When Does it Make Sense to Cash in Your Chips?

The first marking period is now over. Hopefully, you are happy with your report card. If not, try to keep in mind that grades are a reflection of achievement, and not necessarily effort.



If your grades were not quite what you (or your parents) would have liked, don’t worry. You have options.

  1. You could sign up for Grade Improvement.
  2. You could declare academic bankruptcy.

Declaring bankruptcy is a course of last resort financially. Grown-ups declare bankruptcy when they have have gotten themselves into an inextricable financial predicament usually because of credit card debt.

“Academic bankruptcy” functions a little differently and may make sense if you experienced only minor problems during the marking period. Like a bad financial situation, weight the seriousness of your situation.

If you ended up with a 50, then you should definitely be signing up for Grade Improvement — reorganization bankruptcy. However, what if you earned a 68? Given the maximum score for successful completion of Grade Improvement is a 70, a student with a 68 may benefit from declaring “straight academic bankruptcy,” and starting fresh the second marking period.

But remember… just like actual bankruptcy, this should be considered a one-time get-out-of-jail free card. Your objective is a do over for the second quarter, not for this to become a quarterly situation to worry about.

So if you messed up just a “smidge” the first quarter, let yourself off the hook. Begin anew this marking period. If you earned a 50, you’ve got some heavy lifting ahead of you. Roll up your sleeves, and get busy.

Let me know how I can help.