Bouncing back from a bad mark: Part B

In Bouncing Back From a Bad Mark: Part A, we looked at the steps you should take to move on from feelings of failure and how to rebuild your confidence.

But the most important thing to remember is that you’re not alone.

The services at Uni of Newcastle aren’t just there for show; there are people behind these services who want to see you achieve your goals.

Understanding Content

If you’re struggling with the content don’t sit there in silence, ask for clarification and help.

I guarantee there are quite a few other students in class struggling as well and you’ll be helping everyone.

If the idea of raising your hand fills you with social dread then attend a PASS session. PASS (Peer Assisted Study Sessions) have been moved online to assist you with studying from home. You can access sessions via a Collaborate room in Online PASS in Blackboard. Follow the link, join up to your Course Groups and jump into the Collaborate room at the advertised time (it’s on the Course Group page plus the timetable has remained the same as when it was on campus).

You can also find a text that explains the subject in less academic terms. Academic language can be difficult to decipher and absorb, thankfully there is a huge industry devoted to translating what at first can appear as gobbledygook into simpler language.

You can also post or lurk in the discussion groups on Blackboard, form small study groups with some other students or join a related university club or society.

Study Skills

If you’re having trouble maximising your study, achieving a study/work/life balance or developing a routine that works for you,  Academic Learning Support can help you in every area you can imagine. A team of learning advisors are on hand, who can help you adapt to studying at home or with specific assessments.

Writing Skills

Mastering academic writing doesn’t come easily. Again, help is available to you with through Academic Learning Support. Sign up for a workshop, they’re available for almost anything you can imagine from referencing through to course specific guides. Soon you’ll constructing an essay plan, structuring a paragraph and referencing live a maven. You can even have them look over your next assignment and give you feedback before you submit.

If you’re having trouble with reading skills, referencing, finding resources for study or writing, our librarians are an amazing group. The library has resources to help with your learning including a suite of online tutorials and referencing tips. Plus the library is now increasing the number of ‘face to face’ online support sessions with librarians through Library Live, is working to replace physical course readers with online options, and is working with publishers to remove limitations and increase access to ProQuest eResources.

Peer Writing Mentors are also a great service where you can learn how to enhance your academic writing. These mentors are students who excelled in their courses, and are a wealth of knowledge when it comes to nailing the marking rubric.

Maths and Stat

If you’re struggling with mathematics or statistics, firstly, my deepest sympathies, secondly, make an appointment with a Learning Advisor who specialises in this area or sign up for a workshop.

Career goals

Having an end-goal at university is a great motivator. It gives you a reason to slog on, helps focus your research and assignment choice and inspire you to achieve. If your goals have changed since you were a wide-eyed idealist when you enrolled, or have gone up in smoke after a brutal reality check, why not have a chat with a Student Progress Advisor, or our Career Hub? They can help you rediscover your path or find a new one for you.


Health is a huge factor in your success as a student and as a human. It is really important that you find a balance. Be it mental, physical, social, sexual or financial, poor health in any area of your life will eventually seeps in to every other facet. The university has an abundance of resources here. Your first step is to contact a Student Progress Advisor, they’re an amazing team of people who can help you with all sorts of issues. Being a student at this University gives you access to mental health servicesdisability supporta GPIndigenous and International  student support, an LGBTQIA =+ networkclubs and societies, a gym with links to sporting clubs, dieticiansfinancial aidfree legal advice, you name it. If you’re having an issue with the university itself, perhaps you feel you are being treated inequitably, victimised or harassed by a member of staff you can find an advocate to help you.


Remember, failure is verb not a noun, and you are now part of an enormous network of professionals and volunteers who want you to succeed and thrive.

Chin up, and good luck.

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