The advantages of pass fail college classes are a great college hack that can help you learn while also helping your grades.
Find out how to use the pass/fail option and when it can be most helpful to your education.
What Is a Pass/Fail Class?
You’re probably familiar with traditional classes that grade on a scale of A through F.
With a pass/fail class, your final grade is either a P for pass or an F for fail. For the most part, a P/F class won’t affect your GPA, except in some schools where earning an F in a P/F class will still be included in your GPA.
A pass fail is sometimes called credit/no credit because, even though you’re not getting a grade, passing the class means you still earn college credit.
The course itself doesn’t determine the P/F status; instead, your registration type determines it. Thus, you could be taking a class as P/F, while your classmates are taking it for a grade.
Advantages of Pass Fail Classes
Taking a class as pass/fail can be a great option in many circumstances. It can even help you improve your college experience and outcomes. Consider some of the advantages of registering for a P/F class.
1. Avoid Ruining Your GPA
As long as you pass, the course will be excluded from your GPA calculations.
2. Earn College Credit
3. Help You Finish College
One author explains that P/F classes can be a great strategy to help struggling students finish college. When you’re fighting to earn college credits, P/F can help you get to the finish line.
4. Lower Stress Levels
5. Help You Focus on the Classes That Matter
You may be required to take a certain number of classes outside of your field of study. If you feel forced to learn something uninteresting and distracting, using the P/F option could keep you from being spread too thin so you can give more of your time to the classes within your major.
6. Explore New Topics Without Risk
You may be hesitant to take that music composition or astrophysics class because it’s outside of your comfort zone.
With Pass Fail you can be free to take a class in an interesting topic even if you may not be confident in your skills.
On your final transcripts, no one will know if you actually did the work of a C student or an A student because it’ll be excluded from your GPA.
Is Pass/Fail Right for You?
If you’re considering using the P/F registration option, your first step should be to consult your student handbook and graduation requirements.
These college documents will lay out the rules and regulations of when you’re able to use P/F.
For example, in some schools, you can’t take P/F classes if the course is within your field of study. There are typically also limits as to how many of these classes you can take within your four years of college.
Each school is different, so it’s important to understand your university regulations.
Another valuable resource in understanding your options is your academic advisor.
As one of the most important people to help you succeed in college, your advisor can effectively help you navigate the rules and red tape.
Additionally, he or she will be able to help you understand both the short-term implications of taking a P/F class, as well as its impact later in your college career.
Can Pass Fail Classes Help You Learn?
College classes can be difficult, and taking a pass/fail class can give you a leg up that can help you succeed.
When grades are on the line, students should pursue whatever resources can help them achieve academic success. OneClass‘ online academic platform has helped millions of college students get better grades.
Pass/Fail registration can provide further assistance to help you get the GPA you want.
Jack Tai is the CEO and Co-founder of OneClass. Visit the site to find out more about how this online tool has helped 90% of users improve by a letter grade.
[ Updated – October 30, 2020 ]