Recovering from a bad test grade

How do I recover from a bad test? I’m terrified I’ll fail because of a handful of low-grade tests!


A bad test can be very detrimental.

Nothing feels worse than studying for hours on end, taking your test, then getting it back with too many red marks to count. We’ve all been there. It’s not fun. 

So how do you recover from a bad test grade? A 50% or lower can really drag your grade down, especially around this time of the year, when there isn’t too much in the grade book. Recovering from a failed test isn’t easy, but it definitely can be done. 

Here are some tips and tricks that I’ve picked up when in this situation:


  • Ask your teacher if test corrections are available.


Test corrections can completely save your grade from falling into the pits of Fs and Ds. Some teachers offer them to their students for every test, while others offer them rarely. Either way, test corrections are the ultimate ticket to getting your grade back up to a passing grade.

If you’ve never used test corrections before, they’re pretty simple. You basically have to fill out a paper for the questions you got wrong. You have to write out each question, your previous answer, why you got it wrong, the correct answer and why it is the correct answer. Once you’ve done that, you get .5 credit for the question!

So, let’s say you got a 50% on a test. If you did test corrections and got all of them right, that grade could pull up to 75%. Seriously, test corrections are the holy grail.

Even though your teacher might not offer them for that specific test, it’s always good to ask.


  • Use every chance at extra credit that you can get.


It doesn’t matter if you’re at 100% in the class at one point, ALWAYS do any extra credit that is offered. Some teachers do it often, others never, but always take that chance when you come across it. 

Before and after a bad test, extra credit can help soften the blow that it’ll take to your grade. Even if it’s small, every little bit helps. So when that bad test day comes, you’ll be able to be a little bit more stable in your grade. 

Hope for the best and plan for the worst.


  • Talk with your teacher.


Often times students avoid planning meetings or talking with their teacher. But it can bring many benefits that you may have been unaware of. If you’re getting bad grades on tests several times in a row, chances are talking with your teacher could help quite a bit. 

Perhaps you don’t like testing with such a big crowd. Or maybe you don’t know exactly how you should be studying for these kinds of tests. Your teacher is always willing to talk to you and help you in any way that they can. I know that I’ve gone and asked my teacher how to specifically study for some tests that were coming up. She was very kind and offered a few different ways to me. 

So before you get that bad grade and freak out, or even after if you’d like, try talking with your teacher. Do you need the surroundings adjusted? Do you need some clarification on how much the tests affect your grade? Chances are, they are more than willing to do that. Teachers are there to help you succeed in any way that they can. That’s their job!

As hard as getting a bad grade on a test can be, I really do believe these three things will help you quite a bit. Try them out and use the ones that work best for you.

Good luck!