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"I'll Just Ace the Final" and Five Other Signs You're About to Fail This Course


Photo by UBC Learning Commons / CC BY 2.0

The semester may feels like it’s been dragging on forever, but look on the bright side: by the time you’re able to drag your average back up to an A, it will be long over. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, but it just looks a lot like a C. In early days of February, here are a few signs that you’re already going to fail this course.

  1. “I’ll just ace the final.” — You only need a 127% on the final to bring your final grade up to an A. Sounds achievable, right? Wrong. The max you can get on this exam is 100%, and somehow the idea of getting 127% is less outrageous than getting 100%. 
  2. “Wait, is the midterm next week, or today?” — The midterm is today, but don’t worry. If you get 135% on the final, you can make up for failing this midterm too. 
  3. “We get to drop our lowest grade, so I’ll just drop the first one.” — You wasted your only drop on the first assignment (which was a Canvas quiz about the syllabus). Don’t worry, though. Everyone on Penn Course Review said that the syllabus was the hardest part of the course.
  4. “This assignment is only like 15% of our grade anyway.” — That’s a pretty heavy weight for one assignment. You can make it up during the final if you get 150%, though.
  5. “Will the final be cumulative?” — Is it ever not? This is your way of asking if you actually have to learn the material from the first two midterms you bombed, and the answer is yes, you definitely do. 
  6. “Fuck it. I’m going to fail anyway; let’s get drunk tonight.” — The final stage of grief: acceptance. You know what’s waiting for you when you enter that lecture hall tomorrow, but you’re gonna live until you die. Drink up, soldier. At daybreak, you have to start cramming.