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How To Get Over A Bad Grade On A Test


Close up of a student hand taking notes in a notebook at classroom

A bad grade is something that no student or parent is ever happy to see. But for many students, it’s probably going to happen at some point.

Whether it was a particularly tough exam or your child just didn’t understand the material, getting over a bad grade on a test is an important part of doing better next time. After all, making mistakes is a part of the learning process!

How can you help your child make the most of a “bad grade situation?” Keep reading to find out what to do if your child fails a test so he or she can do better next time.

What To Do When Your Child Gets A Bad Grade

  1. Don’t Panic
  2. If your child brings home a bad mark on a test or assignment, don’t panic. One bad grade isn’t the end of the world. Instead, ask your child why he or she thinks the test or assignment went poorly. It can also help to give your child some time to step away from the bad mark before he or she comes back to address it with a clearer mind.

  3. Review Mistakes
  4. Go over any mistakes your child made together. Look for a pattern to help identify the cause of these mistakes. Is it a certain type of question (like multiple choice or long answer)? A lack of understanding the material? Not enough preparation? Once you know why your child struggled, you can start focusing on fixing those areas.

  5. Adjust Your Expectations
  6. Sometimes a “bad grade” isn’t as bad as you think. If your child is used to receiving straight As, a B can feel like a poor grade. Everyone gets a grade they aren’t happy with every once in a while. If your child is aiming for perfect grades, remind him or her that it’s ok to get an average grade—no one can be perfect all the time!

  7. Find Areas Of Improvement
  8. Look for areas your child can improve for his or her next test. If he or she struggled in a certain subject, take some extra time each night to review the material. If your child just didn’t prepare enough, help him or her make a study schedule that includes starting to study further in advance of the next test.

  9. Set New Goals
  10. After you and your child have figured out why he or she received a poor mark, set a goal for the next test or assignment. This goal can be to improve his or her grade, but you should also set goals on how to make this happen. These goals could include creating a daily study plan for the next test or to review class material for 30 minutes each day after school.

  11. Make A Plan For Next Time
  12. Help your child make a plan for next time. The best way to do this is to help your child make use of his or her daily agenda. Have him or her include dates of upcoming tests, when to start studying, how long to study each night, and what material to cover. Having a plan to follow will make it easier for your child to improve his or her performance on the next test.

  13. Prove Yourself Wrong
  14. A poor grade can be a confidence-killer, but it doesn’t have to be. If your child is disappointed with the grade he or she got, encourage him or her to use that as motivation to do better next time. Look on the positive side and use this as an opportunity to help your child work on improving the areas where he or she struggled.

  15. Ask About Extra Credit
  16. Some teachers will allow students to take a makeup test to help improve their mark. Talk to the teacher and find out if this is something your child can do. If not, ask about extra credit assignments your child can work on to help boost his or her mark in the class.

  17. Get Feedback From The Teacher
  18. If you notice your child’s grades are starting to continually slip, book a meeting with his or her teacher to talk about any issues your child might be having. This will help you better understand how your child is performing in class and allow you to talk about how your child’s teacher can provide some extra help.

  19. Find A Tutor
  20. In addition to your son’s or daughter’s teacher, a tutor can also help if your child is struggling to keep his or her grades up. A tutor can help identify areas where your child can improve, like time management, study skills, or subject material to help boost his or her performance.

Helpful Study Resources

If your child needs help overcoming a bad grade on his or her test, these study resources can help:
11 Bad Study Habits To Avoid
How To Take Effective Study Notes (With Examples)
12 Secrets To Studying More Effectively

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