Failing Student to Straight-A Student

Failing Student to Straight-A Student

Recently I received a Quora question.

Is it possible for an unsuccessful or failing student to become a straight-A student?

The very short answer is yes.

The road to becoming that so-called straight-A student, however, is more complex. If you are said student who is failing, the first step is to stand back and look objectively at why you are not doing better. 

This can be a challenge. We often do not like to look closely at ourselves or critique ourselves without hedging. Excuses or justifications tend to creep in rather than a full-on, honest critique.

If you find this is a problem, you should ask others to help you and ask them to be brutally honest. Your teachers would be a great starting point. Not only do they know the expectations, but they will also be impressed that you are trying to find solutions. It is the first step to your becoming a better student.

I will mention now that becoming a straight-A student if you are failing should not be your immediate or short-term goal. It would be better to focus on improving your strategies, schedule, and procedures first. The grades will follow; but, if you expect to receive straight A’s shortly after beginning the journey – even if you work diligently – you will likely be disappointed and give up on what should be your longer-term goal of becoming that straight-A student.

Also, I would not recommend taking the “straight-A” too seriously. Even though I have a Udemy course with this verbiage in the title, the true goal of education is to reach your best ability and retain the skills (not all the content) that you have gained. Look to some of my other blogs and videos to learn more about my thoughts on grades themselves.

Instead, set your sites on making modest improvements. Armed with information about your current state of affairs, you will be equipped to begin making corrections. Since I don’t know your specific details, I will mention a few common stumbling blocks for students who are struggling or failing.


SchedulingTime commitment is key. If you don’t (or won’t) spend enough time on your studies, you will not improve. Anything you learn whether that is chemistry, skateboarding, or Minecraft, you learn more with time and practice. Not only do you need to spend the appropriate amount of time, but committing it to a schedule helps to keep you on track. It also prepares your mind to focus on study alone if you have planned to spend a specified block of time on one subject or project. A proper schedule allows you to get more done in less time. Do not start on your new journey thinking you will study 24/7. That is unrealistic. A properly organized schedule that includes breaks and personal needs works best.

Take Notes

Take notes in lectures, from online videos, presentations, and podcasts. Take notes from your textbook – or other texts. You get the idea. Unless you are writing (and try writing rather than typing or recording), you are not fully working with the material.

Keep your notes organized and review them daily and weekly. It does not take long!

When you are reviewing frequently, the information is still relatively fresh but this revolving review will solidify much of the information you need to know. Done correctly, you will dramatically reduce the amount of time you need to prepare for tests or exams, and you will be far less stressed.

Attend all classes

Being there is important – not only for the obvious reason that you will hear new material but also because the teacher knows who cares about education and who does not. This makes a massive difference.

Ask questions

Ask questions of yourself. Ask questions about the text or any study material. Ask the teacher, other students, or a tutor questions when you are unsure.

Asking questions is not a weakness. It is strength – a super strength to be blunt.


There is nothing better than working with the material. Find ways to make the information meaningful to you and then set up your own quizzes and question. Answer them without looking at the answer, and then check to see how you did.

You are, in fact, your own best teacher for the long run. The new book I’m writing is all about this: Teach Myself! Teach Myself?

If you can write answers to relevant questions during practice sessions, the in-class test or exam will be much easier and your responses will be more accurate and complete.

VeggiesTake care of yourself

Eat right, sleep well, and stick to your schedule. Taking care of yourself is important. You need to have a balance.  It is never a “waste of time” to get the proper amount of sleep or to eat properly. It will save you time in the long run.  A healthy body means a healthy brain.

Monitor yourself

Be strict, fair, and honest with yourself. Are you sitting down for all planned study sessions? Are you taking quality notes? Are you attending all classes? Are you asking questions of yourself, the material, and the teachers? Are you self-testing/

Above all, believe you can do it!

If you are looking for more information, do not hesitate to get in touch. In the meantime, here are some discount coupons good for thirty days after this blog publication.

Discount coupon for Study Skills- Become an A+ Student

Discount coupon for Test & Exam Strategies

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