Student News

Midterm grades got you down? Here is how to bounce back

Mark Cornelison | UK Photo.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 6, 2023) — So, you didn’t get the results you wanted on your last assignment. It happens, and as long as it does not become a repeated occurrence, bouncing back from that grade is completely doable. 

Below are four steps you can take to turn your failure into a lesson. 

Take a deep breath. Everything will be okay. Failure is bound to happen and, in some cases, can be valuable to your journey. How you react to failure and understanding that failure is not the end; it can be a source of insight that makes all the difference in bouncing back. Still feeling overwhelmed? Reach out to TRACS, UK’s one-stop hub where students can come for a referral to supportive services (housing, rent, utilities, food) or receive direct clinical support for a range of mental health needs and crises.

Evaluate and identify the cause. Before you can dust yourself off and try again, you need to take some time to identify the causes of your failure. What went wrong? Was your studying technique the problem or maybe the lack there of? Pinpointing where you went wrong is valuable when determining the best way for you to move forward successfully. 

Create a plan. Now it is time to accept that you can’t change the past and focus on what you can control: the future. Once you have identified the source of your mistake, developing a plan to avoid falling into the same failure again is a major key. Can you mitigate the damage or take the test again? How can you study differently for the next exam? Can you sit down with your professor or a tutor to discuss where it all went wrong? The more specific the plan, the better. Try reaching out to one of UK's Integrated Success Coaches for help getting started.

Take advantage of the resources available to you. The University of Kentucky has a plethora of resources available to students to help them overcome failure. Equipped with dedicated staff members who devote their time to helping students succeed, UK resources are a great place to get back on your feet after an unexpected bad grade. Here is a list of free, virtual and in-person tutoring resources available to students at UK. Additionally, UK has developed a guide that works as a decision tree for students to determine which of the many support areas at UK might be the best place to start. You can access that guide here

While failure can feel like the end of the world, with these four steps above, failure is only a small bump in the road on your long journey through school. For additional information on academic success, visit the Office of Student Success website

At the University of Kentucky, students are at the center of all that we do. From the moment you become a Wildcat through graduation and beyond, the Office for Student Success is committed to supporting you. Comprised of five areas and 25 units, together, they have one vision — to help students live a life of meaning. Student Success works through an equitable, holistic and inclusive lens to design and deliver unparalleled services and support a diverse community of learners in achieving their wildest ambitions. In the Office for Student Success this is what we do — this is who we are. You can explore resources available to you here. If you have additional questions, you can reach a Student Success team member by calling the helpline 859-218-YouK (9685).