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Dear Sue: “Grade Grubber Gennie”


Dear Sue,

I seem to be having a problem connecting with my classes this semester. I have never really been in the bottom of my class or below the average grade on a test, but that is not the case this semester. After the first week of tests, my grades are much lower than expected and I am concerned. I have low grades on assignments in core classes for my major. I’m starting to doubt just how smart I am. Maybe I am in the wrong major? What if I can’t pull my grades back up?


Grade Grubber Gennie

Photo Courtesy of Yahoo Images
Photo Courtesy of Yahoo Images

Dear Gennie,

I am sorry to hear about your grades, but self-doubt is one’s own worst enemy. Never doubt your ability to succeed, especially after the first round of tests. From experience, anyone on campus can tell you that the first test you take in a class (especially with a new professor) will probably be your worst, simply because you are not accustomed to the testing style. Now, it sounds like you have moved into a harder level of classes in your major. College is not meant to be easy. Maybe you will need to readjust your study habits from last year. Perhaps try making flashcards, or if that was your old habit, perhaps rewriting notes in the form of a study guide can help. An easy way to get a sense of where you stand in the class and how to pull up your grades is to meet with your professors. Go to office hours (or set up an appointment) and simply ask about your grades. Voice your concern and your professor will work with you to decide what you should do. The Subject Tutoring service at RC is also a great thing to look into if you are concerned you need a little extra help in a subject. Sometimes, it’s just the way that information is presented that doesn’t connect to you. If this doesn’t help the anxiety about your grades, you can always speak to your advisor. They will do the best to hear your concerns about your major and maybe help you choose another path. You have the option to change your major, but don’t make a rash decision based on the first week of tests or assignments. Maybe you had a bad week. Maybe you just weren’t in the studious mood yet this semester. Stick with it and seek out tutoring to calm your concerns.

Best of Luck,

Sue Z. Maroon