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About failing a subject …

Failing a subject can be a stressful experience, especially when you are not studying in your native language. However, failing an exam or redoing a term paper is a normal part of university life in Germany. Moreover, this situation can become an opportunity to review topics that may not have been clear to you and to fill in gaps in themes that you have not yet mastered.

My first semesters at the university in Germany were full of new challenges.

During the first two semesters, I managed to pass all my exams without failing any of them. But in the third semester, I was confronted with a subject that was difficult for me as a non-native German speaker. So when I didn’t pass the first attempt of the exam,  I got scared. That was because I thought I was prepared for the exam and didn’t know what I could have done better. I was also terrified because, on my faculty, you can only write the exam three times. And if you don’t pass it, you risk being ex-matriculated.

Anyways, after repeating the chapters of the course and following the advice of my professors. I managed to pass the exam.

Students taking a class
Students taking a class © Angela

But like many of the students in my situation at the beginning, I didn’t know what to do.

So here I will give you some tips about which steps you could take if you find yourself in a similar situation to mine.

What to do?

First: Don’t panic.

Failing an exam does not mean the end of the world. The important thing is to discover your mistakes and what you can do better next time.

Second: Find out the dates when you can review your exam.

There are some Faculties and Universities that have a schedule for reviewing exams. If you don’t find any, you can email the professor and ask for an appointment to review your exam and ask questions.

Third: Ask questions.

After reviewing the exam, ask questions. You can write a separate email to your professor with all your questions. Not only with doubts about the topics covered, but you can also ask for advice on how to improve your way of studying. 

My last piece of advice:

I would suggest you retake the class. It is an opportunity for you to ask questions and repeat topics that may have been left unclear.

Studying with a cat
Studying with a cat© Angela

Here are some other tips on how to study better!

Review the literature list from your classes:

These would help you to have a better understanding of the upcoming topics and will also help you to be familiar with the vocabulary of the class. Also this way, you won’t have to review a lot of material for final exams since you’ll be checking topics during the semester.

Join a study group before the exam:

Ask friends or classmates that want to review the topics to make a group. In my opinion, this is one of the most productive ways to learn because you will be practicing with other people and exchanging exam information in simpler words.

And finally, don’t be too hard on yourself. Studying and communicating in another language can be difficult, but you can do it. The learning process does not always go in a straight line. Just remember some subjects are more difficult than others, but that doesn’t mean you won’t succeed.

As a foreign degree-seeking student, I understand that failing an exam can be a scary situation. But not passing a subject is completely normal in the life of a college student. You just have to focus on the next attempt and cover all your questions. That way you will manage to pass the exam.

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Hello I want to study in your country please help me about this how and where i can apply.So i am pollyglot I can speak with 5 language but I can not speak German language.

written by Alizoda Ulughbek created on

Hi Alizoda, to get started, take a look at the My GUIDE page: - there you will find a lot of information on various subjects that you can study in Germany. If you have general questions, you will most likely find an answer in our guideline on: You‘ll get along well with English in Germany, especially in the larger cities. Still it might be helpful to learn at least a little German. It will make your stay in Germany easier and you will be able to know the culture better. For most German degree programmes, knowledge of German (usually B2 level) is a prerequisite for admission. Please inform yourself at your future university whether you need a language certificate and if so, which one. Check the specific requirements on the website of the programmes you are interested in or get in touch with the International Office of the university. Find more information on language requirements our website: There are also a variety of degree programmes that are offered in English. Especially for Master's programmes. To find out whether your desired course is taught in English, search the My GUIDE database: - you will hopefully find what you are looking for. Best wishes, Your SiG-Team 👋🇩🇪

written by Redaktion created on

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