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Ensuring you don't fail a course

It is important to take time to consider why you failed. If you don’t know the reason you failed, you won’t do anything differently and will probably fail again. Here are a few of the most common reasons for failing a course and how you can solve them.

Needing better English language skills

  • Talk to your lecturers or tutors about parts of the lecture or course you had difficulty understanding
  • Join an English conversation group at ACT Libraries or you could start your own!
  • Reduce your study load. You may find that taking a reduced number of courses gives you more time to really focus on the courses in which you are enrolled. Domestic students can drop courses to achieve a reduced study load, but international students must apply.
  • Practice English every day. Speak only English with your friends, read only English books, newspapers and websites, watch only English television programs, movies and DVDs.

Lack of academic skills

  • Ask for feedback from your lecturers and tutors on how you’re going, especially after any assessment.
  • Talk to your lecturers or tutors about things you don’t understand. Ask them for suggestions for extra material which may help you to increase your understanding, or ways to practice a problem you’re having trouble with.
  • Talk to the ANU Academic Skills and Learning Centre. They offer a range of services which could help.
  • Reduce your study load. You may find that taking a reduced number of courses gives you more time to really focus on the courses in which you are enrolled. Domestic students can drop courses to achieve a reduced study load, but international students must apply.

Difficulty with the exam

  • Talk to your lecturers or tutors and ask them for suggestions on ways to prepare for the exam.
  • Talk to the ANU Academic Skills and Learning Centre. They may have workshops or other resources to help you prepare.
  • Go to the ANU Library and find recent past exams for your course. Practice the exam under normal exam conditions and timing. You may like to take one of your attempts to your tutor for feedback. If the library doesn’t have a recent past exam for your course, ask your lecturer whether it is possible to provide one to the library so you can practice.

Having a medical condition

  • If you have an ongoing medical condition or a condition which is short-term but severe enough that it may require special arrangements to be made so that you can study, you should register with ANU Access and Inclusion.
  • See the ANU Health Service or ANU Counselling Centre to get help to manage your condition.
  • Reduce your study load. You may find that taking a reduced number of courses gives you more time to really focus on the courses in which you are enrolled.
  • Take program leave, allowing you the time you need to deal with the situation and return, able to focus on your studies.

Outside pressures (eg. family situations or work)

  • See the ANU Counselling Centre and get support in dealing with the pressures you’re under.
  • Reduce your study load. You may find that taking a reduced number of courses gives you more time to really focus on the courses in which you are enrolled.
  • Take program leave, allowing you the time you need to deal with the situation and return, able to focus on your studies.
  • Reduce the hours that you work.

Updated:   2 November 2018 / Responsible Officer:  CBE Communications and Outreach / Page Contact:  College Web Team