How to Rebound From a Bad Class

So your grades came back over break and some of the results didn’t quite meet your expectations. Hey, it happens to the best of us. But rather than letting it send you into a spiral of regret, use it as a learning experience from which you can grow.

Whether you’re retaking a course or just trying to refresh your approach, here are five steps to help you successfully bounce back from a less-than-successful class.

Strengthen professor relations

Simply put, if you don’t understand the material being taught you need to ask questions. Be loud and clear about how you are faring in class by speaking to the professor at least once a week. Don’t be embarrassed to ask questions and be honest about your habits. Doing this will improve your grade as well as your standing with your teacher.

Don’t just go to class, show up

If you didn’t actually go to class, well, it’s easy to see where you went wrong. But it’s much harder for students who attended every session and still ended up falling short of expectations. In the future, sit smack dab in the middle-front of class, sit up straight, and work on keeping your full attention on the professor. Check out more body language tips here.

Take better notes

Locate your notes, review them, and diagnose them for future success. Maybe you need to change your approach. Maybe you need to hand-write them instead of type them. Even consider recording lectures with an app like this that organizes recordings by class.  

Clock overtime

Don’t be the clock-watcher anymore. When the bell rings, make time for a thirty-minute period, ideally within an hour after the class, where you go over the day’s lecture and give yourself an opportunity to soak it all in. You’ll come up with questions to ask next class or in office hours, and you’ll surprise yourself with how many test questions you remember precisely from doing this.


Even if you’re not entirely into the class, fake it. Learn beyond the curriculum by doing a bit of your own research on the topic. Find out why it’s important, what it’s used for, even which notable or famous people may have ties to it. The more you get into a class the less likely it will fade from your mind and your study schedule.

Need some more pointers? Just ask. ACI is available on Twitter at @ACISpecBenefits or on facebook, Google+, Pinterest, or YouTube. Also feel free to contact ACI Specialty Benefits at (800) 932-0034, or email

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About ACI Specialty Benefits

ACI Specialty Benefits ranks in the nation’s Top-Ten providers of Employee Assistance Programs (EAP), corporate wellness programs, student assistance, corporate concierge, and work/life services to corporations worldwide. ACI partners with clients to Perk Up employee engagement and performance with benefit programs that improve morale, productivity and the bottom-line. With a 95% customer retention rate and over 7 million lives covered. ACI remains a privately-owned specialty benefits corporation, headquartered in San Diego. For more information, visit or call 800.932.0034.
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