All Posts Tagged With: "good grades"
Failing essays or assignments already? How to deal with a mid-term grade crisis
Sarah had a slow start to her fall semester at UBC. She moved into a new apartment at the beginning of October, was waitressing part-time, and her boyfriend moved back to Vancouver and was taking up more of her time than usual.
But Sarah is a good student and is only taking three courses this semester instead of her usual five, so she was sure she could handle it. Then, in late October she got back the mark for her first assignment for her 400-level math class: she had failed. It came as a surprise to her. “I suspected that I may have done poorly,” Sarah says. “But I spent a lot of time on the assignment so I thought I’d at least pass.”
Now the semester is moving on and the workload in her courses has turned out to be enormous, and Sarah’s not sure if she can pull it together to pass her math class. What’s a girl to do?
Meghan Houghton, the Associate Vice-Provost for Student Success and Learning Support Services at the University of Calgary says that mid-semester grade crises are very common, particularly among first year students, who haven’t necessarily adjusted to the higher expectations of university.
“We know there is a natural transition period for students,” she says. “Their ‘A game’ from high school is requiring some refinement and polishing in order for that to be an ‘A game’ for university.”
If you find yourself in this situation, you should first seek out the learning support services offered by their school and refine their study skills. UBC, for example, offers writing tutorials, peer academic coaching, help hiring a tutor and piles of online academic resources, among other programs.
Another common cause of bad grades for first-years, Houghton says, is a lack of interest in what they’re studying. “Low grades on the first round of exams may be reflective of low motivation to study whatever it is they’ve chosen to study.”
Excelling is difficult if you don’t like what you’re studying. So, your bad grades could be a sign that you’re pursuing the wrong degree, and if that’s the case, you should make a change sooner rather than later. Make an appointment with an academic advisor at your school and they’ll talk you through what program is best for you.