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When to Take a College Course Pass/Fail

The Pass/Fail Option, Instead of a Grade, Can Be A Great Option


Most college courses require students to take them for a grade. In some instances, however, students can take a few courses as pass/fail during their time in college. How can you know when the pass/fail option is better than the regular grading system?

What Exactly Is Pass/Fail?

Pass/Fail is an option where, instead of taking a college course for a grade, you take it with only two options: pass or fail. It isn't counted in your GPA as a regular course (though you do get the full course credits) and it will show up on your transcript differently.

When to Take a Course Pass/Fail

Taking a college course pass/fail might be a good option when:

  1. When you don't need the grade for your major or for graduate school.
  2. When you are worried about a grade having an impact on your GPA or transcript.
  3. When you want to take a course you're interested in with a little lower stress than normal.

One Last Thing to Remember

Just because you're taking a class pass/fail doesn't mean you can take it easy. You still need to study, do the reading, complete the homework, and pass the exams. Additionally, if you withdraw or fail the class, it will show up on your transcript.

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