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How do I describe why I failed a final in a college course on my resume?

by Cecilia Kelly
(North Tonawanda, NY)

I was majoring in Nursing school in my 2nd semester. On April 25 my father was rushed to the ER and diagnosed with Liver Cancer and given 1 month to live.

I continued to attend school while attending to my father giving me no time to study for my final exam which was on May 12 at 9:00 am. I went and took my final. Later that day around 1:00 my father passed. I failed my final and Nursing II. I would like to know how I would put this on my resume.

Answer: Sorry to hear about your dad, Cecilia, and about your failed final. I had something similar happen when I was in nursing school many years ago and they let me re-take the final. Was that not a possibility for you? Certainly seems like extenuating circumstances.

But to answer your question, I don't think this is the kind of thing you would put on a resume at all. You didn't flunk out of school completely because of failing this one course, did you? I can't imagine why you would get so specific as to report the outcome of every course you took on your resume. Usually you would just list that the coursework was in process, with an anticipated graduation date.

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