Repeating a class or course unit

Monday January 21 2019

Assessment is needed before a parent decides to

Assessment is needed before a parent decides to talk a child into repeating a class. COURTESY PHOTO.  

By Barbara Nekesa

The exam results came out at the end of last term, some last Friday or others soon coming back for the candidate classes, and they are not as good as expected; as a parent you may be forced to face the difficult and harsh decision to let your child repeat a class.

Why would a student fail?
There are various reasons why a student might fail a class or course unit. Such include not being fully prepared for the final exams, or the student did not perform well in the more preferred or compulsory subjects or some students were unlucky to suffer an illness, bereavement or family problems during the year. Other students were simply not putting in as much effort as they should have. Some hardworking students might have fallen short for their preferred and yet competitive courses such as Engineering, Medicine or Law. Whatever the reason, when a student fails a class or course unit, they might have to take up the option of repeating.

Making the decision to repeat
When faced with this situation, the parent should sit down with the student and discuss this option focusing on the reason the student could have failed and whether they will improve the second time. If the student is likely to repeat the same habits of the previous year, then repeating should not be an option. The student must be ready to commit to passing. Many students reach a certain level of realisation after failing their exams and are usually ready to give it another shot and often make good repeat students.

You might also have to discuss whether to have your child repeat the class in the same school which has the advantage of the same teaching style and school environment. Or you would rather switch schools and begin on a clean slate because your child might be uncomfortable and able to adjust to having their classmates advance while they remain in the same class.

Depending on the child, this could impact your child either positively where they are encouraged to work hard or negatively where your child feels discouraged as they frequently interact with their former classmates.

What to do if you are repeating a class
The student must overcome possible feelings of frustration, confusion, or intimidation by the decision made before making any new progress. Once you have come to terms with your decision to repeat a class or course unit;

Plan differently
Properly planning on how best you will pass this time around is key. Consider what could have gone wrong the first time and how to change it this time around. Doing the same thing the same way may not yield any better results.
You have all the material for the previous year and therefore you have a good starting ground. Pre-studying or reviewing the class material before your repeat of the class or course unit starts will help alleviate the fear of failure.

Be more focused on new insight
Because you are already familiar with the subjects, now you can spend your time focusing on or uncovering insights, or otherwise approaching the subject with a much deeper-thinking mindset.
When faced with this rather difficult decision to repeat, remember to commit to working hard for it is worth the hustle when all your hard work pays off. As the saying goes, if at first you do not succeed, dust yourself up and try again.

Why retake a course?
Retaking a course may raise your student’s GPA (grade point average). In many schools, if a student retakes a course, the most recent grade will replace the lower grade in the student’s GPA. The earlier, lower grade will remain on her transcript, but will not be included in the GPA.
Obviously, your student will need to retake a course in which he has received an F if that course is a required course or a required prerequisite for another course which he needs.
A student who is retaking a course to improve his GPA needs to retake the course at his own institution.