A guide to improving low grades

Every once in a while we may receive a bit of a blow through the form of a failed assessment or maybe even a third, but there are some ways in which you can make sure it doesn’t happen in the future and possibly get that grade pushed up to a reasonable level.

Having had such a situation myself, I have found that having a low grade can affect other work as well, such as collective grades. You could have a few assessments for a module and that one poor grade can bring your other work down, or maybe it can sour your attitude to work in other areas, which can potentially cause a negative knock-on-effect.

Realistically you should be pestering your subject lecturers and tutors about assessments every few weeks before deadlines. Ask them to look over your work or email them for feedback when you can, even if you are completely confident in it, there is always room for improvement. They will be brutally honest if it is not what they expect and it may seem harsh if their response to a 2000 word draft of a research essay is to start over, but they are the experts and you will thank them when you see that 72 pop up on blackboard.

Even without check-ups from lecturers, you should have a readily available grade scheme in module handbooks or at least on your subject pages on blackboard. If not ask your lecturers or tutor and they should talk you through the grade requirements so you know what to include in your work.

If all else fails and you are presented with that dreaded grade there are steps you can take to improve it. Firstly get in-person feedback from your assessor. It’s okay to see a paragraph of what went wrong online but having the assessor fully explain why you went wrong and how you can change for future assessments is hugely helpful, so don’t forget to make an appointment with them.

There is also resitting which usually applies when you actually fail an assessment. The same can also apply to exams too which will normally be held in the summer holidays. Assessments can also be redone outside of your current modules, obviously, there will be a new deadline for your resit.

In the worst case scenario you could fail a module altogether, but again, you have the opportunity to resit the work over your summer break, which will give you plenty of time to focus on that work and potentially improve it, just talk to your module lecturer to discuss your options.

It can be incredibly disheartening to get a low grade or a fail but there are options available to improve grades and prevent it happening for future assessments.

This article is featured on Learning at Lincoln.

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