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Is it easier to fail in High School then in College?

  1. Dec 10, 2011 #1
    Is is true that it's easier to fail an High school class then fail a college class?
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 10, 2011 #2
    I am a highschool dropout, and now I am attending Harvard University. So I think it is true!

    If you think what I said is true, then you need a reality check! That statement is not true at all!
  4. Dec 10, 2011 #3


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    No. I think you pretty much need to punch a teacher these days to fail a high school class. In fact, all of high school seems to be making up ways for you to pass.
  5. Dec 10, 2011 #4
    Not at all.
  6. Dec 10, 2011 #5


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    Easier to fail a college class, definitely. For one, you have to do your own time management!

    That's just a call for help, Peng. :biggrin:
  7. Dec 11, 2011 #6
    I went to Yale partly on a very good GPA in high school. As an undergraduate, I got two failing grades, before unknown. In grad school, I got a B+ average. Some say an A in grad school is worth a B in undergrad. Remember that AP classes are offered in H.S.

    I believe one's positive psychological outlook is as important as one's ability to study.
  8. Dec 11, 2011 #7
    It should be because of the huge number of standardized tests now given in high school and the push to keep kids from dropping out but there has also been the addition of both internet posting of missing assignments, internet help, after school tutoring and greater distribution of student performance to parents than used to be available so this is balancing the greater demands put on high school students. also AP classes are more difficult than college classes BUT you have much much more help from the instructor, so this is really good preparation for college.

    So the major factor now in college is the same as it has always been - the ability of an 18 year old to self motivate, avoid partying during the week, get to bed early enough so they don't sleep through morning classes and so on. But this is somewhat balanced by the number of students who are attending college while living at home and the number who are doing classes online from home and the increased number of adults who have gone back to college and who will study 24/7 and "blow the curves" as we used to say. also of course it depends on just how strict college admission is these days. When I went, I had never made a grade below a C in high school and that was when my family moved in March and I went into classes that were on different material in a new school. My freshman year of college I failed a class, first time ever, because I had inadequate math background, but went back, took the math, repeated the class and got an A.

    So I would say in general, high schools are doing a better job with college prep students than they used to and I don't think typical college freshman instructors have done a lot of improving, so for the college bound, boarding on large university campus away from home student, it's still probably more likely that they would fail in college just because of the lack of support, the huge classes and the impersonal atmosphere in college.

    Ivy League schools are different because of their really high entrance requirements. If you get in you can probably pass unless you just don't go to class or take exams.
  9. Dec 11, 2011 #8
    no, highschool is easy.
  10. Dec 11, 2011 #9


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    That is a HUGE part of the problem college students run into, as well as the course material finally getting challenging so those who coasted through high school without studying suddenly do very poorly without any study skills.

    Now, to some extent, it will depend on your high school preparation, especially in freshman year of college. Some students come from excellent high schools and find freshman year to be a bit redundant to their high school classes (but watch out, it doesn't stay that way), while others come from worse schools and struggle to catch up. It also depends on how competitive the university you attend is. In a highly competitive one, there is likely a higher expectation that you are prepared to jump in headfirst, while the less competitive ones know that at least the first semester if not the first year of classes is going to be a year to get everyone onto the same page. Some will be bored, some will be struggling to catch up, and much of the differences in grades are due to background preparation rather than abilities of the students. By sophomore year, everyone is expected to be on equal footing in terms of background course preparation, so expect the bar to get raised and quickly.
  11. Dec 11, 2011 #10
    You mean you never got the college freshman speech "Look around you - half of everyone in this class will flunk out by the end of this year"!
  12. Dec 12, 2011 #11


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    Not in my experience; in my high school there was quite a bit of hand-holding. Expect no such thing in college.

    I'm sure there are exceptions, but they're probably rare.
  13. Dec 12, 2011 #12
    I definitely think its easy to fail a class in high school then fail a class in college.
  14. Dec 12, 2011 #13
    Absolutely true (good one)
  15. Dec 12, 2011 #14
    Ah, good pick-up. Taken literally, it is very easy to fail a class in high school, and subsequently fail a class in college.
  16. Dec 12, 2011 #15


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    Actually, to be really, really nitpicky... :redface:

    The question is logically incoherent.

    let x = high school and y = college.

    The word "easier" implies a logical "or," meaning one must choose either x or y. However, there is an implied "and" right before "then" in the question.

    So, essentially, he's asking: "Which is easier to fail in, x and y?" Which doesn't follow. "Easier" would need to become "easy" for it to make sense.
  17. Dec 12, 2011 #16
    That was my problem. Combined with attendance issues. My high school was a campus in the boonies. Skipping class meant sitting in the hallway or something. So I sat through class and soaked everything in. College? Eh, maybe I just won't get out of bed this morning...and missing things in lecture could really hurt your grade!
  18. Dec 12, 2011 #17
    Is it easier to first fail an high school class then followed by a college class (to be nitppicky) And since it uses the term easier, there must be something to compare with, which of course there is not. Which reminds me of an ancient and very bad joke.
    Question "What's the difference in an orange?"

    Answer "A monkey, because elephants don't ride bicycles"

    (And notice the write uses "an" rather than "a" high school class indicating British rather than US English.)

    I really need to get a life.
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