What to do if you are sad about your bad grades? (7 tips)

In this article, we will answer the question “ What to do if you are sad about your bad grades”,  try to understand how it feels to receive bad grades, why some people get bad grades, while others don’t. 

What to do if you are sad about your bad grades?

Here is a list of things to do if you are sad about your bad grades:

  • Staying calm at the moment: If you have received a paper and you are sad about your bad grades, try not to panic. Hold yourself together, let the moment pass. Do not let your emotions get hold of you. Take a few deep breaths and remind yourself it is okay to fail once a while, and this will not break your academic career. 
  • Give yourself some time to process: If you are not used to getting a bad grade, you should give yourself time to adjust to this novel condition. Sometimes wallowing in the grief can give you a perspective. 

So take a few hours or days to understand your grades. Watch a movie, go out with your friends, or focus on other homework to distract yourself from the sinking emotions. Understand that if you have failed once does not mean you will fail again in the future. 

  • Go over the paper and evaluate it: once you have come to terms with your grades, go through the paper, and understand your mistakes. Look at the errors committed and if they can be avoided in the future. Keep in mind the remarks written by your professor and try working on them. 

Calculate your performance in that particular subject over the past few exams. Analyze how the bad grades are going to impact your potential college admissions and your overall semester marks. Find out the minimum amount of score needed to achieve your goal and start working towards it. 

  • Visit your professor for his advice: If you fail to understand your errors and have questions regarding them, go to your professor. Most professors willingly go through the paper with you giving better feedback. If you fail to understand a concept or section of the chapter, ask them to explain it to you individually. They can also give you suggestions for the next exam. 
  • Accept and move on: Coming to terms and having the courage to accept your failure is the first step towards success. Understand that it is okay to fall back every now and then. This will give you the strength to rise. Acceptance also comes with sharing. Go to your parents and tell them about your grades. 
  • Work on your gaps: After the evaluation and the visit you might have gathered a list of topics you need to work on. Before the commencement of the next exam, make sure you have mastered these weaknesses. Do not stress yourself. Make a timetable and work on them effectively at your own pace. Call over a friend or ask your parents to help you with a particular subject. 
  • Handle the issue well next time: Once you have worked on your gaps, it is important to stay calm and confident before the next exam. Make sure you have covered the subject matter well before the day of the exam. While writing the answers, collect your thoughts, and structure them before pouring them on the paper. Keep in mind, one bad grade does not determine your future.

Grades are considered the most important aspect in the life of a school going individual. We sometimes score well and other times fail to do so.

Have you ever studied for a test for one entire week, but yet when the results come out they are not satisfactory. Or say, you were given a surprise test and had no idea how to answer the questions. You are definitely worried about lowering your GPA. 

It is important to realize that sometimes we do not perform well due to various external reasons. Bad grades happen to everyone and every student has to accept this rather than beating themselves for the same.  Dealing with bad grades is no doubt a strenuous process. Nevertheless, it is important to get past the disappointment and move on to finding the right strategy, managing time and productivity levels, or just planning in your head. 

What do people usually do if they are sad about bad grades? 

Have you ever received a bad grade? If so, what was your first reaction? It is quite normal to feel disappointed. One may let their emotions to master their course of time ahead. One might also blame it on someone else like the professor, or the unlikely environment. People usually throw away their papers into trash and never think about it again. Although these are the easiest things to do to avoid your sadness about your grades. But are these the right things to do? 

Absolutely not. These reactions usually end up with self doubt and giving up. One should not ignore their feelings completely. It is natural to feel low about your bad grades. But it is these feelings of sadness and disappointment that helps a person move two steps forward. Sulking for a while is completely acceptable, as you face your feelings and deal with it. But you need to remember your disappointment does not dictate your future. 

Moving on is very important. Follow the above mentioned steps and work towards are brighter future. 

Why do people get bad grades? 

There are various reasons people get poor grades. Some may be external reasons such as environment, difficult subject matter. Some may be attitude related, where the student is not interested in the given work. Others may be personal reasons such as lack of attention, unable to structure the answers, and many more. 

External reasons for bad grades are out of your control. It is possible that the course chosen by you might be a difficult one. You may not be able to understand the subject matter easily. A difficult subject makes it hard to score good grades. In addition, it would also be possible that you are unable to understand your professor or your professor would not be a very good teacher. Further, it is important to have a good environment while studying, if you are constantly disturbed and cannot focus, it can hamper your grades 

Certain people have a goofy attitude, they believe that regularly doing your homework, studying for your exam is ‘not cool’. They have an ‘I don’t care about my grades’ approach. They purposely skip their tasks to get attention from their teachers, peers, and family. They enjoy the attention given to them. Hence it is important that we have the right attitude to accomplish the given work. 

Apart from these, there are a huge amount of personal factors, such as lack of interest, procrastination, low attention span that come into consideration. It is also possible that the student knows the answers to all the questions, but is unable to write them well enough to gain good grades. In such cases, practice is the key to good grades. 

It is also important that we focus on the way we study, it may be possible that one spends an entire day studying yet receives poor grades. In such a condition it is important that you make sure you are understanding what you are studying. Make a proper timetable and study rather than starting a day before the exam. Pulling an all-nighter and studying too much does not guarantee better grades, but rather lower your ability to perform well. Make sure you are studying the right things. Give yourself a break every now and then to restore your energy. Use the most effective learning method, and do not study for the sake of the exam. Study for gaining knowledge. 


In this article, we answered the question “ What to do if you are sad about your bad grades”,  tried to understand how it feels to receive bad grades, why some people get bad grades, while others don’t. 

Remember, Your grades do not define your self-worth. 

You are more than what your grades tell about you. 

FAQs: What to do if you are sad about your bad grades?  

How to tell parents about bad grades? 

It is important to tell your parents about your grades. Do not lie to them. Rip the bandaid off as soon as possible. Expect the worst outcome, but show them your remorse. Promise them you will work harder for the next exam. Keep your calm and try explaining to them the reason for bad grades.

How to bounce back from bad grades? 

If you are sad about your bad grades and want to bounce back, it is important that you start by devising a plan. Follow your study schedule. Do not start studying a day before the exam. Understand what you are studying, instead of mugging up something. Categorize your thoughts before answering the question. 

Do grades actually matter? 

Yes, grades do matter if you are in high school, and want to join college. For that matter of fact to join any educational institute it is important to have at least a fair grade if not excellent. If you want to get into a reputable college you need to remember the first thing they look at is your grades. Hence, it is important to work for better grades.  

What is considered bad grades? 

If your average is below C or if you are scoring in C’s and D’s you are considered to get bad grades. If students in your class are able to score an A or B, it is certainly possible for you to do the same. 

Is it okay to have bad grades? 

Yes, it is completely okay to get bad grades. Getting bad grades is not the end of the world.. You need to remember that one bad grade will not destroy your career. Bad grades do not mean that you lack skills and abilities to make a living in your life.  In fact, bad grades can sometimes help you understand your flaws and errors. This gives you an opportunity to improve. 

Do I need to have good grades to be successful in life? 

Most certainly not. One can be an average student, but also be successful in life. There are a countless number of people who scored bad grades, but are known worldwide today.  For example, Benedict Cumberbatch who plays the role of most liked detective Sherlock Holmes has achieved great success as an actor. However, he seemed to have lost interest in studies after he blew his GCEs. Success always does not correlate with your grades. 




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