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Archive for the ‘failing’


the consequences of failing a course


I wanted to ask that if I fail a course which I do not need for my program
of study and have just taken it as a breadth requirement, what will the
consequence be?
will I have to retake the course? will I be put on probation? will I be
kicked out of uni?
So I just wanna know what exactly will happen since I don’t need it as a
pre req for my program of study!




great question. since it’s not required for your program, you won’t have to retake the course unless you really wanted to retake THAT specific course. in terms of how many times you can retake the course, you’re allowed to the retake the course as many times as you want until you pass the course (but why would you do that unless you need to). once you receive a passing grade in the course, you won’t be able to retake it to achieve a higher grade without the permission of a registrar.

if you fail a course, a grade point of 0.0 will be assigned for that course, but you’ll only be put on academic probation if your CGPA is lower than 1.5. academic probation is a whole other story but they have a helpful chart to show you how it works.

don’t worry, you won’t be kicked out of uni!





if at first you fail the course, try again

“Students with a CGPA of 2.5 or greater across the courses”

To get into my subject post, I need a CGPA of at least 2.5. I unfortunately failed one of my courses last term and I am retaking it in the fall. Will the better mark be used for my entry into the subject post or will both attempts be considered? I know you get these types of questions a lot but I am seriously stressing out!



indeed, we do get questions like this all the time, but it’s okay, that’s what i’m here for.

with regards to your question:


your higher mark will be considered! hooray!

your transcript will still show that you had two attempts, but your second attempt (assuming you’ll pass the course on the second attempt) will be considered by the department for the purpose of admission to your subject POst. if you have any more questions regarding this matter, you should definitely contact your specific department to see if they follow this general… way of doing things… (?)

i hope you get into your subject POst! school is hard, but YOU’LL GET THROUGH IT.





fake-out of a fail-out

hey aska, quick question for you. Im pretty sure I already know the answer to this but ill ask it anyway. So, Im a student at the utm campus and sadly recently failed a course which had a big impact on my cgpa. I do not need the course as a prerequiste for my program and was wondering if it were possible to get the failed mark removed from transcript or records? Thanks 🙂


hey there,

unless there were really exceptional, extenuating circumstances surrounding this failed mark (in which case I would talk to your registrar’s office about petitioning for a WDR status in the course), then no, there wouldn’t be. if you do have exceptional circumstances surrounding your failure, i always encourage touching base with your registrar’s office. otherwise though, it tends not to be possible.

i know that failing a course is a really, really crappy thing to experience. try though, if you can, to use your frustration about this mark to fuel your determination to do better next time. i know it sucks, but you can do it. i believe in you.




try try and try again


I’m having to take PHL245 as a requirement for my Bioethics Major and have been really struggling. I’ve taken the class once to get through about two thirds of it, only to drop the course. I’m retaking it this semester and have once again been struggling and am about to take my final in which I need a fairly high grade to just end with a 50%. Because of this, my confidence in passing is a little low and I’m feeling the doubt settle in.

I was wondering, how many times can you retake a course? Also… Is there a way to petition a required course if one cannot find themselves passing? What would happen if I was to take it as many times as I could and still not be able to pass (hypothetically)… Can I talk to the Program Director about my situation and have them remove it as a requirement for me?



hey there,

you can retake the course as many times as you need to as long as you’ve failed the course in your previous attempts. if you pass the course but didn’t get the course you need for your program, you can retake it, but your registrar’s office will have to put you in the course. however, your program just requires you to pass the course, so you probably don’t have to worry about that.

it is very, very unlikely that a department would waive a requirement for you. you can always speak with them about it, and in fact, i would encourage you to do so – your registrar’s office is another good stop. both of these offices will be able to advise you on realistic next steps. they will probably not, however, just drop a requirement for you. still, it may be helpful to talk.




changing an F to a WDR

Hi aska!

I have somewhat of a sticky situation that I’m not sure how to handle. I’ve been talking with my college registrar, but still feel … well, stuck!

Back in 2011, I started my first year at UofT in EngSci. I completed two full semesters, not doing extremely well, but passing/failing my courses at a pretty even ratio across the board. At that time, I had some err mental health issues, that really started to spiral out of control. I won’t go into details here. Essentially, at the end of my second semester in EngSci, I decided to transfer into LifeSci to try approaching my goals from a different perspective. I started my first semester in this new program September 2012…

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to even get passed a few months into the semester before being admitted into CAMH. To be honest, I was hospitalized for about 2 months there, and really don’t remember anything from the time (institutions seem to rely on solely pharmaceutical treatments, at least at the time –> highly medicated!) but there seems to be some records of contact between myself and my registrar in efforts to withdraw from my courses – it still would have been late withdrawal as it was past the drop date for the course. Because I didn’t complete the courses, my grades were extremely poor – all Fs.

Having said that, my treatment went sour, things went terribly, and I never ended up following through. The past four years, I’ve been trying to recover and get back on my feet. Finally, this September I re-enrolled into LifeSci and am starting all over again. Looking at my transcript, my cGPA is shot, I’d say even 6 feet below. I’ve been trying to access health records from the hospital, to no avail just yet.

What are the chances I’ll be granted a LWD if I petition at this point?

Thank you!!

Defeated Student.


hey there,

if i’m understanding correctly, you want to petition to LWD courses that you took back in 2012. i’m going to answer your question assuming that’s what you’re asking, but if i misunderstood, just let me know so i can help out further.

so, you wouldn’t be able to get an LWD. you are able to petition for a WDR (withdraw) which is essentially the same in every way as an LWD but it stands for ‘withdraw,’ and you would have ‘WDR’ designations on your transcript instead of ‘LWD.’

i don’t have enough information to be able to advise you much further in this case. whether or not the petition is likely to be successful, i can’t say. the only thing i can recommend is continuing to talk with your college registrar’s office about it.

perhaps you feel like your meeting with your registrar’s office was not particularly fruitful. that doesn’t mean it’s the end of the conversation. what i would recommend is writing down everything relevant to your story down on the piece of paper. write the points you wanted to make to your college registrar. then you can go in again and have another conversation, even with the same person, or somebody else if you’ll be more comfortable. i often find that writing things down helps to make sure you’ll cover all the points you want to cover.

there’s never any harm in submitting a petition, but if your college registrar’s office thinks it’s not advisable, then it’s worth it to listen to them and avoid wasting your time.




what petitions are and are not for

Hi,I failed a course last semester and I need it for graduating. This is my last year of school.Since I failed one course, I cannot graduate on time.I really wish to get a second chance for that course.Is it possible to make a petition of retaking the exam of redo the term work I am confused how the petition works.I’m not sure if we have to retake the failed course. Please help.


hey there,

you can’t petition to retake an exam or to redo the work. the only exam-related things you’re allowed to request are rechecks or rereads of your exam, which might result in a higher mark – though i would advise against doing these options if you don’t actually have a reason to think your mark should’ve been different.

if you were right on the cusp of passing (i’m talking 48%, 49%), you may want to e-mail your instructor explaining that you’re graduating, and asking if there was any way they might bump up your grade.

otherwise, you’d probably have to take that class again and pass it in order to graduate. hopefully, it’s offered in the summer, so you can do it then and graduate in November.

if you need some more guidance on this or your options generally, i’d highly recommend talking to your registrar’s office about it. there’s something about talking with someone face-to-face that can really help you sort through things.




lost and worried

hey aska,

i am so worried right now, im not sure what my next step is. i failed a prerequisite computer science course (49%).
i honestly slacked and i understand this but im just confused from where to go on from here. Credit no credit option due date passed and LWD obviously passed. ive emailed the prof asking if i can do anything for him to round up recently but i doubt it. What can i do and what will this ultimately affect?



hey there lostandworried,

at this point, there’s not much you can do about the failed course in terms of changing the mark. if the professor refused to round up the mark, you’re kind of at the end of the line.

as to what it will affect: it will bring your marks down on your transcript, sure. your GPA will suffer a little. however, i’m assuming that you’re in first year and this is the only course you’ve failed. if that’s the case, then every other course you pass, do well in, and add to your transcript will just make this course matter less and less. before you know it, it’ll be an insignificant blip in your academic record, as long as you recognize what you did wrong and ensure that the same thing doesn’t happen again.

what you should be focusing on now is next steps. so you failed comp. sci. lots of people do it. i know that in a society that encourages you to base your entire self-worth on numbers (grades being no small part of that), failing a course can prompt a full-on identity crisis. what i want you to remember, though, is that you are completely in control of your future. you recognize why you failed, and that means that you understand what you have to do next time in order to succeed – and that is amazing.

now you have a few questions to answer: do you still want to do a computer science POSt? if so, when are you going to retake this comp. sci. course (in the summer, next fall, etc.)? how will that fit in with the rest of the classes in your schedule? if you don’t think that comp. sci. is a good fit for you anymore, then what do you want to do? what prerequisites exist for that program that you’re now interested in?

if you do decide that you want to retake this course (either to get in to a comp. sci. POSt or not), i would recommend seeking out help to make sure that you are successful this time around. the academic success centre is a really wonderful resource. whatever it is you think is holding you back from being successful, the academic success centre probably has a workshop to help you surmount that.

if you’d like to discuss where to go from here in terms of taking courses, POSt planning, etc., i’d highly recommend you make an appointment with your college/division registrar’s office. they can help you talk through all this and come to a solution that makes sense for you.




when you try your best and you don’t succeed – Fix You (Coldplay)


So my first semester of university has gone by and it is was no easy task for me. I have failed my Intro to Computer Science course CSCA08H3, as a student in the UTSC computer science program. knowing this for my upcoming semester, how will I be able to take CSCA48H3 Intro to Computer Science 2 since it needs the prerequisite? Also, where can I deal with making up for the failed course, I’m thinking summer school or another semester. However the course i’ve failed is only available in winter semesters. I can’t quite find the info to deal with the situation I’m in right now, so any guidance would be appreciated.

Thanks, UTSC student


hey there,

if you failed CSCA08H3, you wouldn’t be able to take CSCA48H3. you would have to retake CSCA08H3 before retaking CSCA48H3.

like you mentioned, CSCA08H3 is only offered in the Fall term, otherwise i would advise you to retake it in the Winter term and then take CSCA48H3 in the summer. however, as it stands, you would probably have to take CSCA08H3 in the summer or fall and then CSCA48H3 in Winter 2017.

and while that seems frustrating and like you’re setting yourself far behind, this is something you can bounce back from. you can catch up and keep going – it’s not the end of the world.

the most important thing you can do now is not let this knock you down. everyone encounters rough patches at school. the thing that sets people apart is that some people continue to fail, and others adapt.

so, how can you adapt to this situation? firstly, i would take some time to reflect seriously on why you’re studying computer science. is it because you enjoy the material? do you want a job in computer science? if so, why do you want that job in computer science? what will this degree give you – and is it possible to get that thing elsewhere?

if you determine that you absolutely do want to stay in computer science, then you need to do whatever you can to focus on your studies this term. if that means de-prioritizing certain things to focus on school, seeking out the help of academic strategists, or simply changing some of your study habits, then you need to do those things.

if you determine that you don’t want to do computer science, then start thinking about which programs will better suit you and your needs. trust me, you don’t want to spend four years doing something that will be ultimately useless for you. and remember, your registrar’s office is always there to help you figure out what you might want to pursue next.

also, i just want to note that i’m not asking you to do this reflection because you failed a course. ideally, every student should be reflecting on this after every term, every class, every day of their lives: how can i accomplish the things i really want to do?

hopefully, then, the $30k+ will be worth it.




hahaha….i have no power. ha


Got a couple of questions for ya! 🙂

1) I ended up deciding to add a physiology minor to my double major degree. I was wondering if I am able to drop this anytime or will I have to wait until the beginning of September again in order to modify it particularly if I’m deciding to graduate next year and may not have completed the minor requirements.

2) You probably heard something similar to this a thousand times but…. my motivation level is comparable to a sad stale piece of bread and has terribly impacted my grades; this term has been the worst for me yet. (Why’d I choose life sciences….) There’s a possibility of me failing a course especially after writing the exam. Are profs usually somewhat lenient in altering the marks to at least a minimal pass mark? Or are they just unbudgeable?

3) Lastly, by any chance could you somehow hack the school system to just let me pass and obtain my stupid piece of paper? (Thought I’d give it a shot:) )

Thanks in advance and Happy Holidays!!!


hey there,

1) subject POSts are only alterable (is that a word? it is now) between april and september. so if you’re planning on graduating november 2016 or june 2017, just wait until then to drop the minor, and there’ll be no harm done. if you’re planning on graduating THIS JUNE, then GET THEE TO YOUR REGISTRAR’S OFFICE asap, so they can drop it for you.

2) ummmmm. i’ll put it this way: it doesn’t hurt to try. you’ve got nothing to lose in just pleading your case to a prof. the smaller the class (and, i find, the higher the year), the more willing they usually are to listen to you and help you out. however, i make no guarantees. it’s a hard case to make. good luck? i hope you don’t fail.

3) the fact that you assume i have that kind of power is adorable. i’m just a humble cog in the machine, friends.

i hope you had a good holiday too! i hope the Big Red Man successfully broke into your house at night to leave you the nice Mystery Packages.




math again, wrath again

Hey,Without an announcement on blackboard for MATA30, I checked Rosi to see a failing mark of 45%, which is down 15% from what I had going into the exam. I am in Physical and Environmental Sciences program which also requires MATA36 semester two. I immediately re-enrolled in MATA30 and kept MATA36 for my second semester at UTSC without knowing if it will actually allow me to do this. I am wondering if that is the easiest way for me to make up the shockingly failed course. Or what other possible suggestions allow for me to continue without tuition change/summer classes.
(I know exams and holidays means business but id appreciate the closest available help since I don’t know of any possible deadlines)Thank you


hey there,

first thing’s first: i’m glad you signed up for MATA30 again and secured a spot in that class. THAT WAS SMART; DON’T DROP IT. however, since MATA30 is a requirement for MATA36, they’re probably not going to let you take MATA36 until you’ve finished the former course. you can always ask the department (nothing’s stopping you), but i doubt they’ll make an exception.

so: what you have to do now is drop MATA36. you can consider taking it next year, if you don’t want to take anything in the summer. you still have a while until the drop deadline, but the math department has the authority to pull you from the course at any point, so it’s best for you to do it before they do.

i know it’s frustrating to have to contemplate altering your plans, and i’m sure you just want to get first-year math out of the way. but taking MATA36 in fall 2016 instead of winter 2016 (or even in the summertime) doesn’t have to completely disrupt your schedule. feel free to talk to the registrar’s office if you need further help with planning.




1 1.0 course or 2 0.5 courses is…the same…

So I just finished the first semester of my third year, and I think I’ve failed my first course at UofT. How badly do you think this will effect my chances of getting into law school? I know I have to retake the course cause I need it for my POST minor, but because it’s in 3rd year I’m worried about the impression it’ll create for grad school.

Also, is there any difference between getting a high grade in a 1.0 credit course vs a 0.5 credit course. I just want to know if taking a full year course does anything to boost your GPA compared to a half year course?


hey there,

i can’t say for sure how this would affect a law school application. all i can say is the more this grade looks like an anomaly, the better. like, if you get, let’s say, a 45% in one course in your third year, but everything else in your third and fourth years is in the 80s and/or 90s, then the admissions people for law school will likely to see that one mark as a fluke. if it becomes part of a trend however, then it might be cause for concern.

and to answer your second question: if you have a course worth 1.0 credits, that is going to weigh exactly double a 0.5 credit course – as the math would suggest. but there’s no difference, GPA-wise, between taking two half-year courses and getting an 80% in each one and taking one full-year course and getting an 80% in that course. so…you know…just take what you wanna take…u do u bae.




…another clever idea to get us killed – or worse, EXPELLED


I’m an international student at uoft. I finished two semesters. In first sem I failed 2 courses and was told by my graduate coordinator that I’ll be expelled if I fail one more course. But in second semester I ended up failing one course. Will I be expelled?? Is there a rule that permits that?

Being an international student, is there anyway I can drop out and get a job in Canada? I have a complete masters with distinction from India.

Thank you.


hey there,

without much context about your program or academic history, it’s hard for me to predict how your academic standing will be affected. however, it’s definitely possible for you to face consequences for failing a course (or courses) in graduate school.

the School of Graduate Studies states that “[i]f a student fails to complete a graduate course in a satisfactory manner (i.e., receives a grade report of FZ or NCR in a course or receives a grade report below the minimum acceptable by the graduate unit), then the graduate unit in which the student is registered may recommend to the School of Graduate Studies the termination of registration and eligibility of that student.

so right off the bat, i’d say the school does permit it. HOWEVER, i’d recommend you talk to a student services officer ASAP to see if there’s anything you can do to avoid it.

if you have the appropriate work permit, it’s possible for you to work in Canada (speak to someone at CIE if you have any questions about work permits).

however, i have no idea how easy it will be for you to get a job. that all depends on what your master’s degree from India is in, and on what kind of job you’re looking for.

it’s hard for everyone to land a job these days, and what’s even harder is to land one with a liveable salary. but it’s possible, if you do everything right and you’re lucky. if you need help with the job search, you can always find it at the career centre.

a lot of this is way over my head, to be honest. i’d really recommend that you talk to a student services officer at the school of graduate studies about next steps, whether you want to try to stay on at school or start looking for a job.

all the best,




If you fail a course and retake it and pass the second time which mark will be used for your cgpa?


hey there,

like all unfair things in our democratic, meritocratic, egalitarian society, both marks will be reported on your transcript, and will count equally towards your CGPA.

on the plus side, at least your retaken course counts for something, right?



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