What to do if your grades aren’t as expected

Source: Alberto G via flickr.

By Susannah Griffin

What to do if your grades aren’t what you expect:

It’s no good being told ‘it’s not the end of the world’…

When your grades aren’t what you expected, it can be incredibly disheartening, especially if you’ve put a lot of effort into essays and revision. However, what’s in the past can’t be changed; so here’s some advice on what to do if your grades aren’t what you’d hoped for.

Look towards the future:

Unless you’ve failed completely, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to re-sit any exams to improve your grades. Therefore, rather than dwelling on the past, it’s best to look towards future exams and coursework, as doing better on these could improve your overall grade.

Analyse the problem, why didn’t you get the grades you expected?

Identifying why you didn’t get the expected grades is vital. Did you revise as much as you could have? Did you give yourself enough time in the exam? Did you read the question properly? Analysing what may have gone wrong, and acknowledging any feedback given can help you realise your mistakes and hopefully improve on the next exams.


If you’re in first year and your course doesn’t count for this year, you’ve got next year to improve your grades. It’s understandable to be disappointed, however, taking on board criticism is valuable as it gives you experience and allows you to prepare for next year.

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