How to Negotiate a Better Grade from Your Professor

By Brenda on January 14th, 2012


As classroom sizes increase and online courses becoming more and more the norm, it is difficult to get face time with your instructor or professor.  What happens when you are faced with a grade you believe was issued unfairly?  You need that one-on-one interaction with your professor in order to express your concern.

There is an art to asking for a grade change.  It doesn’t just happen by you posing the question.  There is a skillful way that you can approach your instructor and insist on the change.  With a little help and persistence you can learn how to negotiate a better grade.  Simply follow these tried and true strategies and you may be on your way to success:

Get Prepared

The first step in negotiating a better grade is to get you prepared.  You should make sure that your emotions are in check and that you are in control before meeting with your professor.  Angrily approaching your teacher will get you nowhere fast.  It is best to calm yourself down and then set up the meeting.

Read through your syllabus to make sure that you didn’t miss something or make an obvious mistake.  If you only did the minimum, then don’t expect to get an A in the class or even attempt to negotiate it.  Be honest with yourself and prepare for the worst.

Next, you should compile all of your materials including past tests, quizzes and papers.  Have them in date order and be ready to show your professor the exact information you have in question.  If you want to challenge the grade you received on a paper then bring with you all of the research material that you used in developing your paper.  When you are calm and prepared then set up the meeting time with your instructor.

Face-to-Face Meeting

Most meetings are best done face-to-face and this is an important one.  Remember to remain calm and leave anger and intimidation at the door.  Explain yourself honestly and be prepared for the outcome.  Don’t forget a pen and paper to take notes on items your professor discusses and be sure to give him or her time to talk.  Listen attentively and give your professor time to address the concerns that he has.

Remember the basic manners you were taught as a child and don’t forget to say ‘please’ and ‘thank-you’ from time to time.  This is good practice when meeting with your instructor that will carry over into the workplace.

In some cases you may not get an immediate answer and you must remain thankful and patient if your instructor indicates that they will consider the grade change.  However, it is okay to ask for a date that you may expect an answer.  In the event that 24 hours pass the deadline that your instructor promised to have an answer, it is fine for you to remind them or inquire about the possible grade change.  Remain upbeat, gracious and honest during this process in order to help you get the results you are looking for.



Category: Campus Degrees,Degrees,Online Degrees