Passing a class you're failing?

The question should be contradictory, really. But I struggle with Algebra. I'm in my mid 20s and am still in college because of that stinkin' subject. Our college doesn't do anything about disabilities with learning, so I'm stuck. I made a 76 on the first test and now a 54 (computer glitch and all on that one). I have to take the final in person and usually freeze up on those proctored things. My teacher says she drops the lowest test grade, but I dont know how that works with that 54 and that final (given my history w/math tests). I have explained to her that I need to pass, and that I'm not asking for an A or B but a C and that I am willing to work as hard as she tells me and do what I have to do pass academically. She keeps saying I can still pass, but how?


We have a friend that tutors me, but I wonder if it will help?

5 Answers

  • 9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Your college can't just announce that it "doesn't do anything about disabilities with learning." If it accepts federal funds (including Pell Grants) it is required to comply with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act; if it doesn't fit certain very specific criteria it is required to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act; both of those require accommodations for students with documented disabilities. I am guessing that you don't have a dyscalculia diagnosis but also have not ever been tested for it. If I were you, and I expected not to pass this class this time around, I'd be trying to find a way to be tested before my next attempt at Algebra.

    Without the exact formula your professor uses to calculate final grades it is hard to be sure exactly what kind of performance you will need on upcoming tests and the final in order to pass the course. The odds are, however, that she is expecting to drop the 54. If the final is the only proctored exam I'm guessing it's comprehensive and is therefore probably eligible for dropping, even if you get a score lower than 54. However, unless there's a rule that you can't pass the course unless you pass the final, if you can keep your other grades -- participation, tests, quizzes, homework, and so on -- up in the C range, you should be able to get a high F on the final and still pass.

    I don't know how experienced your friend is as a tutor, but this is a method that I've had a lot of success with, teaching math and similar skills to students with learning disabilities: break everything down into the smallest possible skills, including identifying what is the next step you should do in order to solve the problem as a skill, and then practice those steps one at a time over and over. Then when you are really solid at a couple of skills, write more complicated problems that include 2 and then 3 skills. The problems I've had with most of the problems at the ends of chapters in textbooks is that they require a student to use several skills all at once, so students are spending a lot of time on the skills they already know well and not very much time on the skills they need to work on. Also, see whether she can write out a lot of practice problems for you so that you can work on them even when she's not there. That's an easier thing for some people to do than for other people (especially when it comes to making the answers work out as simple integers), but the more practice you get at solving problems, the easier it will be to really master the skills you'll need to pass.

    Good luck. I'm sorry things are this hard for you, and I don't think it's right that your college has told you it will not accommodate you.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • Bob
    Lv 5
    9 years ago

    Legally they have to make accommodations for people with disabilities if you're in the United States. You have to be tested to make sure you do have a disability. You should go to the teachers office hours and the TA's office hours. There should also be a math tutoring place on campus. Check out the Khan Academy on Youtube too.

    In accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and The American Disabilities Act 1990, the University is required to provide equal access and equal opportunities for individuals with documented disabilities. A person with a disability is defined as:

    •A student with a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits a major life activity (e.g. caring for one’s self, walking, speaking, seeing, hearing, thinking, learning, concentrating, working)

    •A student who has current documentation (e.g. recent psycho-educational evaluation confirming a learning disability) of such impairment from a qualified professional.

    •A student who is regarded as having impairment

    • Login to reply the answers
  • ooooo
    Lv 6
    9 years ago

    Instead of begging your teacher for a passing grade or for extra credit work (I assume that's what you mean when you say you'll "work as hard as she tells you to"?), ask her for tips on how to best prepare for the exams. Tell her that you get nervous taking tests and that you don't really know how to study for a math test.

    First off, learning how to learn math and how to do your best on exams is what you really need; after all, you'll need these same skills assuming you continue with math next semester, and if she gives you a passing grade but you haven't mastered this semester's material, next semester's going to be even harder for you.

    Second, teachers respond better to students who ask for help than students who ask for a grade. Sorry, but you don't "need" a C this time, and there's no reason she should feel obligated to give it to you if your test scores indicate that you learned less than 70% of what you were supposed to. Most teachers don't like to give failing grades to anyone who's put in a fair effort, but sometimes they just don't feel justified in bumping up a grade for someone who's not at all ready for the next level. If your grade is right on the edge, she's going to feel better about giving you those few points if you went to her with questions about problems you didn't understand than if all you did was try to bargain for a better grade.

    Apart from that, my best advice to you would be to take an algebra practice test every day. Just Google "algebra practice tests" and you'll find a bunch of them online. If they're not already timed, give yourself a reasonable time limit and get used to that clock ticking. If you need to, take the same one 2-3 times until you get an "A" before doing another one.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • 9 years ago

    find a creative way to study that works for you!

    maybe games you make yourself (or just change the rules of monoply to suit your needs)

    make flashcards, and if u cant get the answer within a certain amount of time, keep working on it

    give youself a treat! but ONLY if you work hard and get the answers right

    good luck! hope you do well! :D

    • Login to reply the answers
  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • 9 years ago

    she's probably saying you'll pass with the assumption that you'll do fine on your last test. Can you find a tutor somewhere?

    • Login to reply the answers
Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.