I recently applied for a job and found out I got the job this week. I have to undergo a background check and send my transcripts. I included a course that I had taken but failed the exam on my resume. This course is not a requirement for the job but I’m concerned now he will see I didn't pass and because I included it on my resume when I should not have they will rescind my offer. I don’t know if my best bet is to be honest or hope they don’t notice. I will add that I have passed the course I need for this job. Do I bring it up and say it was a mistake?

  • 1
    Related: workplace.stackexchange.com/questions/111648/…
    – Erik
    Commented Jun 30, 2018 at 14:35
  • 1
    Was the course part of a degree program or just an independent course? Commented Jun 30, 2018 at 20:22
  • what exactly did you say about these courses on your resume? Did you say "I passed all of these courses with a grade of B (or whatever)?" or were you just listing courses you took without any reference to final grades?
    – Steve-O
    Commented Jul 1, 2018 at 16:33
  • I didn’t specifically say I passed I just included it under education. I did the course I just didn’t pass, I failed By 1%
    – P. Ford
    Commented Jul 1, 2018 at 20:50
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    – Makyen
    Commented Jul 4, 2018 at 1:07

2 Answers 2


Read very, very carefully what you wrote in your CV. You said you took the course. Did you learn something useful in the course, or was it a waste of time? And what exactly did you write in your CV? Did you give an indication that you took and passed the exam?

If you did not mention anything about taking the exam, and it would be reasonable for someone to take the course with the intent of gaining knowledge, then you could say something like "I re-read my CV, and I think what I wrote about this course could be misleading. I took the course out of general interest, because I believe what it teaches will be useful in my career, but I never had any intention to pass the exam". Expect questioning.

  • I didn’t indicate that I passed the course specifically, I included it under education. It’s not part of a degree program. I have successfully completed the course I need for the job. I can exclude when I send him my information and maybe won’t notice as it’s not pertinent to the position or explain I didn't pass and included it in error.
    – P. Ford
    Commented Jul 1, 2018 at 19:59

Does failing the exam mean you failed the course? If it does, then obviously this will come up on your transcript, and they will find out anyway. The best you can do for yourself right now is to come clean. It is probably the only chance you have of not losing the job you just acquired.

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