6 Dumbest Reasons Students Received a Bad Grade

Sometimes teachers give us bad grades for the silliest of reasons. From not writing our name on the paper to not following an instruction that wasn’t even given, the list of bizarre reasons is endless.

In a recent Reddit thread, we found the dumbest reasons teachers gave bad grades and compiled a list of some of the best responses.

Can you think of a time when you were graded unfairly? Here are some of the dumbest reasons a teacher gave someone a bad grade:

1. Not Reading The Paper

In one university class, a TA was responsible for grading the papers but was clearly overwhelmed. It became clear they were only marking the papers based on the introduction alone. 

According to Redditor spaghettithyme, one student received a surprisingly low grade on their paper despite addressing the prompt in their two-part introduction that the TA didn’t notice.

After challenging the initial grade, they were awarded full credit as it became clear that the grader had only read the first part of the introduction.

2. The Teacher Doesn’t Like You

One student took issue with their professor during the first week of a pre-civil war history class when they corrected him on a fact about the distances between towns in the Western United States.

When that student later received a shocking low grade on a paper from this same teacher, they sought clarification, and the professor outright admitted that he didn’t like him.

The Reddit user westhoff0407, who told the story, wrote: “He sighed, looked down and said, ‘Westhoff… I don’t like you.’ He went on and on after that with some bull***t reasons, but apparently, the big issue came from the first week of class.”

“He was talking about Manifest Destiny and said something like, “Now you have to remember, back in those days, there were 50-100 miles between towns out in the Western USA!” And I raised my hand and said that there were STILL 50-100 miles between towns in the Western US. He said I was exaggerating, and I told him I wasn’t because that’s where I grew up.”

The paper was worth 40% of the total grade, and despite the student’s efforts to challenge the grade or even have it re-read, their professor refused. Eventually, they got a C+, but this experience still stands out as one of the most frustrating in their academic career. 

“You should have pressed, at the very least, so he doesn’t try that bull***t with someone else,” one user commented.

Another user replied: “Agreed. Had a similar thing happen. Prof didn’t like me (cause of my beard). Went to the dean, dean tried talking to him, but he refused to do anything.”

“The dean went sent my paper to another prof at our sister school who taught the same class. She reviewed it and graded it went from a D- to a B+ (I forgot to cite something, and I had a few (2-3) spelling errors). Dean submitted the new grade instead, which gave me a B- overall in the class.”

3. Talking Prior To Class

In an 11th-grade English class, a student under the Reddit username ropeerasers was surprised to find that their usually perfect spelling test score became a 0%. 

Upon investigating further with the teacher, it became clear that the low grade was due to their conversation with another student during the free period prior to class. 

The teacher believed that this conversation had distracted the other student enough that they did not study for the test and received a poor score, which the teacher believed was the fault of the initial student’s conversation. 

Despite the student’s efforts to challenge this grade, their teacher refused, and they were unable to improve their 0%.

“What! How does this make literally any sense,” one user remarked.

“Teachers are not always as impartial as people in that position should be. Bad days and personal grudges are often a culprit for an unfair grade or detention,” another person commented.

4. Using the Wrong Style Guide

A student encountered a problem while working on a college assignment that required them to follow the Chicago style guide.

Despite following the instructions, they were still penalized with lost points on their paper because they had used this format. 

After explaining the issue to the professor, their professor agreed to up their final grade, and the student was eventually able to improve their score.

“+1 for teachers who don’t even read their own instructions. Something similar happened to me,” one user commented.

5. The Teacher Didn’t Think You Studied

A student was given a 0% on a test because their teacher did not believe they had read the book.

Despite getting 75% of the questions correct, more was needed to convince the teacher that they had done the reading. Even years later, this experience still frustrates this Reddit user.

“As a high school freshman, I think I was too intimidated to challenge her. I regret not making a bigger deal about it at the time; it really hurt my confidence with some teachers the following year,” the Reddit user claimed.

6. Not Having a Computer

A student in the 90s was penalized on an assignment they had invested much time into due to not having access to a computer.

Despite their hard work on the assignment, their teacher gave them a B, commenting that they would have received an A if it had been typed up on a computer. Even years later, this experience still angers the commenter.

“Too poor. B,” one user wrote.

“I knew a girl in the early 2000s who used a typewriter because she didn’t have a printer or a floppy disk reader in her computer,” another person commented.


So, there you have it! These are 6 of the dumbest reasons why teachers give students bad grades. 

From being penalized for talking before class to getting a 0% because the teacher did not believe they had done their work, these experiences can be incredibly frustrating and ultimately lead to lower grades that don’t accurately reflect student effort.

This was a great Reddit discussion about the dumbest reasons teachers gave students a bad grade.

This post Dumbest Reasons Teachers Gave You a Bad Grade was produced and syndicated by TPR Teaching.

More Articles From TPR Teaching

Caitriona Maria is an education writer and founder of TPR Teaching, crafting inspiring pieces that promote the importance of developing new skills. For 7 years, she has been committed to providing students with the best learning opportunities possible, both domestically and abroad. Dedicated to unlocking students' potential, Caitriona has taught English in several countries and continues to explore new cultures through her travels.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments