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13 Possible Reasons Why Most Students Fail and  Solutions

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Reasons Why Most Students Fail and  Solutions

When students are asked why they fail, they find reasons to cover their failures. They give reasons such as ‘the teachers failed us, or we were not taught or the exams were hard’.

This and many more reasons are excuses students give. However, the common causes of failure are interrelated and consequential. You might not have even considered it to be a source of failure but it is.

I will show you some subtle causes of failure that you probably haven’t been paying attention to. You will also find some recommended solutions to keep failure at bay.

The following are some of the reasons


This is one of the major reasons for failure.

When you’re lazy as a student, you will find it hard to get up to do important things like reading the notes given by the teacher, doing assignments and carrying out some research to expand your knowledge about that particular subject. Some students even find it hard to attend classes. 


Get up and do the needful at the right time.


As much as confidence is good, a student must be very careful not to cross the thin line from confidence to overconfidence. It is one of the common attributes that make students fail. The reason for this is you might become so full of yourself and miss out tiny details that are crucial.

Overconfident students sometimes think they know more than their lecturers. While this might be true in some cases, an overly confident student will not believe he is wrong when he is. Just because you are a brilliant student doesn’t mean you will notice every twist to a particular question or topic. You need to be open to new things.

The opposite of this is what some students possess – Low self-esteem. These students don’t believe in themselves at all.

Such students already have a mindset towards a particular subject, and thus, they close their minds to whatever important information will be given on the topic or subject.


If you’re overconfident, take time to relearn whatever you might have known so well or seem to have figured out yourself. On the other hand, If you have low self-esteem, try to believe that you can understand whatever you are taught. Be open-minded to new things. It doesn’t hurt to learn new things.


Most lecturers know it when you rush your project or essay. If you have the habit of waiting until the dying minute to  complete your assignments, you will always end up with little or no quality. I need not tell you that this usually results in poor performance and grades.

In the heart of this habit is procrastination. When you keep shifting the time to read forward until there’s absolutely no time to read again, it will lead to rush hour preparations. 

Even if you are able to create some time, you will read only be able to read a few portions well.


Plan your time well. Do your assignments early enough, read as much as you can, carry out appropriate research and write your Assignment almost immediately.


If you don’t know how to study or what works for you, it’s simply because you haven’t taken sufficient time to study yourself and your capacity. Some students do their study at the wrong and in the wrong way.

If you have always been trained to sleep early in your home , it might be a struggle to wake up really early to read. However, with determination and consistency, you can relearn and get used to it.


It’s your duty to study how your body system works and read accordingly. You may also inculcate reading habits at some specific times, but this will take a lot of discipline.

Practice makes perfect. Try as much as possible to avoid a disorganized reading habit. Start reading early enough to get used to it and recall better.


It’s what you make up your mind to do or believe in that will work for you. If a student has a mindset of always failing, there is almost no way he will succeed in that examination. Why? He has given up before writing it.

This also works for a person who has the mindset of success, no matter how hard a course is, he will pass the examination. Even if there’s a mass failure, there’s a probability that he will slightly pass. 


Have an incredible mindset that believes that no matter what you will pass an examination and succeed. It is also helpful to have an academic goal per semester.

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Another reason for the failure of students is a total lack of interest in a particular subject or topic in school. This could be caused by several reasons like being unconcerned.

There is absolutely no way a student who lacks interest in a particular course will pass the examinations.


Focus on the moment. Take that subject as serious as you do to other interesting subjects. Learn all that is needed in that subject. Developing an interest in something is a thing of the mind. Just try to adjust your mind. 


Some students, as a result of laziness, don’t have an order of things. No plan, no goals. They usually don’t have a plan of carrying out certain activities.


Plan your activities in an order of preference and importance.  It is also good to work on your handwriting. If your handwriting doesn’t give a good impression or makes your teacher strain his eyes each time he wants to mark your scripts, you might be at his mercy to get your required scores.


To be sincere, most examiners are not after failing students. Ask me why. It’s simply because examinations, in the first place, are prepared to test the understanding and the knowledge acquisition level of a student. If you failed, it is most likely you were not prepared, not because your lecturer wants to fail you. 


Observe the trend of how examinations are set by a particular examiner. This will help you to know what is expected by him. You will also know exactly what to prepare for.

Reasons Why Most Students Fail and  Solutions


Many students have a problem with reading further. They prefer to stick to what the teacher gives to them as notes. However, the teacher’s notes are not sufficient for outstanding excellence. If you rely so much on your teachers’ notes, without moving further to know more, you might be stuck during exams


Go extra mile and  study beyond the notes given in the class.


Most students prefer to read for examination purpose only and not for the sake of knowledge. 


The knowledge is as important as the examination. Don’t be so much concerned with reading alone, but focus and study to know every part of the course. Know how it applies to everyday activities. It will be nice to know both the practical as you’ve known the theory. 


For every question asked in an examination, there is a right way to answer such. Most of the time, students don’t get to read the questions well to answer appropriately.

For instance, when the question says you should list and explain, if you don’t list before addressing each of the points, you will surely lose some marks.  There is always a command of instruction which you must strictly adhere to.


Reading and understanding the questions and the instructions are very crucial.


As earlier mentioned in the point above, there is a way to address and answer every question to get the question right. If you do not do this appropriately, then the student will miss out on some details.

Articulating answers well range from following a particular flow of expression to writing legibly and clearly, and the student being specific about answering the questions asked – Task achievement.

If the answers to the questions asked by the examiner are not well articulated by the student, it might be hard for an examiner to award marks especially if he is an impatient person.


Learn how to answer questions appropriately and make your handwriting legible enough for the teacher to read. Go straight to the point when answering any question with little or no meandering 


There is a habit that is so common amongst students – relying on each other in the examination hall. A group of students might share the topics of a course amongst themselves, with a plan to give each other answers whenever a question on that topic comes up in the examination question.

There are many forms of exam malpractice. An example is when students rely on teachers to provide them with answers during an external examination. Situations might go awry when that particular teacher ends up not showing up for the exam. As a result, the student fails.


Prepare adequately for examinations and not expect to be helped by anyone.

Winding up

In conclusion, the failure or success of an examination is mostly dependent on the student, rather than circumstances or the teachers. Therefore, it is ideal for every student that doesn’t want to fail to prepare adequately for examinations.

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