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4 Reasons Why UK University Students Get Low Grades

Exploring the reasons why UK students score low in their exams

Life in the university is not all about frat parties and booze. Your days in college are jam-packed with classes, activities and group projects. And amidst juggling the numerous tests and deadlines, your mental health goes for a toss.

We live in a competitive era, where there is no place for mediocrity. Being an average performer would get you nowhere. Add to that the strict and unforgiving UK education system and you have quite a problem!

The UK is among the most coveted countries for students across the globe. A degree from any of the prestigious UK universities can work wonders for your career. However, for the past few years, I have observed a disturbing trend. Students based in the UK are scoring significantly lower than other students worldwide.

A 2019 report by BBC reveals how some universities admit students with low grades, owing to their disadvantaged backgrounds. This is an excellent time to apply for UK colleges, as the eligibility is quite flexible. However, only time will tell if this step is in the right direction, though. For now, let us explore the reasons why UK students are underperforming.

1. Changing Classroom Dynamics

With more and more students coming in from culturally diverse backgrounds, the dynamics inside the classroom change drastically. On the one hand, this accounts for a more flexible and tolerant learning environment. The downside to this turns quite ugly though. Students and staff from different cultural and ethnic backgrounds face prejudice and mistreatment. A report by the Guardian reveals about a third of the staff in Cambridge is bullied on campus. Such violence triggers severe anxiety, depression and other mental issues in people. This, in turn, causes their grades to plummet low. Anti-bullying regulations and psychological assistance is the need of the hour. Report any such activity to the authorities immediately to create a safe space for your peers on campus.

2. Lack of Motivation

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Students might also feel a lack of motivation, owing to the strict regulations imposed by colleges. The examination schedules in the UK are exhausting. What’s more, students have to decide their future courses early on in their curriculum. Most high-school students have to pick a stream and career course by the time they graduate. This takes away the flexibility and joy of learning. Students should have the freedom to explore various options before narrowing down their choices.

For instance, students in America often change their majors 3-4 times before settling in a particular course. University kids are still young, inexperienced and unsure of what they want. It would be unfair to expect that they have their careers sorted out so early on.

3. Fast-paced Crammed Classes

Another reason why some students cannot perform to their potential is- lack of time. The lectures are fast-paced and crammed with information. UK students graduate earlier than their global counterparts. The coursework that usually takes four years is packed into three years in the UK. This puts the students at a grave disadvantage. For, now you have to retain the same amount of information in less time. Professors cannot afford to go in-depth with the syllabus. Even the students have little time to invest in actually understanding the information provided. The most they can do is mug up everything for the exam in hopes of a good score. And we all know how that works right?

4. Examination Blues

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Low grades are not synonymous to the student’s mental capabilities. Some students suffer from learning disabilities, psychological issues and more. Others might have a legit fear of examinations. Tests, in the UK education system, are a test of your memory and not your intelligence. The semesters are packed with projects and assignments.

Every week, students have a new deadline, waiting around the corner. Sometimes, the students don’t even have enough time to eat and sleep during the exams. It is challenging to keep up with this pressure, and it’s natural for some students to cave in. Grades matter, but they are not the be-all and end-all of your life.  

5. Issues with Time Management

Students often get so caught up with their coursework that they have no social life outside college. University is not all about learning; it is a phase where you make friends, network and gain new experiences. Students have trouble managing their busy schedules. Overlapped classes, missed lectures and late submissions become part and parcel of your life here.

This can cost you heavily, as marks are rewarded or deducted on your punctuality and organization skills. University preps you up for the whirlwind of professional spaces. Learn to manage your day, follow a set routine and set reminders for every deadline.

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6. Unhealthy Lifestyle Choices

A healthy body houses a sharp mind. You cannot expect sleep-deprived students to perform their best! Most university candidates have erratic routines. Their days, replete with seminars, paper submissions, tests, discussions and lectures. This barely gives students the time to eat and get ample rest. This forced some students to turn to drug addiction. Unhealthy lifestyle choices also affect the mental health of the kids. Excessive stress leads to nervous breakdowns and panic attacks in some students. It also breeds apathy- the student stops caring about their grades. The only way to overcome this problem is by offering proper counselling to students.  

7. The Bottom Line

Education is a fundamental right that everyone is entitled to. However, learning is a joyful, enlightening process. And while the UK educational spaces are strict, the students also hold equal accountability for their low grades in schools. Some students are not sincere with their work. They fall prey to peer pressure and procrastination, which ultimately ruins their careers. University is one of the most testing yet exciting phases of your life. These years can make or break you. Your years in college shape your personality, giving you the confidence needed to survive adulthood. Enjoy this time, cherish it and work your arse off! Trust me; it’s all worth it.

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