Everyone’s experienced it at least once: You look down at your report card or online transcript and breath a heavy sigh. Your grade isn’t quite what you expected. Maybe you missed the mark on a couple of assignments or underperformed on the final exam.
And in most cases, you feel crummy for a little while before eventually deciding to move on – setting your sights on the next challenging course ahead.
But wait a second. Final grades don’t have to be “final.” What some students don’t know is that education systems often allow “upgrade courses.” Essentially, these are abbreviated versions of the original course. You re-take the course on a faster timeline; at the end, your official transcript shows the higher of your two attempts. Best of all, you can complete these upgrade courses online at a self-paced tempo while you complete your regular courseload.
Not convinced? Here are a few compelling reasons to take a second shot.
Education Isn’t a Series of Hoops. It’s a Journey of Exploration.
The point of education isn’t to jump through hoops; education should be about making deep connections with the material, understanding and absorbing challenging concepts to expand your mind.
If you missed a few key concepts the first time around, it makes perfect sense to go back and re-engage with them. Who cares that your transcript says you’ve “completed” the course? You’ve only completed the course when you’ve wrung as much learning as possible from it.
A Little Extra Effort Can Have Profound Effects on Your Academic Future
There are tangible benefits to upgrade courses too. The difference between your first mark and upgrade mark may seem small, but it can profoundly affect your academic future.
Post-secondary programs are notoriously competitive. And in order to judge the competition, admissions officers generally place inordinate weight on grades. So, if you’re eager to join a university engineering program, for instance, it benefits you to improve your math grades. Check out these MHF4U courses from Ontario eSecondary School, which feature upgrade course options too. “Future you” will be thankful for that little extra effort.
Upgrade Courses Can Be Flexible and Painless
Some students believe that upgrade courses are like summer school – that they require you to sacrifice your precious holiday time. But modern upgrade courses are neither in-person nor rigidly structured.
As mentioned, you can find fantastic upgrade courses online. These courses tend to be self-paced, meaning that you work through the material as quickly or leisurely as you like. You can fit them into your regular school schedule by designating a couple of hours each evening for the course. And you don’t have to show up to a physical school to complete them; you can take upgrade courses from the comfort of your home laptop.
Next time you look down at your report card or transcript, don’t sigh. Get motivated. With a little extra effort and time, you can work towards a grade that genuinely reflects your capabilities and ambition.