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How to Convince a Teacher to Change Your Grade

Don’t live with that lousy grade you feel you don’t deserve. At least go down fighting.


  • Step 1: Check the rules See if your school has a grade-changing policy. Many schools provide a 'Request for Grade Change' form you can print and fill out before meeting with a professor. If it’s not online, try your school’s department secretary.
  • Step 2: Prepare your argument Prepare a solid case as to why your grade is unfair. If you truly deserved a bad grade, few teachers are likely to be moved that you’re upset about it--but if you have a reasonable argument, they’ll probably listen.
  • TIP: If you are challenging a grade on a particular test, double-check the exam to make sure a mistake was made before you go barging into your professor’s office with nostrils flaring.
  • Step 3: Be polite No matter how little respect or affection you have for your teacher, do your best to come across as humble and respectful. No teacher is going to change a grade for a snotty student.
  • Step 4: Stay on track Stay on track when presenting your argument. You want to make a convincing case for why you deserve a higher grade on this one test or in this one class, not whine about school in general.
  • TIP: Never say, 'If you change my grade, I promise I won’t tell anyone.' This isn’t spy school.
  • Step 5: Turn the tables If the discussion has come to an impasse, calmly ask the teacher, 'What would you do if you were me?' This little trick can help the professor see the situation from your point of view.
  • Step 6: Ask for another chance If all else fails, ask your teacher if you can raise your grade by completing an extra assignment.
  • FACT: With three-quarters of American college professors describing themselves as liberal, some conservative students complain that they are given unfair grades because of their political leanings.

You Will Need

  • Your schoolu2019s policy on grade-changing
  • A well-prepared argument
  • A cool head

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