Eeek, I Might Be Failing! Tips For Saving Your Grade.

What do you mean it’s too late to drop a class? I forgot I was even enrolled!
If that’s part of the conversation you’re having with the registrar this far into the semester, you might be in trouble. But never fear. It’s not over until the fat lady sings…or the TA enters the grades. If you’ve over-slacked it this semester, there still might be a way to save your grade.
1. Talk to Your Teacher.
This is by far the most important rule of grade-saving. Talk to your professor. Apologize profusely. Throw yourself at his or her feet and explain why you suck at whatever subject they teach. As a former TA, I can attest that I was far more willing to help kids who actually came to office hours to ask for help than the ones who fell off the face of the earth, only to reappear during finals (or, in one case, after I’d left for the semester) and expect another chance.
2. Ask About Revisions, Re-Takes, and Extra Credit.
Many writing classes offer revision options, and, depending on the class and the prof, you might be able to finagle a test re-take. More and more frequently, classes are offering chances to drop your lowest grade. Pour through your syllabus, and see if you are elligible for any of these options. While you’re at it, it my be a good idea to revisit the attendance policy and see if any points are being shaved off due to the fact that you haven’t been to class since September. Then, follow step 1 and throw yourself at your professor’s feet, offering to do any amount of work just to scrape by with even a D-.
3. Cry N’ Lie.
This is the enhanced version of Talking to Your Teacher. Let the waterworks begin. Tell them any sob story about how this semester was so difficult. You had family problems, you haven’t adjusted, blah, blah, blah. Even if they are a total hardass, your teacher might relent enough to give you a low-but-not-failing grade, provided you come through for exams. If that doesn’t seem to work, turn on the tears at the registrars, or, better yet, Mental Health services. If you can give enough reason to have suffered a trauma during the semester, you might be able to drop at the last minute, or get a bye for exams and re-take them the next semester. This is very hard to accomplish, however, and, if you have any morals, should really only be used if you really DID have some crazy sh*t happen this semester.
4. Study Your Freaking Face Off.
If your prof isn’t susceptible to excuses and extra credit opportunities, you’ve got no other option but to master a semester’s worth of lessons in a couple of days. You better hope your grade on that final is enough to pull you out of the sea of failure. It might not work, but if all else has failed, this is your one last chance to escape and leave that class behind you forever.

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[Photo courtesy of unstained.files.wordpress.com]

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