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What to do if you failed a subject

What to do if you failed a subject


With the new year around the corner, you may be looking to shift your study motivation. If a subject didn’t work out for you this year, here’s what you can do to bounce back and turn the tables.

Step 1 | Don’t panic

Sometimes, it is as simple as retaking the subject again or you might even be offered an AA (additional assessment) or AE (additional exam). Don’t resort to stress before exploring your options, there are plenty available and it’s not the end of the world. Breathe and consider the next few steps.

Step 2 | Talk to your lecturer

As unlikely as it may seem, there’s no harm in checking if a mistake was made in marking or entering marks, if you believe you deserved higher results.

However, even if this is not the case, speak to your lecturer about where you went wrong and how you can improve for next time. They can offer you extra support, such as one-on-one tutorials or additional resources.

Doing this in-person is easier and can allow for a more concentrated and focused discussion.

Step 3 | Don’t focus on the negatives

Having a fail on your transcript does not necessarily mean employers won’t consider you. Sometimes, this can provide an opportunity within an interview to discuss the difficulties or challenges you faced and how you overcame them.

Acknowledging imperfections with a keen interest to overcome barriers is actually an admired attitude by employers.

Step 4 | Plan your next steps

Talk to your course coordinator and decide whether you should retake the subject. If it is a core subject, you can discuss where you will be able to fit it into the graduation plan.

Other considerations may include transferring into another course or discontinuing university, however these are last resort options and should not be taken lightly.

Step 5 | If you try again

Seek assistance if you need it! No one is going to judge you for getting extra help or needing more time to complete assessments or topics. Some people learn differently to others, so it is very uncommon for everyone to walk out of a lecture and know everything accurately.

Remember that CSU offers extensive support, from counselling to assignment feedback to disability services.

It is important to remember that failing a subject does not label you as a failure. We are all human and there are other students in the same position as you, so push through and do the best you can.

This is an SSAF funded initiative
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