Top Reasons Students Fail

There are many excuses that are cast when we see students fail. We seem to always want to find someone or something to blame. The following is a list, compiled by teachers, of the top reasons that students fail.

List topic started by teacherkim's List teacherkim
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  • 1.

    Lack of Motivation

    A student who does not realize why they need to succeed, will not succeed.
  • 2.

    Peer Relationships

    Choosing friends that fill a void tends to lead to either very good or very bad behavior. A parent needs to monitor their child’s friends all the way through high school. Just because they are older doesn’t mean they don’t need parental guidance in choosing who they do and do not hang out with.
  • 3.

    Bad Teachers

    No one ever wants to say that this is a factor. While teachers should be respected, they should also be challenged to meet the needs of every student in the classroom. Tenure can create lazy teaching
  • 4.

    Not Asking Questions

    Students who fail are those who are not ready to say that they need help. By asking questions students ensure their own success and that their education meets their individual needs
  • 5.

    School Culture

    A school with low expectations will create students who will meet them. Students who are taught to not care and are ready to accept failure are much more likely to fail high school and/or not apply to college.
  • 6.


    If you are not at school, you cannot learn. Parents who enable their students by letting them take days off of school are supporting and teaching their students that irresponsibility and failure is acceptable.
  • 7.

    Parent Involvement

    If parents are aware of the school and teacher expectations, and can enforce solid work habits at home, the student will be successful. Without parent support students have a much harder route to success.
  • 8.


    A messy backpack, no assignment log, and no agenda of daily activities are signs that students are not active in their education. Organization is a life skill. Without it students are being set up to fail.
  • 9.

    Feeling Helpless

    Support systems are key to success. The student needs to have a strong adult who they trust to guide them through their education. If they do not have this, the feeling of helplessness can cause a student to give up. Students need to be empowered to be in control of their education.
  • 10.

    Too Far Behind

    Many students who have a bad school experience at one grade level end up like swiss cheese. They have educational holes that need to be filled. If this is not recognized early the student will fall even further behind to the point that failure is inevitable.
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