While every student strives to avoid failing or even coming close to failing, the unthinkable does happen from time to time, and a failing grade is an outcome. These scenarios might be demoralizing for students, but it’s crucial to realize that institutions do give students a second opportunity if they are truly honest and hardworking.
At some point throughout their studies, most students will fail at least one course. If you receive the disappointing news that your thesis or dissertation has been deemed a ‘failure,’ don’t let it stop you from completing your studies and receiving your degree. Breathe and ask yourself: “What should I do next?” Here is the guide with some concrete steps you can take.
You should first double-check your results.
At one of the institutions where I work, a student came up to me and said that their dissertation had been rejected, but when I checked their result, it merely stated that the mark had been “withheld.” However, this does not mean that you’ve failed, but rather that your exam results have been postponed because of a lack of evidence supporting your theory.
Before getting your final score, you may be prompted to provide additional information. Failed but allowed to submit again: This signifies that you didn’t pass your thesis, and you can critically evaluate the meaning of your dissertation and resubmit all or part of your assessment work to the examiners for another evaluation if you so want.
If you pass your resubmission, you’ll only earn the lowest possible pass grade, which is the case with resubmissions like this. It’s still worth it to finish the programme and get your degree.
Please retry. Get better at what you do.
Your total grade should be seen as an opportunity to ‘do better,’ not a failure that warrants a resubmission. To help you do this, you should ask for feedback from others.
In order to take action immediately, you need to know why a pupil didn’t succeed for more than a month. There may be written feedback in the form of a report or profile that details areas where marks were gained or lost in some cases.
According to the test board’s specifications, performance profiles might vary in-depth, but in general, they include your score/mark for each component of the thesis. If you look at your performance profile, you may see tiny disparities between your overall examinable score and the findings for each individual component.
Requesting written feedback from your Supervisor and/or marker(s) may be possible even if you don’t receive it (the majority are happy to provide verbal feedback but will rarely give written feedback as this might cut across decisions made by the board).
This is one more reason why you should try to finish it quickly since the persons most likely to offer you feedback (your Supervisor and/or Internal Examiner) may be on vacation or have moved on to the next group of pupils. In order to get the most out of your Supervisor and/or marker’s feedback, you need to think about how to improve your paper or presentation when you resubmit it.
Get help from external sources
You should check to see if there are any other resources that can help you resubmit your work. At one institution I’m aware of, your Supervisor remains in place until your second submission is complete, whilst at another, you’re immediately allocated an alternate Supervisor to assist you with your resubmission process.
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Look at the resubmission guidelines. It’s important to read all of the resubmission rules before resubmitting:
- Resubmitting after the original submission date might range from a few days to six months. Depending on when the next resubmission window opens, you may be able to postpone rewriting your thesis for up to a year.
- Check to see whether the faculty will or won’t register you for the new submission; at some institutions, you’ll have to go through the process yourself; others will handle it automatically.
It’s possible that if your grades aren’t stellar, you may only be allowed to revise the parts of your paper that obtained a failing mark, for example. Others may ask you to edit or revise a certain section of your essay (for example, you’re abstract).