• failing

    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.



  • failing,  graduation,  subject POST

    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.



  • failing,  math

    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.



  • failing,  grad school,  law

    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.



  • failing,  grad school

    …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,


  • failing

    FAILURE (but not really)


    I’m a first year here at UofT. This first semester I failed a course that is required for my POSt. I’m really worried; I’ve never failed a course before.

    If I retake the course this semester and pass all my other courses with good marks, it shouldn’t have a huge effect, right? I won’t be expelled for one F, will I?



    hey there,

    no, you won’t be expelled for one F. you wouldn’t even be expelled for two, or three F’s. it’s very hard to get expelled at this university, actually. you get quite a few tries before you’re denied further registration.

    assuming you’re on the downtown campus and in the faculty of arts & science, your academic standing is going to be assessed for the first time in april. if your GPA is above a 1.50, you’ll be in good standing. if it’s below 1.50, you’ll be ‘on probation,’ which means you’ll have the next term (summer or fall/winter) to try and get your CGPA above a 1.50.

    a failing grade is definitely going to impact your GPA – there’s just no way around that. but if you pass and do well in all your other courses, it’s TOTALLY feasible to stay above a 1.50 (that’s about a 61%, if you need a reference).

    i’d recommend looking into some academic resources available on campus to make sure you stay on the right track for the rest of the year.

    and just so you know, if you retake the course you failed, both attempts will be listed on your transcript and weighted equally (so, for example, if you got a 40% the first time and an 80% the second time, it would be like having two marks of 60% on your transcript).

    all the best,


  • failing,  prereqs

    try try and try again


    I failed a course that is a prerequisite for my program ( I got a 45) and the next offering of the course is not until the next school year, i.e 2015-2016 fall semester. Will I have to wait an entire school year to retake the class or is their possibly anything I can do during this school year?

    PS: How long does it generally take for people to complete their undergrad? I don’t think I’ll be finishing in 4yrs and I’m pretty bummed about it tbh.



    hey there,

    ahh man, i’m sorry. that’s never a fun experience. you can contact the department to see if there are any other options (like taking an equivalent course at utsc/utm, taking it during the summer – the summer timetable isn’t out yet, so it still may be offered, etc.). but it’s possible you’ll have to wait until next fall/winter.

    you also may want to reflect a bit about whether the subject POSt you’re interested in is the right one for you. maybe contact your college registrar to make an appointment and chat about it.

    as for how long it takes, i have two things to say about that:

    1) lots of people take more than four years to complete their undergrads. people take breaks to work, people do make-up years to boost their GPA, people sometimes want to take more courses at the undergrad level about something that really interests them…the list goes on.

    also, one failed course does not automatically add a year to your degree. don’t resign yourself to a fifth year yet.

    2) even if lots of people DIDN’T take fifth years, that shouldn’t stop YOU from taking one.

    listen, the earlier you learn this lesson, the better it’s gonna be for you: do what you feel most comfortable with. one of the best things about uoft is how flexible it is (EVEN BETTER than the cold, the old buildings with wonky heating, the huge first year classes and the fact that there’s no subway station midway between Queen’s Park and Museum).

    it’s in your best interest to take advantage of that flexibility and make your university experience make sense for YOU. i know failing is never fun, but there are lots of options for you, and if an extra year is something you WANT to do, you shouldn’t let anything stop you. POWER TO THE PEOPLE! or person. singular or plural.



  • bird courses,  failing

    don’t send me your personal documents ffs


    as you can see i did terrible

    i received 5 credits, and failed 4 credits! so my cgpa is 0.76. I do want to come back this fall 2014 to complete my degree by improving my grades.

    I think i will do religion major as it is the only high grades.. also do geography minor and biology minor (science stream) to receive a Bachelor of Science degree.

    The reason I choose biology and Geography is because it is a type 1 subject post – for a science subject! Most subjects like psychology minor is a type 2!

    do you know how hard are geography courses? my high school geography marks was easy but this is UofT!

    is there a chance in raising my CGPA to atleast 2.0? I know raising it to 4.0 will always remain a dream because I can not even transfer to any other?University – I am not in good academic standing!

    any advices?

    can you please recommend any GPA booster courses?

    or teachers name?



    hey there,

    firstly, do not send me personal documents over e-mail, even if it’s just a screenshot of your transcript. that’s very dangerous. i could be a goblin. i could be mojo jojo. you don’t have enough reason to trust me that you should feel comfortable sending me these things. i mean, obviously i’m actually all y’alls’ saviour, but you can’t know that for sure.

    also, i don’t care enough to look at anyone’s transcripts or marks. so don’t do that, okay?

    before you go ahead and enrol in courses, i’d recommend making an appointment with your college registrar to discuss your academic history and where to go from here – whether staying in school is the best option for you, and if it is, what you can do to improve. if you’re currently on academic probation, it’s important to get the best advice possible about how to proceed to make sure you’re not suspended.

    as i’ve said before, i don’t believe in “easy courses.” every course is hard. doing well is hard. life is hard. so you have to make the right decision for you, based on your own interests and strengths. if you did well in high school geography, figure out why! see where and how you can apply that to university.

    is there a chance of raising your GPA? sure. anything is possible, and there are many people who’ve gone through a less-than-great first year and managed to turn it all around. but the way to do that is not to figure out what?course or prof is easiest, but to make a plan about how YOU can do better.

    best of luck,


    P.S. YES i know yoda is not a goblin. who do you think i am. sheesh.

  • failing

    a failing fact


    I have failed few courses last year (first year), and I was wondering if I?can retake those courses…??will my marks be replaced on my transcript? will it be an average of the?two??


    hey there,

    since you don’t actually get credit for failed courses,?you can retake them. the mark for the new courses will appear on your transcript as well as the failed marks, and both marks will be weighted equally.



  • failing,  grad school

    moving past first year (it’s hard for us all)

    Hey, I just finished my first year at UofT and I’m in a bit of a pickle. I calculated my GPA and, thanks to a few personal setbacks and a failing grade (half credit), I’m at a 1.8625. Now I’ve been told that first year doesn’t matter in the long run, that by the time I’m graduating and applying for jobs or a Master’s programme, no one will care about first year. However, I’m not sure if that’s true and I’m freaking out a little (a lot). Am I going to suffer as a result of this year? Also, thanks to the failing grade, I’m at 3.5 FCES and I know in order to enrol into my subject POSts, I need 4. Will not being able to enrol until next year hurt me in some way? I have all the prerequisites I need to enrol into my classes but I’m just not sure what’s going to happen with the subject POSts. Sorry if you get asked stuff like this all the time, I’m just beyond confused and worried.


    Supes Confused Second Year


    hey there,

    don’t worry, man, i get it: just because other people have asked the question before, doesn’t mean that it’s unimportant. if anything, you should feel better about the fact that lots of people have been in your situation. if they were able to pull through it, so can you. well i mean, probably. the odds are good, anyway. i’ve gotta be a rational optimist, y’know.

    most master’s programs don’t look at the CGPA of all four years. some do, but i’d say it’s not a majority. so you can take comfort in that.

    as to subject POSts, you can enrol in a summer course to close that gap between 3.5 and 4.0, but the deadline to register and enrol is coming up REAL SOON, so if you decide to do that, get yourself to your college registrar as soon as possible. otherwise, you can wait until the next subject POSt enrolment period; lots of POSts allow you to enrol after second year. there are some courses that are restricted to people in certain POSts, so there may be some courses you’re interested in that you won’t be able to take, but other than that, it shouldn’t affect your second year too severely.

    all practical talk aside, if you’ve finished a GPA with a 1.86, that’s not great. i understand that personal setbacks can impact school pretty severely (and first year is never easy, no matter which way you spin it), but if you are experiencing setbacks*, then support is often just the thing you need to help you along. the best people i know at this university who can provide that kind of support are the ones in the registrar’s offices. so consider making an appointment with them to talk about this past year, and make plans for improving next year.

    finally, don’t freak out about this. this is just a thing that happened, and now it’s up to you to make a decision about how to proceed. whatever happens, you’ll move past this, and as long as you’re making choices that you’re happy with, that’s all that matters.



    *that makes you sound like a computer or something. i’m sorry. i didn’t mean to imply that; you are, of course, a person with thoughts and feelings, unlike myself. i’m a 7-ft-tall android built by uoft to help students. did you know they integrated ROSI into my retinas?

  • failing,  summer

    *sweeps previous mark hastily under rug*

    So I did horrible in MAT136, and I failed the course. Does that mean I have to retake it in summer school to enrol in my subject post? (This is for Life Sciences Students by the way). I’m honestly also worried about my CGPA. After I retake it, will it cover up my failing mark?
    – Please post this as anonymously


    hey there,

    if MAT136 is a prerequisite for your desired subject POST, then yeah, definitely take it in the summer. just make sure that if the POSt is a type 2 or 3, wait until after you’ve completed the summer course to request the POSt on ROSI – otherwise you’ll be refused because you don’t have the requirement yet.

    unfortunately, the mark you get in summer school won’t cover up the failing mark from the first time. both marks will appear on your transcript and be weighted equally. sorry about that; however, if you do really well the second time around, you’ll at least boost your GPA.

    also, whaddaya mean “please post this anonymously”? do i ever NOT post people’s questions anonymously? sheesh! what do you take me for, some random stranger on the internet?



    P.S. in all seriousness, i never publish people’s names?or any other personal information, either on this blog or on any of aska’s other social media outlets. if you go far enough back in the archives, you’ll see that some previous askas elected to include?people’s first names when they signed their questions with a name, but no aska has or ever will publish any of your private information, anywhere, or use it for any other reason than to communicate with you.?aska is straight up confidential business, yo, so don’t worry.

  • failing,  probation

    a probation consideration

    Hey so basically i screwed up my first year, failed a couple of courses for my laziness and lack of work but now that it is time to apply for SubjectPost i don’t have the marks of the 4 require credits and i am pretty sure i will go on academic probation. My question is what will be my next step should i redo first year and get my 4 credits?? is that even allowed?? i really have no clue what to do, since i am not enrolled in a SubjectPost when am i eligible to choose my courses for next year. Sadly i probably be looking into 5th year but i guess i just really want to know what my options are. Thanks


    hey there,

    if you are put on probation (and i don’t know whether or not you will be – you’ll have to wait for the school to tell you that), the first thing to do is something that’s maybe not so obvious because it’s not a super formal thing, but it is incredibly helpful. “what is it????” i hear you ask on the edge of your seat. well…

    take stock of your school situation. probation kind of gives you an opportunity to take a breather and ask yourself, 1) why you think you’re in this position, 2) what you wanted to get out of university, 3) whether you’re getting it and 4) what your next steps should be. probation isn’t a punishment; it’s an opportunity to make a decision about your future. so that’s what i’d do if i were in your shoes.

    if you haven’t completed 4.0 FCEs, you won’t be eligible to enter into a subject POSt. that means that if/when you come off probation (or, alternately, if you just return normally in fall 2014), you’ll have to continue taking courses, effectively as a first-year student, until you’re eligible to enrol into a POSt. those courses may not be the same as the ones you took this year, they will just be ones that you are able to/want to enrol in (i.e. because you’ve completed the prereqs or because they don’t have prereqs).

    finally, i’d highly recommend that, whether or not you go on probation, you make an appointment with your registrar’s office. they can give you some specific advice about how to deal with this past year, and what steps you can take to improve in the future. like, i’m super helpful and all, but i don’t know you. i can only do so much to help your mysterious, anonymous situation, blurring hazily in the virtual ether of my computer screen, so close, and yet so far…

    also, the registrar’s office won’t go on random, poetic* tangents while they’re helping you, so that’s a plus.


    *i’m using “poetic” in the loosest sense of the word.