I need advice on what to do with a teacher.On my project i got 76/75 & i know this is going to sound crazy cause i know thats an extremely excellent mark but my teacher marked something wrong...

I need advice on what to do with a teacher.

On my project i got 76/75 & i know this is going to sound crazy cause i know thats an extremely excellent mark but my teacher marked something wrong & i'm 99% sure it's correct but i don't know if i should tell her....


Expert Answers
Lorraine Caplan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Not only do I welcome inquiries on test scores, but also I encourage my students to let me know if they find a question on an exam to be ambiguous or incorrect in some way.  I have thrown out exam questions on the spot a few times because a student was able show me why they were confusing or could have more than one correct answer.

I think it is important to remember that a test is not a trap to "catch" a student, but a way for a teacher to assess what the student has learned for much better purposes.  The teacher needs to know what the student has learned because this tells a teacher how well he or she is teaching and what further work needs to be done to help the student to learn.  The student needs the feedback so he or she can tell what has been learned and also tells the student what further work needs to be done.

As the other respondents have noted, a good teacher welcomes questions about tests and should be approachable.  Does this mean that every teacher you meet will respond favorably? Probably not, but this is no different from any other part of life.  You will encounter some people who are reasonable and others who are not.  Learning this is part of the process of growing up.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I can't speak for any other of the teachers on here, but I can't imagine being angry at someone for asking me if I had graded something properly, especially if the student phrased the question in any sort of a polite way.

So what I think you should do is ask your teacher to explain to you whichever one you got wrong.  Don't go up and say "hey, I think this one is right."  Instead, say "I'm confused.  I thought this one was right but I guess I must be wrong.  Will you explain it to me so I can get it right next time?"

That way, you sound like you're asking for help rather than being confrontational.  And if you were actually right, your teacher will notice that and change your grade.

Don't worry that it's too greedy or something -- you deserve whatever grade you were supposed to get.  And it's not like teachers want to make mistakes and leave them uncorrected.

Good luck...


larrygates eNotes educator| Certified Educator

As a teacher, and also as a human being, I am just as prone to mistakes as the next person. At the same time, I want my students to see me as approachable, and not afraid to speak up if they think I am mistaken. Grading papers can be a tedious task, and one from which teachers can be easily distracted. That being the case, I always ask my students to check behind me. I normally go over correct answers and ask, "did I grade anyone's paper wrong." Not all teachers may be approachable like this; but under no circumstances should you be afraid to speak up. Your teacher should appreciate the fact that you consider him/her approachable; and if you are right, correct your score. If you are not right, the teacher should consider this a teaching moment and demonstrate to you the difference between a correct response and your response.

shxpersdarklady eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I tell my students that I don't mind being asked for a "recheck" on a particular question, so that I give them the vocabulary, even, for approaching me on something that the student thinks is correct that I marked incorrect.  "May I ask for a recheck on this question/aspect of my exam/paper?" communicates perfectly courteously to me that the student thinks it is correct, though I have marked it incorrect.  I don't know if you can use this vocabulary to communicate with your teacher in this instance, but I would encourage teachers to provide their students with this vocabulary early-on, so that it is easy to request a "recheck" without hurt feelings or insult.

megan-bright eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Definitely bring it to the teacher's attention in a humble and respectful manner. I've had to do this quite a bit, and my teachers never took offense. It is all about your approach. Sometimes I would have an answer wrong and the teacher would mark it correct and I'd bring it to her attention.

As you get older, you will come across all types of mistakes from all types of people. (And of course, you will make some as well). I wouldn't suggest correcting everyone, but wisely choose your battles and in this case since it is an actual grade, I think it's a good idea to be able to have some clarity on why the point was deducted.

marilynn07 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I would approach it as a learning opportunity for myself.  I would go to the teacher and ask the teacher to explain to me how this particular thing is incorrect.  I would say that I was under the impression it was the correct way or answer and somewhat confused by having it marked as incorrect.  Always present yourself as a learner rather than as questioning your marks.  If the teacher sees the mark as a mistake, he or she will correct it without calling undue attention to the mistake.  If the teacher explains to you that in some circumstances it is correct, but in this one it is incorrect...then you have your answer.

booboosmoosh eNotes educator| Certified Educator

You cannot always talk with every teacher, but by making sure to ask without putting that teacher on the defensive, after class, you could ask where you went wrong so you don't do it again. You can admit that a point may not seem like much, but it could make or break a marking period grade...and if you're doing it in that class, it could be something you're also doing in another class.

I never mind someone asking: I remind them they have the right and I am "rarely" perfect...it's all in how they ask. Smile...and ask if you can "ask" a question...

Good luck, you should be fine!

mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In accord with the other teachers, questioning anything that a teacher has done is not difficult if one phrases one's objections in an unoffensive manner.  Often the use of the passive voice in one's questioning is effective since there is no "finger-pointing" in such a phrasing.  For example, "This answer has brought some questions to my mind.  Could you look at it for me, again so that I will better understand why it was marked as it was?" 

Many times, a teachers themselves have experienced  a wrong against them, so if the student is non-offensive, they will be sympathetic.

Lori Steinbach eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Learning how to walk the sometimes fine line between offending an authority figure and getting what you're entitled to is a life skill. We have all been on your side of things, and the odds are good that you will one day be on the other side of this scenario. My colleagues have given you great advice and insight; speak up and simply consider this practice for your "adult" life. 

justaguide eNotes educator| Certified Educator

You will excuse my asking this, but does the student who has started this thread by 76/75 mean that s/he received 76 marks in a project that was for 75 marks. And now wants to know whether the teacher should be approached to get this corrected.

I'd appreciate a teacher telling me a little about the style of marking used in schools in the US.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Don't be afriad to talk to the teacher, but don't be combative about it.  The best way is to be very polite and say you need help.  Ask the teacher to explain why the problem is wrong.  If the teacher made a mistake, you'll get it fixed.  If not, you'll learn what you don't know!

trophyhunter1 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Go to your teacher and present your point of view. At least let her discuss the rubric she used to arrive at your grade. Maybe she can give you some feedback as to why it received the grade it did. Also, if you feel you were sleighted, maybe she can revisit the project.

lrwilliams eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Most teachers are not going to mind if you ask them about why they have marked something incorrect. If you approach them respectfully and are asking for an explanation as opposed to arguing the point with them.

mizzwillie eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I just want to be a teacher with 100 students.  Our normal load is 150-160, so essays take forever to grade!

nafasduneh | Student

i think you yourself should be relax on what you do.most of the teachers care the same on what they think & what they do.they think they are always correct.you study your lessons & try to find the other ways to show you are correct


pammyteacher-rocks | Student

I want students and/or parents to point out if they feel that I've marked something wrong.  This lets me know that they're involved and care enough by looking over the assignment for reflection.  My students know that I'm not perfect and could definitely mark something wrong on accident that was actually right.  I am never upset if a parent or student thinks they're answer is right and they ask me about it.  If anything, I encourage it.  Hope this helps:)

thegamecreator | Student
I believe that firstly you should go and talk to her and explain her your problem with the way she has marked your work. If you are dis-satisfied with her answer, then offer to write up another one (most teachers will say yes to this). I have done it and it worked. If you are still not pleased with her answer then try to get some external help. I suggest a private tutor or a coaching college. Just remember, don't go storming into her office amd demand reason, just go up to her nicely and be polite and she'll most likely will answer you. Also remember this: treat others the way you would like to be treated.
dazling | Student
explain in detail the relation between ton and sophia in Tom jone by fielding
doni2633 | Student

Dont Tell Helive with the Fact that noone is perfect and even teachers do a mistake.

Telling youre teacher youre mistake will result on making her think shes not good on her job i mean there are a lot of these teachers with bad mentallity.

phiwanga | Student

its true that  a teacher as a human can error  while doing his work.in appreciation of this i  think the best thing would be to walk to the teacher and seek help in understanding what should have been the right answer.she will appraciate  your confidence and openness and help you more .


if you keep quiet,it remains a puzzle .lets unfold it.

cleisure | Student
I need advice on what to do with a teacher.

On my project i got 76/75 & i know this is going to sound crazy cause i know thats an extremely excellent mark but my teacher marked something wrong & i'm 99% sure it's correct but i don't know if i should tell her....


If you are that confident that you are right, bring it to the attention of the teacher.  We are human too and while we do have knowledge, we do not know everything!  Your best bet is to set a time to discuss this with her and provide your evidence if you have any.  It is your grade and as a teacher, I would respect that you cared enough about your grade to make sure it was accurately reflecting your work.

saffia | Student

just tell them and be honest but dont be forcefull. I've done this and the teacher totally understood. Good luck!

casakate | Student

Be polite but ask the teacher to explain where you went wrong.

corbindavis | Student

I tell my teachers politely that they made a mistake.Dont force it on them with a " you made a mistake change it now" kinda thing. A simple " Hey mr.(insert name) i thought this was correct? youll be fine

bhellman75 | Student

I always encourage my students to speak to me if they think I made a mistake.  Teachers are human and will make mistakes from time to time.  The manner in which you approach your teacher however, will likely affect the outcome.  Remember to be polite and respectful.  If you are concerned the teacher might be defensive about making a mistake, just ask him or her to explain your mistake.  If you are polite and speak up about mistakes, you will likely gain more respect from your teachers than if you never speak at all.  It is a mark of a conscientious student and teachers like conscientious students.

missbennet | Student

I would much, much more prefer for a student to ask me about a grade he or she thinks is incorrect than suffer in silence.  I make mistakes, and I tell my students every time I return something I graded that if they have any questions, they need to talk to me before or after class.  Sometimes they have a legitimate complaint, and sometimes they don't.  In the case of the latter, being able to explain to them why I graded it as I did helps them understand the material better than they previously did.

hpatton0 | Student

I am sure this is just an honest mistake or misunderstanding. I can only speak for myself, but I am sure that your teacher would love to sit down and discuss your grade. Explain to them that you are confident in your answer and explain why you think it is right. Even if your teacher doesn't change your score it will show them how much you care and are willing to work to do well in the class.


bassplay12 | Student

Definitely humbleness is a quality that any student questioning an instructor must bring to the table.  Humbleness opens the door to an attitude of being helped rather than a know- it- all.  I am a middle school teacher and I know that I am more receptive to "Can you look at this for me?" rather than "You messed up" or "I think you're wrong."

analytical | Student

Teachers do make mistakes. You should approach your teacher politely and point out to her the error. Iam sure the teacher will make amends where possible. You don't need to be scared. You could even start the conversation by telling the teacher that you gave a particular answer to the question asked and got it wrong that would spark the teacher's interest;then you show her the script I am sure the teacher will explain why the correct answer was marked incorrectly. If you take the right approach you might strike a special relationship with your teacher because often times teachers like students who can pick up their errors because it shows that they  are keen. Students that can pick up errors are usually sharp thinkers and teacher do love and appreciate those skills in their students. I know I do.

I would like you to know that errors like the one you mention is often done due to fatigue. Sometimes teachers spend hours grading papers and a few errors are made due to fatigue. But like I said this can bec orrected easily. Word of advise though, never try to be arrogant when asking your teacher to correct a mistake. This just sets the wrong tone.

Always remember teachers are not infallable and the greatest desire of a true teacher is to produce students who are smarter than themselves, idedepent thinkers, problem solvers, and individuals who will influence society positively.


nmmccoy | Student

Dear Cindyloo,

As a middle school teacher with close to 100 students, I can attest to being quite tired when I grade papers and prone to making mistakes. Therefore, I agree with pohnpei397 that any good teacher understands that mistakes can be made and will respond appropriately with an adequate explanation and/or correction. Although I appreciate pohnpei379's advice about appearing to be asking for help in your approach with the teacher, I must argue that asking for what you need in a direct and confident manner indicates that you are mature and that you possess the ability to communicate or articulate (tell) your needs. I believe that teachers appreciate students who are confident in their abilities and have the communication skills to vocalize what they believe is the correct. Best Wishes.

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