The end of the semester is here—your professors will be calculating your grades very soon. Hopefully, you’re confident that you’ll be getting A’s in all of your classes. But, as anyone who has gone through college will tell you, that’s not very likely. What is likely is that you’re not too sure about some of your grades; and if you’re not doing so hot, you might be worrying about some of them. You only have a couple days (at the most) to convince your professor to kick your grade up a notch or two. What are you going to do?
This isn’t a useful strategy in this situation, but I have to say it. Next time, don’t let your grade fall throughout the semester! Work hard through your class, and you won’t have this problem.
But that’s not the case. You’re worried about your grade, so you’re trying to figure out what to do about it. One of the best ways to show your professor that you’re concerned about the class and working hard to improve your grade is to do really well on the final. Easier said than done, yes, but you have to work hard to get out of the hole you dug yourself into. Start early, and get some serious studying done. Use effective study strategies, get enough sleep, and get out there and slay the test. If you can get an A on the test, your professor might be willing to bump your grade up a bit. If you class has a final project instead of a final exam, do the same thing. You have to create a pretty strong impression, so don’t mess around.
If you’re not so confident in your abilities to impress your professor academically, you’ll have to take more direct measures. Go talk to your professor about the class. Don’t bring up the subject of your grade, but ask questions about the test or your project. Get some clarification on things you don’t understand. Show your professor that you want to turn your academics around and that you’re willing to work hard for the class.
Similarly, going to class-organized study groups is a great way to show your commitment. Your professor may show up to one of these sessions, or s/he might get a record of who attended. Even if the professor doesn’t find out that you were there, it’ll help you test-taking or project-completing.
An absolute worst-case scenario strategy is to directly approach your professor about your grade. This isn’t likely to work, and can be extremely awkward, so I don’t recommend it, but you might be able to get moved from an F to a D- if you make a really strong case. If you have to go this far, I wish you luck, because you’re going to have a tough time. But it could be worth it!
As always, if you have any questions, comments or funny stories you'd like me to share about college or the blog, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org