What Happens if I Get a ‘D’ in college?


Are you in an academic slump? You are not the first student to have fallen into the slump. It happens to a lot of people. But what matters is what you do once you realize that you are in a slump. Since ‘D’ is a passing grade, your college cannot label you as failed but it is supposed to be your wake-up call. Remember that D and F have a one-mark difference so it’s wise to pull up your socks and upgrade your score. Retake the exams and this time work harder and do great in them.  Here we will see about What Happens if I Get a ‘D’ in college?

What Happens if I Get a ‘D’ in college?

What happens if I Get a ‘D’ in college?

D grade does not imply failure and that does NOT make it okay. You have just obtained the passing marks if you have got a ‘D’. It is more like a mercy pass. Some schools do not allow the students who have got ‘D’ to move on to the next course. In that case, the schools often allow those pupils to retake the test and do better than a ‘D’. Students can switch their majors if they feel like they cannot cope with the subject.

A ‘D’ in your college transcript does NOT look good so you should retake the test if you can. If you manage to get a better grade on your second attempt, the school will take that grade to calculate your GPA. However, the ‘D’ grade will probably still be in your transcripts but it would not do any harm to your GPA. You need not be ashamed about that because it shows that you are strong and determined enough to come back with a better grade.

How to Better Your Grades?

A high GPA can get you scholarships and internships. It increases your chances of employment and also clears your path to a good graduate school. So, you see your grades can affect your future in many ways. It’s okay if you are in an academic slump right now, just know that you are not sentenced to this slump forever. Try to follow these simple tips that can help you better your grades. 

Take help from your professors-

You need not be afraid to do this because your professors would be more than happy to help you if you are sincere. If you feel uncomfortable speaking up during the class then you can always visit them at another time or make an appointment for a one-to-one session. If you are struggling with a certain topic, ask your professors. If you are struggling with a certain assignment, ask your professors. They want to see their students succeed so never shy away from asking for their help.

Study with a group-

Often professors ask their students to attend a study session with them before any major exam. In this way, students come in groups and study together. This is beneficial in many ways. Students can take a personalized guide from their peers, bridge gaps in their knowledge, and learn new study techniques. You would be surprised to know that some professors offer extra credit points to the students who attend these sessions. So, you see how easily this can elevate your grade in so many ways.  It is always a better idea to join such a group, this way you can get any missing detail from your notes, or clarify any doubt on a topic. You and your classmates can be each other’s support system at times when your professors are unavailable. 

Do not skip classes-

Students often have this habit or tendency of skipping classes. While this may sound “cool”, this is actually a loss. In some cases, attendance plays a pivotal role. But do not just attend the classes for the sake of attendance. Listen to what your professors are saying, try to understand, and take notes simultaneously. If you are not regular you might miss important topics or maybe a pop quiz which can lower your grade. If you cannot attend a particular class then ask your professors beforehand about what topic they will be covering in that class. Also, ask your classmates if you can borrow their notes. Ensure you complete your suggested readings so that you do not lag. 

Always complete your assignments-

Here’s the most crucial thing that you must remember if you are trying to better your grades. Always dedicate a few hours of your day to homework and assignments. This way you will never lag behind your class. You will also be in practice. 

Sleep well- If you do not give adequate rest to your brain and your body you will never be able to succeed. You do not need to study 24 hours for a perfect GPA. You should avoid staying up late at night before any exam at all costs. 


To conclude, we can say that although ‘D’ does not mean that you have failed, it’s better to retake the exam and get a better score the next time. A ‘D’ in your transcripts is not at all good for your future endeavors. So, if you have a ‘D’ then do not look further, just get ready to take the test again. 

Hope the tips to elevate your grade given in this article could be of some help. Good luck with your future!

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Is getting a ‘D’ okay?

Let’s be honest. A ‘C’ is bad enough so it is quite obvious that a ‘D’ is worse. So, getting a ‘D’ is NOT okay to put it in the simplest way possible. 

  1. Can one pass college with a ‘D’ grade?

‘D’ does not imply failure but it is more like a wake-up for students since D and F have a one-mark difference. So, if you a ‘D’ try to retake the test and do better than the last time. 

  1. Can I get into grad school if I get a ‘D’?

If you got a ‘D’ then be sincere to retake the test and upgrade your score. If you do that you might land a seat in a graduate program. Your transcripts might show your previous grades but they will show your determination.