planets and stars, but boy was I sooooo wrong. There were four tests in the entire class plus a few quizzes throughout, that was it! If you failed one test, you were pretty much done for.
That’s what happened to me. I got a 62% on my first quiz and I studied my butt off! I couldn’t believe it. Just a few weeks into my first semester in college and I would already have to drop my first class! There seemed to be no way for my grade to get back up since I’m not the best test taker. But I did it! I survived and made it through without having to drop! Here is how I bounced back from my first bad grade!
I Stayed Calm and Believed in Myself
It was only the first test of the semester, so I still had time to get my grade up to where I wanted it to be. If I dropped the class now I knew that I would eventually have to retake it at some point. With some extra work and some confidence, I believed I could easily bump my grade up by the end of the semester. I was a good student, I could do this!
I Learned From My Failure
Obviously, I wasn’t doing something right if I wasn’t getting the grade I wanted, so I looked back at my test. It sucked having to look at all those red pen marks but if I didn’t I would never know what I missed. It turns out, there was a whole section of the test that I got wrong, and it was all stuff I hadn’t thought to study for! I had a better idea of what I should study the next time and prevent getting another bad grade.
I Communicated With My Professor
I made it a point to visit my professor about my grade and to ask if he had any advice for me. He pointed me in the direction of some extra credit opportunities and answered any subject related questions I had. I visited him after every class for a month and I could see myself slowly getting better at the subject. He also went over each of my quizzes with me and showed me some of the material I should be looking at more. These professors are in charge of your GRADE. They are your biggest asset in your classes because they know what you should do to do well. So follow them!
If you’ve got a bad professor, check out my tips on How To Deal With A Difficult Professor
I Changed the Way I Studied
Normally, I would say flash cards are the way to go to study for every test, but I couldn’t be more wrong. Every subject is different and needs a certain special attention. I found that simply reviewing the information over and over again helped me so much more than flash cards did, and reviewing the material several times a day made it stick in my memory. I flipped open my notebook and just re-read my notes. That’s it! However, I did it over and over and OVER again, and again, until I knew every single part until my brain hurt.
If you’re looking for other study methods, check out my post Study Methods To Ace Every Kind Of Test
I Studied Outside my Study Schedule
Before my test, I was only studying when I planned to study. Since then I started studying every chance I got. During meals, early in the morning, or in-between classes, and it made remembering the material so much easier now that I was seeing the information multiple times a day.
I Made a Study Group
My study group saved my life for me. It was great having a group of people I could always come to for questions if I there wasn’t something I understood. During our study sessions we would all go through our notes together and if there was something one of us didn’t get, we’d all go over it together. So even if I knew some of the stuff we were talking about it was a great refresher session.
I Read the Textbook
That’s right, front to back. I analyzed every chapter of that book, especially before quizzes. I found out that my professor got some of his test questions from the review section of each chapter, so I made sure to go over every single one of those questions so I made sure I wouldn’t miss one of those questions on the test. I also had an online textbook as well that had instructional videos over certain sections which were really helpful! Take all the extra help you can, from videos, review questions, everything!
What is a class you struggled in but finished out strong? Leave a comment below!