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Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Special Section

Bounce back from a failed class — it’s possible


Many students will need to wait until May 11, after final grades are due, to see if they passed or failed a course. | Andres Chio / The Cougar

Finals are again upon us and not everyone is going to finish this semester strong, but that’s OK. Failing a class is a time for reevaluation, not panic.

Students that fail need to recognize what went wrong and what was controllable so they can make moves to improve. But for those that need a little help, here are tips and advice to help get back on track to graduating.

The first thing students need to do is retake the course. For grade points purposes, the class counts as a zero until it is retaken, then that zero is averaged with the result of the second try to determine the grade point for the class.

Students need 120 hours of course credit to get a bachelor’s degree, so a three-hour class counts for just two and a half percent of the GPA. A single bad class or even a few bad classes will not tank a GPA and make graduate school an impossibility. But getting it to a 1.5 or a two instead of a zero will make in near negligible.

If not having enough time to study was a problem, consider taking fewer classes next semester. Maybe the jump from high school or community college to the university level was a bit too steep. Taking fewer classes next semester to ease the transition might be the answer.

If the problem was with the professor’s style, then you can retake the course with a different professor or go to a tutor who can give you one-on-one time. Also, be sure to take advantage of professors’ office hours because they can tweak their teaching to help students in small sessions.

There are also many people on campus — other than professors — who are paid to help students pass classes.

If writing essays is a problem, check out the UH Writing Center either in person or online. The LAUNCH program in Cougar Village I offers tutoring for hundreds of classes daily, even during the summer. Of course, the internet has a ton of useful websites like Quizlet, Khan Academy and StudyBlue, to name a few.

Graduating in four years is the ideal situation, especially if you are in the UHin4 plan, but the most important thing is to graduate — even if it takes a little while longer.

Lastly, remember this is not supposed to be easy. Graduating college is an achievement, and it takes a lot of time and effort to reach this goal.

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