Failing a subject at uni can feel like a huge setback, especially if you worked hard all semester.
Maybe the subject matter was too complex.
Maybe you had too much going on in your personal life.
If you’re a new student, you may have been facing the challenges of adjusting to tertiary study.
Whichever is the case for you, rest assured that you can get back on track to finish your course.
Check your institution’s policiesFirst up, check with your institution to see if there is the possibility to:
- re-sit an exam
- complete a supplementary assessment (usually only if you were close to passing), or
- have your assessments looked at again.
Consider the implicationsAside from checking how many times can you fail a subject at uni, find out whether:
- you can proceed in your course or qualify for your major without passing the subject
- you have completed the required number of credits to graduate, especially if you're at the end of your course.
- the failed subject will still be displayed on your transcript and count towards your grade-point average (GPA)
- future employers may request copies of your transcript, particularly if you take up a position in a graduate program or enter a highly regulated profession such as accounting or engineering
- you will still pay fees for subjects you fail. Even if you have taken out a HELP loan, this is a significant cost to bear.
Explore support services
Your institution will have support services in place to assist you with any academic or personal issues you are experiencing.
If the problem is academic (you can’t get the hang of a certain theory or writing style), your institution will offer services such as tutors and workshops that can help you improve your skills in order to bring up your grades.
If you failed because you’ve lost interest in your course or have been affected by personal problems, it’s best to seek advice about adjusting your enrolment. You might be able to choose a less demanding subject, take some time away from uni or simply drop down to part-time mode.
Plan your next stepsOnce you’ve had a chat to your institution and looked at the consequences, it’s time to think about your next step.
You may want to:
- adjust your enrolment
- take some time out from uni
- start the subject again
- explore something new altogether.
If you are worried about falling behind in your course or having to graduate later than your cohort, explore your institution’s catch-up options. Look for summer semesters and intensive units — you might be able to study an extra subject over the holidays to make up your credits and still graduate along with your friends!