What To Do If You Failed a Subject

Almost everyone can understand the struggles of being a student. There come the barely passing grades, deep dark eye circles, endless caffeine consumption, botched recitations, and a half-decent essay grade. The list goes on and on, and while it’s so simple to just leave things as they are, it’s more fulfilling to take up the challenge to become better. There’s such a sweetness to tasting victory after pushing yourself to take on a difficult task and eventually proving yourself wrong. Because even after all the failures, you will end up succeeding anyway. Why? The truth most people end up overlooking is that getting nearly perfect grades isn’t what school is all about – it’s actually about learning. So if you find yourself facing a sticky situation you’d rather be avoiding, like a failed subject, what do you do?

Even after all the failures, you're bound to succeed anyway - as long as you keep trying.

What do you do?

  • Go and get help

Perhaps one of the factors that contributed to this outcome is your professor unable to explain the concepts as well as you would have hoped, or you’re simply in need of more time to master the material. Online resources can help immensely, as most of them allow you to learn the material at your own pace, even setting aside time for you to review until you’ve mastered it. There are various sites and platforms available online, and you only have to choose which one will work best for you.

  • Reconsider your list of priorities

Look into your priority list – is schoolwork at the top? If it isn’t, then you need to find a way to change that immediately. While a relaxed approach to academics may work well for others, you must remember that you’ve already failed a subject and are on the verge of failing another. It is clearly not working for you. Re-order your list and re-examine your schedule. What’s taking most of your time and attention? 

  • Have the courage to your professor

As you prepare to take the subject again, consider talking to your professor. Perhaps your struggles are results of easy-to-fix problems your professor can help you identify. If you are certain that it isn’t the case, deciding to let your professor know that you’re aware of what happened and are willing to do something about it will be beneficial to you. With luck, your professor can actually offer you extra help or point you to a tutor that can help you strengthen your weak spots.

  • Go the extra mile

Now that you’re starting over, remember to always go the extra mile. If there are extra assignments you can do for credit, make sure to accomplish them. This will help bring your grades up, especially if you’ve failed a major test or assignment. Also keep in mind that doing beyond what is expected of you can help make an impression that you’re serious about the class. If you ever find yourself in a tight spot again, it’s likely that your professor will be more considerate and more willing to help.

  • Remember to be realistic

This might be too obvious to point out, but chances are your struggles can send you straight down into a hole, leaving you without any semblance of hope in sight. Sometimes, all it takes is a periodic reminder for you to remember where you’re at. A wake up call to reality may be your best chance, and here it is – if you don’t snap out of it soon, you will continue down that path of failure. Take a step back before it’s too late and reassess your situation. What more can you do? This may be your reality now, but that doesn’t mean it’ll be your reality forever. 

  • Look into your options

Opportunities come to those who seek it – so get out there and determine what more you can do. Examine what options are available to further prevent your GPA from taking any more hits, along with your credit status. If this is too overwhelming, seek help from an academic advisor. They’re readily available at your school, more than happy to help you figure out what steps to take next.

  • You shouldn’t be alone

Even if you do not have close friends in any of your classes, chances are there are a couple of them you’re friendly, or at least comfortable with. If one of them is doing well in that subject, explain your current situation and ask for help. They may be willing to guide you in the major assignments you need to turn in. Their feedback can do wonders for you, and can surely help you turn things around.

  • Study your failures

It’s heartbreaking to face your failures head on, but it’s a necessary evil you must face. Failures are always eye-openers, and they are needed to help you understand what you’re doing wrong. When your tests come back, or even other papers or assignments that are covered with red marks, study them. Have a logical approach. Clear you head and examine what went wrong, and look for the correct answers. If your papers aren’t with any comments from your professor, set a schedule, bring your graded tests, and ask them to elaborate for you to fully understand.

  • Never give up

It’s another one of those hackneyed phrases, but an advice well worth saying and taking: don’t give up. Things may seem hopeless at the moment, but resigning yourself totally to this failure is a sure way for you to spiral further down to it – success will seem unreachable. Sticking to your plans and goals, coupled with extreme dedication and determination, will help you turn things around. Even if it doesn’t, you will know that you’ve done your best, and even that can help you in the long run. Sometimes, putting in the effort makes all the difference in the world.

Part of the learning process is figuring out how to deal with the consequences.

The Consequences of Failing a Class 

Even with all the advice to help you cope, falling back into reality and facing consequences is necessary to help you get back up. It’s like studying your failures, but more than facing them head on, you need to brave the consequences, too. 

A failing grade will affect your GPA, which can hurt your chances of getting into the graduate school of your dreams, or getting financial aid. The failure will likely end up in your college transcripts, recorded for everyone to see. This can make you feel awkward, unsure, and even embarrassed about your ability to complete college. And that’s okay, as it’s how life works. One thing leads to another, but you need to understand that life goes on

You’ll find that your college transcript might not be as relevant when you start looking for jobs, as employers tend to look beyond numbers. Your current situation may also help you know and understand yourself better, especially the importance of your role as a student. You’ll finally realize the importance of sticking to your class schedule, keeping up with reading, and reaching out to others for help. Perhaps your failed grade may just be the epiphany you need, finally seeing that you’re in a wrong major or that you need to focus more on academics over extracurricular activities.


Whatever the case, remember that your subject failure does not equate to failure as a human being. It will be tough to deal with, yes, but the wheel keeps rolling – there’s more to life than this, and quite soon you’ll bounce back. After all, school’s here for learning, and that’s exactly what your failed subject is trying to tell you.