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Ashworth College Blog

What Happens if You Fail an Exam?

Written by Autumn Granza on Friday, 17 January 2020. Posted in Online College

Note book and laptop.

You’ve taken notes, made flashcards, and aced practice tests. You feel confident and ready to take the exam. You begin and expect to ace it, but even after all of your preparation, at the end you find out you failed. What happens next? Before stressing out about whether or not you’ll fail your course...or if you’re even cut out for your program, here’s what you should do.

Relax, it doesn’t mean you failed your course

First and foremost, take a deep breath. Step away from your computer or tablet. While failing may seem like a bad thing, it doesn’t mean that you’re a failure. Mistakes happen, but it’s part of being human. How you handle a loss is what matters.

Take some time to decompress. Don’t think about your studies. Go for a walk, read a book, or hang out with friends. Taking some time away from school work can restore motivation and increase productivity. By relaxing and taking a break you’ll be able to reset, refresh, and come back ready to hit the books.

Review the course material

Now that you’ve taken a breather, it’s time to start studying. Make sure your study space is ready to go. Get rid of distractions and get as comfortable as possible. Start by reviewing the questions you had a hard time answering. In addition to reviewing your notes, use visual aids like flashcards or charts. From there, take practice tests or practice on old exams. This will help you understand the format questions will be presented in and how much time you may need to take the exam.

You can also lean on fellow students. The Student Community is a great place to meet students studying in the same program or courses. You can form study groups and support each other as you progress through your studies.

How to retake an Ashworth College exam

Ashworth’s flexible, self-paced programs not only allow you to study when and where you want, but also allow you to take the time you need to study and understand the material you’re learning before you test. If you fail an exam, here’s what you need to know.

Career School

  • If you’re working towards career diplomas or career certificates, you are able to retake exams and assignments. Three retakes are allowed, but aren’t required if the final course average is above 70.

College

  • If you’re working towards career diplomas or career certificates, you are able to retake exams and assignments. Three retakes are allowed, but aren’t required if the final course average is above 70.
  • Undergraduate programs. You’re allowed two attempts on quizzes and assignments. However, it’s not required to resubmit an exam if you’re satisfied with the score. For semester exams, the minimum passing score is 70%. If all sections aren’t passed, you may retake the failed section once. The retake is 36 minutes and must be completed within 90 days of the date of the original exam.
  • Graduate programs. At the graduate level, exam and assignment reakes aren’t allowed. However, retakes are allowed for semester exams, where the minimum passing score is 80%. You must pass each part of the semester exam in order to continue the program. If you fail the first attempt, you’ll be given one retake opportunity for each part no sooner than 30 days after the previously administered semester exam. Each part of the retake will be different from the previously administered exam. If you fail only one part of the exam, you’ll be required to retake only the failed part.
  • Military students. You’re allowed two attempts at each assessment and only one attempt at a pretest. If satisfied with the score received, you aren’t required to submit a retake. You must obtain a 60% to pass a course or lesson. For semester exams, the minimum passing score is 70%. If you don’t pass all sections of the exam you may retake the failed sections once. For each section failed on the first attempt, you’re allowed 36 minutes on the retake attempt. All semester exam retakes must be completed within 90 days of the date of the original semester exam.

The rules may vary by program, so make sure to check in with your Academic Advisor if you’re worried you may not pass.

Let Ashworth help

Whether you’re a current student or are interested in enrolling, Ashworth College has resources available to help you succeed. Ashworth’s Education Department is there to help you if you get stuck. Academic Advisors offer support relating to your course material and tutoring assistance. Our college also has an online library and writing lab, both there to help you advance through your studies. If you’re ready to further your education, talk with an Admissions Advisor at or enroll online.

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