You failed a midterm in college, no matter how much you studied or didn’t – the facts are the facts. So just how big of a deal is this? And what should you do next? How you handle failing a midterm (or any other major exam ) can have a major impact on the rest of your semester. Consequently, it's important to take a step back and consider the following questions. Are you sure you really failed it? Make sure you've received a grade back from your professor or TA. You may be 100% sure you failed that exam, only to learn that you actually did okay before panic sets in. Or you may have thought you aced the midterm only to be shocked at your failing score. Not worrying until you have actual reason to worry is a smart, calm way to approach the situation and keep your head in the game for other college responsibilities you might also have to deal with right now, either way. Look over the exam when you're calm and clear-headed. Your initial reaction to a failing grade on a midterm is likely to involve at least a little emotion. Give yourself a little while to focus on and do other things when you find out you failed.

What to do if you failed a midterm

Take a walk, eat a healthy meal, and then come back to the test. Look over what exactly happened. Did you bomb the entire thing? Do poorly in one section? Misunderstand one part of the assignment? Misunderstand one part of the material? Is there a pattern about where or how you performed poorly? Talk to your professor. You still need to get some feedback on how to do better on the next exam, midterm, or final even in case the entire class failed the midterm. Make an appointment with your professor or TA during office hours. After all, they're here to help you learn. Remember, too, that what's done is done; you aren't there to argue with your professor or TA about your grade. You're meeting with them to talk about why you did so badly and have them help you focus on what to do better next time. Be honest with yourself. You're on your own and in charge of your college life because you're a smart, independent young adult. Consequently, treat yourself like one. Have an honest conversation with yourself about what you did wrong. Did you not study enough? Did you not read the material and think you could just get by? Did you study with a group but end up goofing off and talking most of the time? What could you have done better to prepare? What could you have done more of that would have helped during the actual midterm? What can you change so that you do better next time? Even in case you failed this midterm and feel like it's the end of the world, it's not. There will be other exams and essays and group projects and lab reports and presentations and final exams that you can do better on.