How to Turn Things Around When You’re Failing a Class

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Failing a class is not the end of the world. Take a deep breath & let’s get to work.

The semester just ended, and despite your best efforts, you failed the class. It’s not how you thought things would turn out when you signed up to college, but here you are. The good news? This happens to a lot of people. You’re not alone, and all is not lost. Take a deep breath, because there are things you can do to leave this one failure behind.


1. Understand Why You Failed the Class


The first thing to do after failing a class is to figure out why it happened.

Read the test or paper you submitted, and your professor’s comments. See if there’s anything you could have done differently.

Then, analyze what happened around the class. Ask yourself questions like:

  • How much did you study for the class or exam? Was it enough?
  • Are you getting enough sleep and eating healthily?
  • Is there anything in your life that’s weighing on you and distracting you?
  • If you saw this coming, what prevented you from asking for help?

2. Learning from Your Mistakes


Knowledge is power. The answers to the questions above will get you one step closer to understanding your situation and preventing it from happening again. Depending on your answer you might realize that you need to learn how to balance school and work better (link to article) or that you need to find a way to manage your money better, so financial concerns don’t keep you away from studying.

Alternatively, you might consider finding a study partner or getting a tutor to help you with this specific class.


It’s very common for students to take on so many responsibilities, they end up spreading themselves too thin. That, in turn, impacts the results they can achieve in college, at work, and at home. If that’s you, explore what rearrangements you can make in your schedule to ensure you have enough time to study.


3. Consult with Your Professor to Avoid Failing a Class Again


If you failed a class, consider approaching your professor to discuss what you could have done differently, and if there’s anything you can do now to save the grade. If there isn’t a way to save the grade, ask them what they recommend you do next time to get a better result.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. It might be uncomfortable at first, but it’ll be worth it. Remember that professors are human beings, and are usually in your corner, hoping you’ll succeed.


4. Get Moral Support and Give Yourself a Break


Failing a class can be hard emotionally. It can bring up a lot of concerns about ourselves and our future. Don’t be left alone with these feelings. Talk about them with someone you trust so that you can move through them faster.

Having someone to remind us why we’re great even when we fail makes it easier to forgive ourselves, and move forward despite our fears.

It’s easy to beat ourselves up when we don’t succeed. But at the end of the day, it won’t get us far. Give yourself some time to feel bad, but don’t be too hard on yourself.


Remember that failure is a part of life, and it happens to everybody. It’s how you handle it and how you move forward that matters.

Don’t forget – You can turn things around.