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Thread: In danger of failing a college course...what happens if I do?

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    In danger of failing a college course...what happens if I do?

    I am in danger of failing my calculus course. I am currently going for civil engineering, but I am going to change my major after this semester is over with because I am really struggling with the material. There have been 4 tests in the course, and I have passed 2 (64 and 63) and failed 2 (44 and 49). It's not like I'm not trying either, but I'm just not grasping the material. I understand it outside of class but then I freeze up on the tests. The final is coming up which is 20% of our grade. If I can somehow pass that with a B, I will get a D for the course. If not, I will fail it. Is there anything I can do? What happens if I do fail the course? If I change my major, it would not be required for what I am looking to get into, but it is required for engineering.

    I've never failed a class before so I've been stressing out about it all semester. I feel like a complete moron and I'm worried this will ruin my entire college career.




     


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    Platinum Member RayKay's Avatar
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    Depends.

    It will lower your GPA, so many people retake a failed class to get a higher mark in it.

    Some people just leave it as a fail on their transcript and explain it.

    There are a few courses where it is almost "expected" people will fail the 1st and even 2nd time around so it's not always "awful" to have but I think it is better in those cases to retake & get a higher mark.

    Sounds like you might benefit from some exam-taking skill development/tutoring though, if you get the material just have problems in exams, as you will encounter this kind of thing again in future.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoddenProBowler06 View Post
    I am in danger of failing my calculus course. I am currently going for civil engineering, but I am going to change my major after this semester is over with because I am really struggling with the material. There have been 4 tests in the course, and I have passed 2 (64 and 63) and failed 2 (44 and 49). It's not like I'm not trying either, but I'm just not grasping the material. I understand it outside of class but then I freeze up on the tests. The final is coming up which is 20% of our grade. If I can somehow pass that with a B, I will get a D for the course. If not, I will fail it. Is there anything I can do? What happens if I do fail the course? If I change my major, it would not be required for what I am looking to get into, but it is required for engineering.

    I've never failed a class before so I've been stressing out about it all semester. I feel like a complete moron and I'm worried this will ruin my entire college career.
    Engineering is a super difficult course. Failing one course in an engineering degree is not the end of the world. You should tough it out if you think you can pass.

    I know nothing about engineering but I will relay information I have been given.

    My best mate has an EE he failed THREE subjects and two years later is about to be offered a 75k + benefits position. Might be different in the USA but here is AUS to a lot of ppl failing a subject in an engineering degree is not a big deal.

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    Platinum Member pianoguy's Avatar
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    If you are trying and still failing you should definitely get a tutor. Most colleges offer free tutoring for difficult classes.

    The end result will be that your GPA will be lowered- not the end of the world. GPA doesn't count for squat these days anyways.

    You might also consider dropping and retaking- different colleges have different policies, but some give you an incomplete and let you redo part of the class in the next semester, presumably after you've had some time to study.
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    Quote Originally Posted by pianoguy View Post
    You might also consider dropping and retaking- different colleges have different policies, but some give you an incomplete and let you redo part of the class in the next semester, presumably after you've had some time to study.
    I don't believe I can drop anymore. The last day to drop was on March 28th and I can't find a way to go about it. I guess I could try and talk to my advisor and see what I can do.

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainPlanet View Post
    My best mate has an EE he failed THREE subjects and two years later is about to be offered a 75k + benefits position. Might be different in the USA but here is AUS to a lot of ppl failing a subject in an engineering degree is not a big deal.
    My uncle also got a bachelor's degree in engineering and failed 3 courses. I'm not sure if it's different now or not, but that would be nice.


    I will definitely look into tutoring for this final exam. I do believe I can pass it if I really get the help I need. A D in the course is entirely possible if I can pass it with a B or higher.


    I just really hate going into the final with my grade on the line. I know it's going to make me extra nervous, so I might cram up like I usually do. Hopefully not; I just gotta hope for the best.

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    Try your best and finish off the course.
    It's not the end of the world if you get a bad grade. My husband, who has a master's degree in engineering, said he got some bad grades and I think he failed a course. He just ended up repeating it and it made no difference in the long run and he has a top job. Not one employer ever asked him about it. Trust me, 10 years from now you won't even remember it happened!
    Just a word of advice if you do take it again---Try to get to know the teacher or get a tutor early on so you don't end up in the predicament again. You may also want to get a head start and study it during the summer on your own time. Sometimes it just takes a couple of times to understand something--I'm sure you'll do well next time.

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    As others have said, one failed course isn't the end of the world. I failed a math class in college and had to re-take it and had two other courses I barely made it through in and I still graduated and I got the job I wanted and I am happy. But, the tutor is a good idea and since you can't drop at this point, just do your best. Check your university requirements. The one I went to let you re-take up to three classes and let the second grade replace the first one. See if that's an option. Maybe you can re-take the class in another semester and have that grade replace your current grade. I think it still shows up on your transcript that you took it twice but the bad grade won't affect your GPA.

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    Platinum Member Ash's Avatar
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    Most schools with engineering degrees will allow a certain number of course failures (between 40% and 50%) and still allow you to get a degree based on your average mark. Your average must be high enough including the failed marks to merit your degree. Where I went they allowed three marks between 40% and 50% but no marks less than 40%.

    The remedy for a failed course is generally relatively simple, you take the course again the next time it is offered. This of course increases your course load. Do it more than once or twice and it starts to become pretty obvious you're not doing the right thing, or at lease not going about it the right way. A failure or two is not such a bad thing. It IS something (surprisingly enough) that is worth learning ... how to deal with failure and the fact that in general it shouldn't remain a failure but rather you should do something about it. A valuable life lesson.

    Most university programs will offer advice to students to assist them in their academic career. I know when I went there was a particular professor assigned to help deal with exactly this sort of issue. He was an advisor on how best to deal with issues like this. Tutors were also avaiable (at a cost), the advisor was not in a tutoring role of course.

    If you think the end goal (civil engineer) is where you want to be then stick with it. Most disciplines of engineering will involve some higher math in the end, but for the most part what you need is the fundamental knowledge. A lot of the specifics when you get into industry aren't always quite so important, and if they are, a senior engineer will most certainly be checked your work and helping you figure out the specifics of the field you actually wind up in.
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    There are two things you can do to figure out what happens when you fail a course (1) find a student academic handbook for your program (can usually be found online), it will have some mention this; or (2) ask your academic adviser. If you don't have an academic adviser, seek one out. They can give you the best advice in these situations.

    I was in this situation once. I talked to the professor of the course. He was willing to fail me for the course with an incomplete status. That meant it went on my transcript, but did not affect my overall GPA or count toward required credits. That enabled me to retake the course without the failing grade. You can always talk to your professor during his/her office hours and see what can be arranged.

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