Consequences of failing a first year essay?

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LeonidK
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#1
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#1
Hi, Im a first year Warwick Business School student, keen to pursue a career in investment banking. My grades overall are good (majority 2:1 and several firsts), however, in Term 1 I failed an essay (38%) due to a foolish mistake (not referencing properly, I included a bibliography but did not use Harvard style referencing) this essay was 50% of the module, my overall grade for that module is 60% since it had a group project + attendance, it is not a grade I would usually get and it is something that makes me overthink all the time its consequences. I’m Spanish and this was my first proper academic essay ever, I tend to do well in tests and I understand that academic writing is something to improve, and I have been working on it.

-My transcript only shows average marks, could an employer somehow know about this grade by asking wether you ever failed something at uni or will they only look at what appears on the transcript?

-It sometimes makes me feel insecure, like its something that will prevent me from obtaining the degree I want (a first class or at least a 2:1).

Please tell me all the possible academic consequences of this, or if it is something that doesn't matter and someone who fails one assignment still has the potential to get a very successful degree.

Since Im on my first year this grade does not count for my final mark, but it appears in my transcript, and I don't want to have a reputation of a student who fails... because I’m really hard working and ambitious, this was a punctual mistake.
Last edited by LeonidK; 2 years ago
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cheesecakelove
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#2
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#2
(Original post by LeonidK)
Hi, Im a first year Warwick Business School student, keen to pursue a career in investment banking. My grades overall are good (majority 2:1 and several firsts), however, in Term 1 I failed an essay (38%) due to a foolish mistake (not referencing properly, I included a bibliography but did not use Harvard style referencing) this essay was 50% of the module, my overall grade for that module is 60% since it had a group project + attendance, it is not a grade I would usually get and it is something that makes me overthink all the time its consequences. I’m Spanish and this was my first proper academic essay ever, I tend to do well in tests and I understand that academic writing is something to improve, and I have been working on it.

-My transcript only shows average marks, could an employer somehow know about this grade by asking wether you ever failed something at uni or will they only look at what appears on the transcript?

-It sometimes makes me feel insecure, like its something that will prevent me from obtaining the degree I want (a first class or at least a 2:1).

Please tell me all the possible academic consequences of this, or if it is something that doesn't matter and someone who fails one assignment still has the potential to get a very successful degree.

Since Im on my first year this grade does not count for my final mark, but it appears in my transcript, and I don't want to have a reputation of a student who fails... because I’m really hard working and ambitious, this was a punctual mistake.
The essay that you failed only comprises 50% of the module, so you have the other assessment component which can raise that module grade.

Generally, first year doesn't count towards your final degree grade, and if the rest of your module marks are good/excellent, the failed essay won't make a huge impact when it comes to employers hiring. Just learn from the mistakes you made on this essay and concentrate on your future modules.
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mnot
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#3
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#3
(Original post by LeonidK)
Hi, Im a first year Warwick Business School student, keen to pursue a career in investment banking. My grades overall are good (majority 2:1 and several firsts), however, in Term 1 I failed an essay (38%) due to a foolish mistake (not referencing properly, I included a bibliography but did not use Harvard style referencing) this essay was 50% of the module, my overall grade for that module is 60% since it had a group project + attendance, it is not a grade I would usually get and it is something that makes me overthink all the time its consequences. I’m Spanish and this was my first proper academic essay ever, I tend to do well in tests and I understand that academic writing is something to improve, and I have been working on it.

-My transcript only shows average marks, could an employer somehow know about this grade by asking wether you ever failed something at uni or will they only look at what appears on the transcript?

-It sometimes makes me feel insecure, like its something that will prevent me from obtaining the degree I want (a first class or at least a 2:1).

Please tell me all the possible academic consequences of this, or if it is something that doesn't matter and someone who fails one assignment still has the potential to get a very successful degree.

Since Im on my first year this grade does not count for my final mark, but it appears in my transcript, and I don't want to have a reputation of a student who fails... because I’m really hard working and ambitious, this was a punctual mistake.
Employers won't know, they don't have time to copiously go through every assignment. Its first year, just learn from the mistake.
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LeonidK
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#4
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#4
(Original post by cheesecakelove)
The essay that you failed only comprises 50% of the module, so you have the other assessment component which can raise that module grade.

Generally, first year doesn't count towards your final degree grade, and if the rest of your module marks are good/excellent, the failed essay won't make a huge impact when it comes to employers hiring. Just learn from the mistakes you made on this essay and concentrate on your future modules.
How could it make a difference if they dont get to see the grade? Would they ask directly, have you ever failed something?
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cheesecakelove
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#5
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#5
(Original post by LeonidK)
How could it make a difference if they dont get to see the grade? Would they ask directly, have you ever failed something?
In most cases, the employer will not ask if you have ever failed an assignment during your time at university. They can see your module grades from your transcript if they ask to see it. Most likely the employer will look at your overall academic record (so if you achieve a 2:1 or a 1st at the end, you have nothing to worry about - it was just one essay!) and the rest of your application e.g. evidence of skills, work experience, extra-curricualrs, etc.

Don't dwell on it too much and focus on the rest of your assignments and future modules, as I mentioned before!
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mnot
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#6
(Original post by LeonidK)
How could it make a difference if they dont get to see the grade? Would they ask directly, have you ever failed something?
Ive been to quite a few interviews (for multiple summer internships, placement year, grad jobs, researcher roles).

This question only came up once, and it was in a for a job in IP, where you have to take professional qualification with very low pass rates (less than 50%). So it made sense to ask, this is the only time ive only ever seen this question crop up.

Even if they do ask this question, they have to specifically ask "have you ever failed a university assignment", if they lead with exam or module, then your off the hook. And the 1000/1 shot you can't side step the question then use it to show positive attributes, mention you failed one assignment in first year due to X,Y,Z & you learnt A,B,C from the experience and in future similar assignments you got 1st's proving you are capable, of learning and responding well to these situations.

It won't be an issue, probably never have to explain it to an employer, but if you do its possible to turn it into a positive.
--
Another anecdote, I once got asked in an interview for placement year: tell me something you struggled with at uni? -I was honest, and then gave an explanation about how I mitigated it. The next thing they told me was the skill I just mentioned was something id be doing on a weekly basis. (This was a fortune 500 company with plenty other applicants).
I still got offered the job, most employers in an interview don't mind honesty and not a perfect answer to one question if they believe you are most capable candidate.

Re-read what i bolded out.
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LeonidK
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#7
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#7
(Original post by mnot)
Ive been to quite a few interviews (for multiple summer internships, placement year, grad jobs, researcher roles).

This question only came up once, and it was in a for a job in IP, where you have to take professional qualification with very low pass rates (less than 50%). So it made sense to ask, this is the only time ive only ever seen this question crop up.

Even if they do ask this question, they have to specifically ask "have you ever failed a university assignment", if they lead with exam or module, then your off the hook. And the 1000/1 shot you can't side step the question then use it to show positive attributes, mention you failed one assignment in first year due to X,Y,Z & you learnt A,B,C from the experience and in future similar assignments you got 1st's proving you are capable, of learning and responding well to these situations.

It won't be an issue, probably never have to explain it to an employer, but if you do its possible to turn it into a positive.
--
Another anecdote, I once got asked in an interview for placement year: tell me something you struggled with at uni? -I was honest, and then gave an explanation about how I mitigated it. The next thing they told me was the skill I just mentioned was something id be doing on a weekly basis. (This was a fortune 500 company with plenty other applicants).
I still got offered the job, most employers in an interview don't mind honesty and not a perfect answer to one question if they believe you are most capable candidate.

Re-read what i bolded out.
Thank you, if they asked you the question about something you struggled, would you bring this example, or would you do it only in an “emergency situation”? I just feel really anxious about it because its not that I didn’t work for it, and in fact, my first year coursework average is 68% so nearly a first, I’m just loosing my confidence on wether I will be able to get a 2:1/first despite this, I just feel like Im a student from the lower cohort... I feel as if now my department will judge me and treat me as a lower class student and dont expect a first from me...
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mnot
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#8
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#8
(Original post by LeonidK)
Thank you, if they asked you the question about something you struggled, would you bring this example, or would you do it only in an “emergency situation”? I just feel really anxious about it because its not that I didn’t work for it, and in fact, my first year coursework average is 68% so nearly a first, I’m just loosing my confidence on wether I will be able to get a 2:1/first despite this, I just feel like Im a student from the lower cohort... I feel as if now my department will judge me and treat me as a lower class student and dont expect a first from me...
No I wouldnt bring up a situation where you failed, tbh given the choice, you should prep case studies to give in interviews (IMO this is where interview practice really matters as your first couple interviews inevitably wont be as good as later ones as you become more rehearsed on these questions). The general recommended answer technique is STAR (situation, task, action, result), so use this try and find something you can twist into a positive result based your action.
68% is a very high 2.1 so obviously a 2.1 is the minimum you should expect and a first is a realistic goal if you are willing to work for it.
Good luck!
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