Sometimes students feel that their professors give them unfair grades. This situation is very common, and many students do not know how to handle it correctly. In many cases students are trying to fix the situation, but actually make it even worse. Here are a few suggestions of how to do it right:
- Please double check your work before going to speak with the professor. You need to make sure that you really did not deserve the grade that you got. Try to put your emotions aside. Believe me I know it’s hard, but it is possible.
- If you still believe that you were graded unfair, don’t wait too long. It is better to deal with the problem right away, before the teacher has a wrong impression about you. Show him how much you are interested in the subject he/she is teaching and how hard you have been and going to work to get a good grade.
- Please make sure you come to your professor with the right attitude. You don’t want to be confrontational or make them angry. You probably don’t want to say, “YOU gave me an unfair grade”. Rather, you want to show concern and sincerity. You should approach it more like this, “Would you please help me understand the reasons I got this grade? I would like to know it because I want to improve myself for the future.”
- When you are ready to talk to your professor, try to find the right time for it.You could either do it after or before class, or during his/her office hours. Don’t catch your professor at the wrong time, when he/she is busy or too tired to speak with you.
- When you talk to your professor, never question his/her authority. Respect his decision and let him know that you do.Professors (like many of us) have big egos, therefore don’t really like hearing about their mistakes, especially from their students.
- After your teacher gives his or her explanations on the grade he or she gave you, try to give your reasons behind those mistakes. But be careful and don’t argue the grade you got! Say that you want to improve and don’t want to make those mistakes again.
- Don’t make excuses and be honest! In this case, the teacher is more likely to become sympathetic and will think about your words when he or she grades your next assignment.
- Take notes, if possible, of what your teacher has to say and make sure you actually listen and follow with them later.
- Thank your teacher for the time he/she spent on you and ask if you could rely on his/her help if needed in the future.