Skip to content

Dealing with a carryover (failed a course) – Tips for recovering

Dealing with a carryover (failed course) - Tips for recovering

No account yet? Register

The semester has come to an end, and the results have been released. Despite all your hard work, you failed a course. News like this makes it challenging to enjoy a short after-school holiday if you’re at home.

For the lucky ones, the people around them will support them and help them push through. The not-so-fortunate people have to deal with constantly being nagged for something that might have been out of their control.

Whatever the case may be, many people have been in this exact situation as you. That is why we wrote this article. Please take a deep breath and continue reading as we guide you on what to do when you have to retake a class.


Here we listed four tips on dealing with a carryover course;

Figure out why you failed

Nobody just fails an exam; there has to be a reason. It doesn’t have to be something serious.  So, don’t write off any of your bases for repeating a course because you think it is not a “good” one. If it could make you retake the class, it is definitely a good enough reason.

One way you can trace the cause of your carryover is to analyze your marked script. A majority of the time, teachers will leave comments on your test sheets. These comments often point out areas where we didn’t meet their expectations and lost out on getting full marks.

Another way to find out why you failed a class is to note your behavior towards that class. How often do you study for this course? How much study time do you dedicate to the subject? When faced with difficulty, do you reach out to your peers or the teacher for help?

Act on what you’ve learned

We don’t say “knowledge is power” for nothing. At this point, you should have a clear idea of why you are retaking a specific class. Your reason for failing will point you in the right direction for coming up with a solution. This is why you must know what your reason is, no matter how trivial.

Let’s say the reason you’re repeating a class is because of poor preparation, then you should know how to adequately prepare for this exam this time around. Or maybe you discovered that you aren’t allocating enough time to your studies. Then your solution would be to draw up a realistic schedule that allows you to study for school while attending to your other needs. Likewise, if you were not the type to go for classes regularly, try to do so this time around.

READ ALSO:  10 Study habits you should avoid

Talk to your teacher

There are instances where the only comment on your graded test sheet is your tutor asking to see you in private. They may have openly approached you as well. We would advise you to meet with them and hear what they have to say.

Chances are they can point you in the direction that will help you avoid failing their subject. If you have already failed, talking to them could shed more light on why you failed their subject. With this knowledge, you can figure out what to do to ensure the situation doesn’t repeat itself.

We admit that it isn’t an easy task- walking up to your teacher. However, don’t forget that they want to see you succeed. And they are always around the corner, eager to help in any way they can.

Surround yourself with supportive people

Repeating a subject comes with a lot of emotional stress. For some people, it can be an overwhelming experience. The incidence usually makes us question ourselves and doubt our capabilities. Some people may not get to hear the end of it.

They are surrounded by friends and family members who remind them of their situation any chance they get. Doing this only helps to worsen the situation. It is easy to beat yourself up about the situation; do you need someone else doing it for you?

We would advise you to distance yourself from anyone who cannot lift your spirit through this challenging period. You can easily overcome this rough patch by surrounding yourself with people who remind you of your worth even in failure.

Remember that failure is a part of life, and everyone has had an encounter with it. What is essential is for you to remember that how you handle failure determines how you’ll push forward.


Students do not just fail their exams. There is often a reason or reasons why you ended up with an F. Some of them are apparent reasons like lack of preparation, while others could be more complicated. In this section, we will go over the most common reasons why students repeat courses.

READ ALSO:  Top tips for writing a book review

Lack of preparation

There’s a saying that goes, “if you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail’ I think this is a no-brainer. Failing to prepare for your examinations is a sure way to fail them. Even the most brilliant students don’t just waltz into the examination hall; they take time to study.

Some students may not see a need to put much effort into their continuous assessment – quizzes, assignments, and group projects. They probably feel like the final exam is the most important thing to focus their energy on. This strategy isn’t a good one.

This attitude could already be heading you towards failure. Here’s why we say so; your CA forms part of your final grade. In some schools, it contributes as much as 40% of your overall grade. In a situation like that, would it make sense to gamble with almost half of your grade just because it wasn’t an exam?

A good CA would propel you into scoring an excellent grade in your final exam with proper planning, especially if you performed well in the final exam.

Misplaced priorities

School isn’t just about studying for exams and winning scholarships. A lot of other activities happen there that we are expected to be a part of—social activities like going to parties, attending concerts, and exploring the city.

Some students get to school and lose sight of what is essential. Your most important reason for being in school is to gain knowledge and pass your classes. Everything else is secondary. When you allow other things to become the center of your focus in school, it brews a recipe for failure.

Lack of self-care

Our final reason for why students repeat courses are easily overlooked. We all know that school breeds stress. Students are expected to do so much within so little time. And they are expected to do so without complaint.

We all know a student who takes their schoolwork so seriously they hardly give themselves a break. It always seems like they are doing something- attending classes, work-study, or school-related extracurricular activities.

READ ALSO:  8 Effective ways to be an A-student

People like this end up overworking themselves, which could be detrimental to their health or general wellbeing. Remember that your body will do it for you if you fail to set time aside to rest. This has caused several students to miss out on essential quizzes or examinations.


Here we outlined four tips that will come in handy to ensure you don’t fail a class again:

Prepare well

A majority of the time, students fail their exams because they weren’t adequately prepared.  Being prepared for an exam goes beyond covering your scheme of work. It also includes practicing previous questions and even studying beyond the scope of what your lecturer taught you in class. When you are well-read for an exam, there’s little chance of you failing.

Get your priorities straight

Never lose sight of why you are in school- to gain knowledge. Any other thing that doesn’t help you understand shouldn’t be at the top of your priority list. If possible, find a way to remind yourself of why you are in school every day.

You can start by making your goals your phone’s wallpaper and or creating a vision board and fixing it on your room wall. Another step you can take is surrounding yourself with people who have their priorities straight. Chances are, when you’re moving out of line, they’ll correct you before it’s too late.

Make time to rest

Only people in good health go to school and write exams. Not everyone who retakes a class does so because of things that were directly under their control. Sometimes, people fall sick on the day of an important test or exam.

And chances are they had been experiencing symptoms that they ignored up to the point of their breakdown. Try not to behave like that. If you notice a change in your body, attend to it immediately. We often exert more effort to solve a problem that could’ve been solved quickly if only we attended it on time. As the saying goes, “a stitch in time saves nine.”


Retaking a subject is not the end of the world. Hopefully, this article has shown you that. Yes, it isn’t easy, but it is possible to recover. 

Penprofile Team

Penprofile Team

Read. Connect. Write. Together, we discuss ideas to solve contemporary problems.View Author posts

Drop a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *