What to do When you miss an Exam

Image by <a href='http://www.flickr.com/photos/ninja999/'>NinJA999</a>

It’s every student’s nightmare: you stay up till the crack of dawn cramming for an exam that’s worth a quarter of your final grade, but whoops! You forget to set your alarm clock and snooze right through it. As horrific as it may sound, this unfortunate scenario occurs more than you would think. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to help salvage your grade if this were to ever happen to you. Here is what to do if you ever miss an exam:

Think-Fast. If you happen to wake up while your exam is taking place, the first thing you want to do is decide whether you have enough time to even take at least a portion of the exam. This is because it’s better to earn a 40 percent on an exam than a zero—seldom is it possible to recover from a zero, even if your other marks are high.

It may include you dashing across campus in your pajamas, but it will certainly be worth it. Take note that some professors have strict rules about attendance and test days. For example, some professors don’t allow their students to enter their classroom if a student is more than 15 minutes late for an exam. If this is the case or perhaps you live off campus and won’t be able to make it in enough time, your best bet would be to regain your composure and think about how you are going to explain this to your professor.

Beg. If you miss your exam entirely, the next thing you want to do is evaluate your relationship with your professor. Is it a good one? Do you attend class regularly and participate frequently? If you do not, chances are he or she will not have sympathy for you. But if you think you have a good standing with your prof, then it’s imperative that you schedule an immediate appointment with him or her.

Do not bombard your professor as he or she is walking out of class—profs are busy people and you’re more likely to get shot down if you catch them at a bad time. And do not e-mail your professor either—this is an easy way for you to get a direct, “that’s too bad.” So you want to schedule an appointment where you can explain yourself face-to-face. While you are explaining the mishap it’s important that you not only remain professional and calm, but that you are also honest.

Do not make up some elaborate fish tale of why you missed your exam (it might come to haunt you later). Rather, take responsibility for your actions, apologize, and request to take a makeup exam. If your request is denied, ask if there is an additional assignment or project that you can do that can help boost your grade. If he or she says no, ask how badly this zero will affect your final grade and if there is any chance that you can pass if you do extremely well in all of the other assignments.

To Drop or Not to Drop. If you leave your professor’s office feeling defeated because you have concluded that there is no way that you can pass the class, then you might want to consider dropping the course. It would be ill advised to do so immediately however—sometimes it’s a good idea for you to let your professor cool off before you ask again if there is anything you can do to pull up your grade up.

If you whole heartedly feel as though there is no chance that you can recover (even if you were to get straight 100s from here on out) then you might want to drop the course. A withdrawal might not look too pretty on transcripts, but an “F” is far worse if you are trying to apply for a graduate program later on.

This guest post is contributed by Vanessa Jones, who writes on the topics of dating sites. She welcomes your comments at her email: vanessa.jones42[at]gmail[dot]com.

4 Thoughts on “What to do When you miss an Exam”

  1. Great tnhkinig! That really breaks the mold!

  2. Dude iv got a hot girl freind and back then i tried to use your edvise didnt work guess what my cuzins girl freind likes me and im12

  3. I felt mad at that point

  4. It sounds haunted when we got know that we unintentionally missed our exam, but not to worry because sometimes it happens when we have lack of sleep and over stressed. Anyways good advice.

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