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zensky's avatar

Have you ever had to do over a course/term?

Asked by zensky (13280 points ) December 11th, 2012

Or perhaps you studied something and failed the exam the first time around – like a driver’s license for example.

Would you share the experience? The feelings involved – the motivation – the conclusion…?

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13 Answers

tranquilsea's avatar

When I was a newish insurance agent I was taking multiple exams at once. The one I didn’t spend that much time on was the life insurance exam. I failed it (just barely). I took it 4 weeks later and passed. I think that was the only test I ever failed.

wundayatta's avatar

Hmm. I tended to quit before I failed. My sophomore year in college, I took a course about politics. We had to read Weber and Marx and many other theoreticians. It was a very tough course. I wrote the mid term paper overnight and was sure I had failed. I didn’t know if I understood anything. I don’t know, but I think I got an A- on it. Maybe a B+.

However, I did not feel equipped for the final, and I don’t remember if it was an exam or a paper or both. In any case, I gave up on it. I just “no entried” the course. I failed, but it wouldn’t appear on my transcript.

I was scared. I thought I’d do badly. I don’t remember how badly I thought I’d do. Was I afraid of failing? Was I afraid of a C? Knowing me, a C would have been unacceptable. But as it was, I felt like an utter fuck-up. What was I doing in college? I was unprepared and unable to do the work.

Of course, looking back, I realize none of that was the end of the world—failure, a C, or if I actually had done the work, even half-assed, I might have gotten an A, anyway. At least a B. But I had no idea how I matched up with my fellow students. And even if someone had told me, I would not really have believed it. It was too easy. Something must be wrong.

I think life probably has been a hell of a lot easier for me than for most people. I’ve had a lot of advantages, principal among them a good education. But I’m lazy and I don’t try very hard, and that’s fine. It’s ok to fail. Life goes on. I don’t have to beat myself up for it. I’d taken some college courses in high school so I had enough credits.

If you fuck up, so what? Move on. It really is small in the scheme of things. People will forget. I will forget (until some jerk asks a question like this ;-).

Now I’ve learned I can survive many failures. The consequences are not what I was afraid of. People forgive me. It’s really quite amazing. I mean, I can understand why I forgive others, but I always thought my failures were inexcusable. Now I know that people will forgive even me. They’re probably not in their right minds, but I am grateful.

El_Cadejo's avatar

I’ve only ever had to retake one class. I don’t really consider this a personal failing though, I had a really really bad teacher for the class. He was smart, I’ll give him that but he was so into his field that he kind of assumed that the subject matter was basic to everyone and it was inconceivable that someone couldn’t understand it. I could have stayed in the class and probably gotten by with a passing grade, but I wanted to actually learn and from someone who cared so I dropped it and retook it this semester. Ended up getting a B in the class too :)

SuperMouse's avatar

I had to retake an intro to computing class. It was an online course that I took for an easy A. It turned out that was the semester that my ex decided to take me to court for custody, seek a guardian ad-litem for the kids, make false reports to CPS, have my car repossessed, etc. I ended up barely keeping my head above water in the required classes and this “easy A” took the back seat. The instructor was kind and gave me extra time to get the work done, but I didn’t manage and I had to retake the class. I took it last semester and got an A.

JLeslie's avatar

I withdrew out of a high school history class because I hated it and was doing poorly. Of course I had to take the class again the next year, I don’t know how I got through it. I hated history so much, zero interest. Somehow I passed.

Bellatrix's avatar

No. I did very badly in maths at school, but I didn’t fail. I have never had to re-do anything.

cookieman's avatar

Sure. There were five required art history courses for my degree. I passed four of them just fine (as well as all my other courses), but bombed when I got to the senior-level art history course. Took it again the next semester – bombed again. Finally, on the third try, I passed – with an ‘A’ no less.

To this day, I have no idea what the hell happened to me the first two times.

bookish1's avatar

@JLeslie : I’m sorry you had a shitty high school history teacher. History is not the awful rote memorization of events and dates that so many teachers make it out to be :-/ That’s just the easiest way to present it and get through the semester, but it doesn’t appeal to the imagination or cultivate critical thinking skills. Half of my battle each semester working with undergrads is un-teaching them whatever their high school history teachers have made them think history is.

I’ve never had to retake a class, and I’ve never even dropped a course or had to request an incomplete…until grad school.

augustlan's avatar

I had to retake algebra. The first time I took it, I was placed in the class way early (8th grade, which at the time was not usual) and had a teacher who could not be bothered with helping me understand why the hell math suddenly had all these letters in it. I could not wrap my head around it, and she refused to even discuss it with me. Failed the class, and it’s the only class I ever got less than a B in. I was scared to death of algebra for a while, so I didn’t re-take it until 10th grade. That time around it was easy-peasy. I think I got an A.

JLeslie's avatar

@bookish1 It wasn’t only because I had to remember dates, I just did not care at all about the topic. As an adult I am more interested, but it is still difficult for me to study it and keep it in my head. I was never a great reader, not of any topic.

zensky's avatar

@JLeslie I am the same – I hated almost every subject in high school – especially history. As an adult, I cannot think of anything more important or interesting. History, Geography – today, for me, it’s about culture – archaelogy – travel – culinary arts – fine art – wow – history is wonderful. And the channel rocks, too.

;-)

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