I am applying for internships as a software developer and I have to list relevant modules and the grade obtained. One of the modules that I think I should list is Data structures and algorithms (although it doesnt explicity say so, its such a fundamental concept).

I got a really bad grade on this module and it sticks out like a sore thumb compared to the grades of my other modules. However, I have greatly improved my understanding on the topic but I cant really prove that in my CV.

I assume if I do include it on my CV, its clear I am going to be asked why I did so bad in the module but I am uncertain on whether this would just ruin my prospects of getting an interview in the first place.

  • What is a module? Is it similar to a college course? – AffableAmbler Aug 21 '19 at 0:56
  • Yeah, courses. Its part of the degree – John Mak Aug 21 '19 at 0:57

As a technical interviewer, I've been through hundreds of resume, however I don't remember seeing a candidate listing out his grade for individual modules (Some may list in an achievement section specify they topped a course).

People list the courses to demonstrate they have studied these subjects, and interviewers may choose to ask questions from relevant topics.

If in case some interviewer does question you on the grades, and you are later able to answer his questions on the topic (as you yourself mention you've improved your understanding a lot), it proves to him you have capability to learn and improve, which is a positive for you.


Be honest and forthcoming. Don't try to hide it or lie about it.

If this is a good and smart company they'll give you an opportunity to talk about it and about how you've worked and studied to improve in this area.

If you don't get this job because of this, don't be discouraged and don't use that as justification to be untruthful in the future. Life is a journey with ups and downs. If this turns out to be a momentary downturn in your journey, use it as an opportunity to learn and grow.

  • The first selection of candidates is by definition superficial, putting a bad grade will reduce your chances big time. – Bobstar Aug 21 '19 at 14:42
  • +1 for honesty, but really this answer is 100% correct in all aspects. In some Workplace questions, I would sometimes suggest omission, but in this case @joeqwerty is absolutely right, and you can use this as a positive discussion point. – Justin Aug 22 '19 at 14:20

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