Home Student & Career Tips Top 15 Reasons Why Students Graduate with Poor Grades

Top 15 Reasons Why Students Graduate with Poor Grades

This article contains information on the top 15 reasons why students graduate with poor grades.


The Higher Institution or University is a critical phase in the career and academic life of a student. One may ask, why do students graduate from the University with poor grades [1]? Frequently, students fail, not because they don’t know what to write, or they can’t read. Although academic failure often comes to play in such situations, some other reasons are beyond control. Students are required to pass examinations and tests to prove their intellectual capacity. But, most often than not, this is not the case. Nobody desires failure. Every student struggles to pass with good grades and meet the requirements to graduate. Sadly, all their efforts often do not yield positive results as many factors regularly contribute to failure in the university, some of which are internal and external as well. Being a critical and challenging phase, being aware of these factors is necessary.

Here are the TOP 15 Reasons Why students graduate with poor grades.

1. Lack of Focus

The world has slowly transcended to a digital era, an age where anyone can quickly get smartphones, devices, and other modern gadgets. While this is instrumental and valuable for learning, it may pose as a distraction and major setback to studying if misused. With involvement in social media, surfing the internet 24/7, and video games, concentration while studying becomes difficult, as some students can’t focus on their studies. This does not mean that these devices and gadgets aren’t suitable; what is required is discipline and concentration to avoid getting carried away by these gadgets.

2. Inadequate Preparation

This is one of the primary reasons why students graduate with poor grades. Procrastination, the famous time-killer, is often a major factor. It is often tough to overcome this habit. This approach to studying makes a student prepare less for examinations and tests, thus resulting in poor grades. The lazy and indolent attitude of students nowadays to studying prevents them from putting any effort into learning and understanding. The virtue of hard work is slowly dying among students; they want virtually everything to be done for them. This does more harm than good as it takes a negative toll on your grades. If you’re going to graduate with good degrees, you should sit up and take your academics with all seriousness.

3. Lack of Proper Time Management

The concept of prioritizing comes to play here. Time is valuable; once lost, it cannot be regained. As a student, your time ought to be channelled to important things that help improve your grades, not affect it negatively. Extracurricular activities are essential, but they shouldn’t take up all your time. Not knowing how to utilize time effectively is a significant reason students graduate with poor grades. However, this does not mean that attending social and religious engagements are wrong; they shouldn’t supersede your academic time to avoid losing valuable time. Proper time management is essential in graduating with good grades.

4. Lack of Zeal and Motivation

Hard work, commitment, and consistency are the tools for achieving academic success and good grades. Understanding these basics, you’re on the path to greatness and graduating with good degrees. It’s never easy to study in a seemingly harsh environment with distractions, but with commitment and hard work, one can achieve success. Consider every obstacle a challenge and put in efforts to achieve success. Dream big and work towards achieving them.

5. Pessimistic Attitude to Studying

Pessimism and poor attitude to studying and academics can pose as a hindrance to graduating with good grades. Negative vibes and approaches to studying and life in general, and obstacles are not healthy for achieving success.

Many students tend to fidget when they encounter an obstacle or challenge; they exude negativity to every other thing in their life. This, in turn, affects their motivation to study, and the outcome thereof is a failure and a threat to their graduating with good grades.

6. Inability to Think Critically

Critical reasoning and intellectual capability are a skill every student in the tertiary institution should possess. In tertiary institutions, they are a requirement and expectation for students to enable them to pass their examinations and test, thereby graduate with good grades. One must be able to think outside the box, make discoveries, inventions, and new ideas.

7. Fear of Failure

More often than not, students fail in their tests and examinations even before sitting for it. It is a phobia for exams, usually from thinking about it and not preparing well for it. When the thought of tests and examinations always gets you worked up, there’s every possibility that you’ll end up failing that course or subject, and this is not helpful if you want to be outstanding and graduate with good grades. You should kill such thoughts whenever they pop up in your head.

8. Low Esteem and Confidence

In most cases, students graduate with poor grades, not because they aren’t smart, but because they lack self-esteem and confidence. Social media and the internet have taken a negative toll on students and have succeeded in isolating them. This affects the student’s self-confidence and attitude toward studies.

Some students believe that no matter what they try, they can’t seem to pass their exams and assessment tests. You can’t go beyond your fear if you don’t take the bold step of believing in yourself. The truth, finding in your capabilities and honing them is a significant leap to success and achieving your dreams. If you don’t understand the topic or subject matter, seek the assistance of your lecturer or tutor. You can as well go the extra mile of meeting your friends who are well enlightened in the topic to put you through.

9. Being Overly Confident

You might be wondering, how does being too confident contribute to failure and students graduating with poor grades? Does that mean one shouldn’t be confident in themselves? The answer is simple, in some cases, students who failed didn’t do such because they weren’t right or didn’t know what to write, somewhat, out of overconfidence, they tend to miss out on the minor details and instructions of the course or subject, thereby leading to their failure. In the academic sphere, directions and features are the bedrock of success. But, when a student feels he’s smarter than the teacher and he knows it all, the end thereof might not be right. This is the primary reason why most students are very brilliant graduates with poor grades.

10. Carelessness

Research has proven that most students that graduate with poor grades don’t do so because they are unaware of what to write or not smart. Somewhat, carelessness on the side of the students has contributed immensely to this. Most students are not attentive, to the point that some often forget to pen down their names, identification numbers, and details on their booklets. Also, some don’t read instructions thoroughly, thereby misunderstanding the questions and providing wrong answers in the answer box. On the one hand, some deliberately neglect their studies, attaching little or no importance to it, and in return, they fail.

Other factors that contribute to students graduating with poor grades include:

11. Personal Problems

It might interest you to know that your own problems and challenges can also be a contributing factor to students not graduating from the university with good grades. Students faced with issues tend to be anxious, thereby losing focus and concentration while studying, and this may result in failure and not graduating with good degrees.

12. Reading Problems

Often, students graduate with poor grades as a result of specific impairments such as Word-blindness or Dyslexia. This neurological disorder is a learning disability often characterized by difficulty in reading and writing. Students with this disability are often limited, thus leading to failure, mainly when it is not addressed with immediate effect.

13. Teacher’s Inability to Communicate Effectively

Teachers ought to be mentors to the students, to educate them adequately to enable them to succeed. Unfortunately, most teachers don’t do their job. Some teach with heavy accents that aren’t understandable. Others find it very difficult to communicate their ideas and concepts to the students, thus losing the focus of the students. The outcome thereof is never good. In some cases, when they are asked specific questions, their response isn’t friendly.

On the other hand, some teachers dislike their students and vice versa. This leads to a lack of cooperation and takes a negative toll on the student’s grades.

14. Difficult Study Environment

For most students, reading in a noisy environment is a major turn-off. The same goes for learning in such an environment. In such a situation, the student is advised to put the school’s library to use or any such calm and serene settings to study effectively and graduate with good grades.

15. Peer Pressure

This may not seem too big of a factor to be discussed, but it is indeed a contributing factor to students graduating with poor grades. The famous saying, ‘’Evil communication corrupts good manners’’ comes to play. The company one keeps can either make or mar him. As a student, one ought to keep friends that have similar goals and aspirations, who spur you to succeed and pass your examinations.


Those factors mentioned above are some of the reasons why students perform poorly and graduate with poor grades. However, with adequate preparation, a positive attitude, and determination, the sky will be the starting point for such a student.


[1] AdmissionSight. (2023, October 10). What causes bad grades and how to avoid them? AdmissionSight. https://admissionsight.com/what-causes-bad-grades-and-how-to-avoid-them/



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