The following are stories and advice from Heriot-Watt students who have gone through reassessments in the past.
Year 2 student
When I found out that I had failed courses I was really gutted
When I found out that I had failed courses I was really gutted. I wasn't too surprised though considering that I missed quite a lot of the semester due to illness.
I found out about mitigating circumstances from Student Wellbeing Services and realised that it wasn't the end of the world.
As soon as I found out when my resits were I put together a study guide that I followed over the summer. This helped me develop some much needed organisation and time management skills which are useful in all aspects of life!
If anyone else is in the same boat and feeling the same way I would advise them that they're not alone! Whatever reason you may have had for not being able to perform there's no need to panic. There is a wonderful support network available to you at the University and my personal tutors were very encouraging. You'll get through it and you'll be much better off for it.
Year 3 student
I really thought that university was over for me.
When I found out I had failed I was devastated. I had worked really hard and had done well in assessments during the semester but had fallen at the last hurdle when it came to the exam. I really thought that university was over for me.
I went straight to my Personal Tutor and explained my situation. He was very kind and sat for a good hour going through how reassessments worked and how I could easily bring my grades back up. He was also prepared with tissues which came in very handy!
I worked continuously through the summer while trying to balance a part-time job. Not having classes or tutorials to support me was difficult, at points I was convinced I was just going to fail all over again. I contacted the Counselling Service at Heriot Watt, they really nicely sat on the phone with me and help me focus and stop panicking so much. In the end I finished with really good grades and I feel that I now have a much better understanding of the course.
My advice to students taking resit exams would be start early and do a little bit every day. Don't leave all the revision until the last four weeks, you will get overstressed and at the end of it you will already be exhausted before you even start university again.
Year 4 student
whatever the reason for failing is you need to push on and focus on the resit.
Failing a course that you have genuinely studied makes you feel like you aren't good enough. It makes you ask why everyone else seems to understand it but apparently you don't. But whatever the reason for failing is you need to push on and focus on the resit.
If you need help from a lecturer ASK! Your head of year is a good point to start, they can answer all queries on procedure. Also Student Wellbeing Services is very useful for when you feel like you're going over the edge, even if it's just a fresh face who will listen
Year 4 student
keep everything in balance and you'll get through it
Even though the exam is 100%, you have far longer to prepare, and you'll find that you understand it better than you did during the semester - and will hopefully come out with a better grade!
Do not hide it from your parents/guardians. It's pressure enough without having to hide it from the people closest to you. Get a plan set out, cover all of the material given in the semester - stay focused and try keep your motivation up for the summer, but don't treat it as you have ruined your summer, keep everything in balance and you'll get through it.
Year 4 student
I spoke to my Personal Tutor who was amazing and gave me great advice and strategies to help me to prepare for my resits
I am now a final year student and didn't think for one minute I would make it this far, especially when it came to facing numerically based questions. I failed two numerically-based exams and was really down on myself. It knocked my confidence and felt I didn't deserve a place on my programme and, on more than one occasion, I was very close to dropping out.
I spoke to my Personal Tutor who was amazing and gave me great advice and strategies to help me to prepare for my resits, such as speaking to the lecturers of the courses I had failed to get some feedback to see where I went wrong. Their feedback was a great starting point to see what I needed to improve on with my answers, I tend to go off topic at a tangent! I sourced past papers and solutions and formed study groups.
I went to Disability Support (in Student Wellbeing Services) who did some tests which picked up that I had a learning difficulty with numbers called dyscalculia. Like people with dyslexia who struggle processing words, I struggle processing numbers. After further tests (that sounds intimidating but it wasn't, it was very informal) I was officially diagnosed. This meant I could receive the support I needed to help progress with my academic career. I have extra time in numerically based exams and access to a tutor.