Does Retaking Courses Look Bad? Should You Retake A course?

Due to different individual factors and circumstances, students in colleges and universities perform differently in their courses.

Some students perform very well and attain a grade of A and B. However, the majority attain average passing grades of C and D, while others fail.

Those who perform averagely or fail have the option to retake their courses. So, one would ask, does retaking courses look bad?

Read through this article to get an answer to this answer, and most importantly, become aware of the scenarios in which you should consider retaking the course and the others that you should not.

Does Retaking Courses Look Bad?

Retaking courses does not look bad. As a matter of fact, retaking becomes instrumental to your overall performance if you perform better than the original attempt.

If you fail in a fundamental course, retaking the course is a good idea. Retaking the course and passing it proves that you have a clear understanding of the course.

In addition, the passing will make you confident to handle the subsequent significant courses related to the retaken course.

Retaking a course to improve your overall Grade Point Average (GPA) is also not a bad idea. For example, if you attained a C or D in your original attempt, you might retake the course to get a higher grade.

Some universities would include your higher grade on your GPA, while others would take the average of the two grades.

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It is vital to remember that credit in undertaking a course is only awarded once. Therefore, you cannot obtain credit for the two classes.

That said, failing in a retaken class will look even worse because it proves your inability to handle that course. So, make sure you perform better when you retake a course.

Is Retaking a College Course Bad?

Retaking a college course is not bad, especially when you failed the course.

Remember, failing a course will have adverse outcomes on your college tenure. For example, a failed course will wound your chances of graduating college in time or later enrolling in a graduate school.

Of course, there are those situations where retaking a course would not be advisable. If you intend to complete your college education within standard time, avoid retaking a course, especially when the course is not a major one or if you passed.

Additionally, if you think your grade may not necessarily improve after retaking the class, you should refrain from retaking that course.

Matters will be worse for you if you obtain a more inferior grade. If you are not going to receive any credit by retaking a course, what would be the need for retaking it?

However, you could rectify some setbacks by retaking the course. First, if you fail in a significant course, retaking that course would be the best direction to take. This step would help you understand subsequent major courses that share similar content.

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Secondly, if you raised an unsatisfactory grade (a C- or a D) in a course and there is a need to raise your GPA, retaking the course is a wise decision to make.

Your GPA will improve if you perform better in your retake, if the policies in your college about second attempts are not harsh.

Can You Retake a College Class for a Better Grade?

You can retake a college class for a better grade. This possibility, however, depends on your college policies about retaking courses.

For example, some colleges do not allow retaking courses to improve grades, but some allow for that.

Failing a course is the first scenario that would automatically call for you to retake a course. In such a case, where your initial grade is an F, retaking the course will better your grade to a pass.

The pass you attain will improve your overall Grade Point Average.

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The second scenario is when you attain a D in your initial course coverage. Although grade D is a pass, retaking the course, especially if it is a major course, is an advisable step to take if you are to better your grade.

Again, depending on your college policies, getting a better grade after you retake the class will better your GPA.

The third scenario that may call for a student to retake a class is getting a grade of C. Retaking a course that you passed with a C might be a mistake, which most colleges do not give room for.

Those colleges that allow for grade replacements are very strict with such scenarios. In some, the second grade, whether greater or smaller, is the grade that will be used to calculate your Grade Point Average.

As a college student, it is vital to understand that retaking a class is expensive; It is time-consuming. Therefore, unless you have a very viable reason to retake a class, it is better that you abstain from that. Before you decide to retake a class, consult your academic advisor and your course instructor.

In addition, read your college policies about retaking classes. This is to help you understand if retaking a class will have a positive outcome on your overall GPA.

Nevertheless, if it does, what will be the magnitude of the outcome? If the magnitude of the outcome on your GPA after retaking a class is small, then retaking such a class would not be the best idea.

Does Retaking a Class Replace the Grade?

Retaking a class will replace your initial grade in calculating the overall Grade Point Average. However, this matter depends entirely on your college policies on grade replacement, how courses reflect on the transcript, and how your school calculates your GPA.

Some schools allow for grade replacement. If a student wants to replace a failed grade in such a school, the student retakes the class. The old grade gets scrapped off from the transcript, and a new status of “No Credit” comes into effect.

When the student gets a higher grade, the new grade will be reflected in their transcript and used to calculate their GPA.

In other colleges, your second grade will be used to compute your overall GPA. However, the initial grade continues to stay on your transcript. In others the average of your two grades is what will be used to calculate your GPA.

In colleges that allow for grade replacements, there are limitations that you cannot exceed. For example, a maximum number of attempts are allowed to replace the grade of a course.

Additionally, there is a maximum number of times that one can replace grades. In most institutions, a student cannot replace grades more than three times throughout their undergraduate tenures.

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Do Retaken Classes Show Up on Transcript?

Retaken classes show up on the transcript. All attempts of a class, whether two or more, will be manifested on your official transcript.

Depending on your institution’s policies, the grade you obtain after retaking a class is the one that is applied in computing your GPA.

However, both grades are going to reflect on your official transcript. Therefore, your institution will overwrite your initial grade with an initial “NP” or an “E” to indicate that you repeated the course.

If you retake a course three times, which is rare, all three grades will be factored in your transcript. However, two of your final grades are the only grades that will be applied to calculate your GPA.


Does retaking courses look bad? After reading this article, you would agree that the answer to this question is a no.

That said, it is vital as a student to consult the relevant academic advisors before retaking a course. Consultations together with your personal opinion will help you make the best decisions.