Reasons Why Students Graduate With a CGPA Less Than 3.0 In The University

A big part of my life is to open mathematics to students everywhere. I’m very supportive of the whole idea of making these courses available to people around the world. Everyone has the capacity to learn mathematics, and if you can offer a little bit of guidance, the process of discovery is so valuable. – Prof. Gilbert Strang (Professor of Mathematics)

From the above statement, it can be deduced that all students have the capacity to learn and to perform optimally. Although, having the capacity doesn’t necessarily translate to good success academically. One needs to work his/her way to success.

Listed below are the reasons why students graduate with a CGPA that is less than 3.0 in the University

Read: How to build a strong CGPA in your first year

Reasons For Poor CGPA

Poor foundation

When the foundation is poor and you are not willing to lay it again, therefore, you should be ready for a poor CGPA.

Majority of the courses taught in 100 level and 200 level have a root in what you would have been taught in your secondary school. And 100 level and 200 level are the two levels where a very high CGPA can be built. Therefore, if you are the lazy type while you were in secondary school, it will tell on your results in the University.

Moreover, students that got admission into the Universities via malpractice will have to sweat it out before they can graduate with a seemingly good grade. But the majority of them ended with a poor grade.

The best way to overcome this is to revisit the requisite subjects you are weak at while in secondary school.

Emotional instability

One of the reasons why some students didn’t perform well while in the University was their inability to concentrate due to an emotional breakdown. Some of the emotional breakdowns are inadequate funding, loss of parents, family issues, engaging in a relationship that led to heartbreak etc. And because of these, the majority of them didn’t know how to manage these emotional states they found themselves, therefore, leading to their poor CGPA.

Poor attitude

Some students are fond of saying “who book don help” They have a negative attitude towards their studies, never inspired by their lecturers, and never motivated to succeed academically. And people with this kind of attitude do end up with a CGPA below 3.0.

They are not smart enough

Smart students are the ones that understand their lecturers and know what their lecturers want when answering his/her exam questions. I once told my students that if you study your lecturers well while lecturing in class, you can predict with high degree of accuracy where his/her questions are coming from. And most times, most of the lecturers do say in class how they want their questions to be answered. So if you don’t attend classes and are not smart enough, you may not really perform well.

There is this trick that works well in Nigerian Universities “Cram and pours” Lol, it works wonders.

Party type or happening boys or big girls on Campus

Students who are only interested in parties or obsessed with beauty, money, how influential they are on campus etc. may perform below their abilities. I have some friends that were very sound while in secondary school but got lost in the euphoria of gaining admission into their choice school studying their desired course. But they allow the social aspect of the University to sweep them away from their primary aim in school. This is so sad.

It is good to be social and to participate in extracurricular activities but it should not affect your academic performance.

Freedom from parental guidance

Gaining admission for some students is a ticket to freedom from parental guidance and monitoring. These set of students might have been used to their parents enforcing them to read their books. But the moment they gain admission, their parents have no significant say on how they read so they take the freedom for granted.

Misplaced priority

The sole aim of going to school is to read and to perform at your best. But some students like engaging in activities that draw them away from their primary assignment.

One thing students in this category should understand is that “there is time for everything under the sun” Failure to get your priorities right will make you perform below your ability academically.


The path to self-discovery is when you understand your reading style and how you can assimilate easily. Some students perform below their ability because they failed to discover these while in the University.

Bolarinwa Olajire

A tutor with a demonstrated history of working in the education industry. Skilled in analytical skills. Strong education professional with a M. SC focused in condensed matter. You can follow me on Twitter by clicking on the icon below to ask questions.

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