Is a C grade enough to get my offer rescinded?

I am an international student from India(CBSE) and I had my Chemistry final exam yesterday. It was just horrible. I was extremely nervous before the exam because I struggle with organic chem and I was sick and kept throwing up because teachers had a lot of expectations on me. And the exam went horrible. It was a moderate paper but I made silly mistakes and blanked out because of stress. I don’t know how much I will score. I think an approximate would be near 60/100 and thats either C1 or B2. This is hugely in contrast with my midterm grade of A1 where I got 95. I’ll probably do every other subject well. Physics and Maths will be either A1 or A2 and CS and English will both be A1.

I don’t know what to do now. I didnt expect to score less but Im very worried that this might get my offer rescinded considering I had great grades in midterms but it massively dropped in the finals. Is there anything I can do to salvage this situation? Any help would be appreciated.
Thank you.

Not sure which school your offer is from, but all the schools I am aware of one C is fine. Most often it won’t even trigger a review. Colleges are used to this! More than one C can be an issue but don’t worry and make yourself sick over it.

Also, depending on the college, you may well see a similar grade again. Both of my kids have. The important thing is to figure out why you got that grade, what you can do differently the next time, etc. Use it as a learning experience. Life is full of failures, and failure is a good thing if you learn from it!


The general rule is no D or F grades. One C isn’t a problem. A bunch of C’s could be a problem depending on the college. You’re ok.

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I’ve never seen a report of being rescinded for a C, though I suppose it’s possible. I seems to recall one or two “we noticed a C, which is concerning” emails, but no actual actions (I don’t know what the purpose of this scare tactics is on a final transcript.)

CBSE grading seems to be a ranking system where A, B, C, D are quartiles of passing students (each grade is split into upper and lower halves, like A1 and A2), and E is for failing students. C1 or B2 would be near the middle rank of passing students. In contrast, US high school grading is not usually “on a curve” or based on a ranking, so the interpretation of grades (other than E / F failing grades) may differ.

Admission offers should give some indication of what conditions you are expected to meet with respect to grades in in-progress courses.


My grades fall in the C1/B2 category but I just learnt that my board grades differently(not according to how one scores but according to how well other people do, so my grade might very well get dropped to D1) I think my situation is a whole lot worse now. My grades are supposed to be A1,A2,A1,A1,C1 but because CBSE changes its way of grading just for the boards it will be something like A1,A2,A1,A1,D1.

Not familiar with the grading rubric, but are final grades in? Can you improve? This is when you go to your teacher and ask them what you can do to right the ship, get a tutor, ask the teacher for resources to help you better understand, go to extra help, see if there is extra credit you can do, and otherwise pull out all of the stops. Just going to the teacher can be helpful as it shows that you are trying and you care and there is an inclination to help people that are trying their best.

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Excellent advice. Most teachers will bend over backwards to legitimately help a student once they understand what may be at risk.

Rapid and complete communication with your teacher will very likely really help you. Do it right away.

Best of luck! (Oh, and I DESPISED organic chemistry…you’re not alone. But just work hard on boosting your grade and work with your teacher. Hopefully all will work out.)

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Ok so I have just one final exam(a national exam that about 1.3 million students write. It’s considered very very important and a lot of stress is placed on students to do well). I write the paper and the paper is sent to another state and is corrected by a teacher who doesn’t know my name or how I perform in class. My results are in the hand of someone else. If they are in a good mood, I’ll get a bit more than I expected. If not, it would be a strict correction and there would be nothing I would be able to do about it. The grading is lenient but its impossible to tell what could happen. But there isn’t anything I can do now. There’s no credit or anything in this system and just the score is taken.
But thank you for the advice! I would have definitely done this if I didnt have year end exams like this.

I would love to take more courses and better understand organic chemistry but that option will be of no use because it’s just one exam and I cannot do anything now. My teachers also won’t be able to help me.

Also it might help if I explained the grading system. While my chemistry score is 60 which is B2 or C1 at worst and would have been graded like this for every other school year, the national board will give grades based on the performance of everyone else. So my grade could have been a C1 but because more people did slightly better, my grade could get pushed to C2 or even D1 . So essentially it’s not in my control. My grades won’t be graded according to how I did but according to what everyone around me scored. And these exams cater towards students who write national college entrance exams but its something students like me who wish to go abroad do not prepare for because we are preparing for the SAT.

Based on your explanation, the Indian grading system is different enough that I wouldn’t be confident that a C won’t result in rescinding (true domestically in the US).

I didn’t quite understand if the same exam you took at school goes to the board for grading or there’s another exam.

Also not sure how much weight is given to midterms, class exam, board exam, etc in the final grade.

What does your offer of admission letter say about performance? Some are specific about grades while others are generic like “similar performance.”

If you have a college counselor who has helped you with US admissions, they might be more helpful than us at this forum. You might also contact the admissions officer responsible for international students at the college you were accepted to.

The board conducts final year end exams for all schools that come under the CBSE board. So it’s just one exam. And final grade doesn’t have any midterm or class test weightage. Just the score in the board exam is the final grade.
In my acceptance letter, it says that I need to maintain a similar trend in grades. And also that going below a C is subject to review and cancellation(it’s a UC). My 11th grades are in the range of B1 and C2 so it’s not all that bad for 12th. But a D would be really bad.
And I don’t have a college counsellor or school counsellor. So I can’t really ask anyone in my school or at home because they wouldn’t know anything.

So you are just guessing based on how you did. Since the whole grade is based on that one exam, I am not sure what you can do other than hoping that you get a C or better.

Freshman: Additional information by country | UC Admissions says the following:

However, it does not specifically say anything about the CBSE letter grades that may result.