What is a proper way of showing academic knowledge with assignments when your professors and or school is not on par with a particular students knowledge, so-to-speak?

A student is extremely smart but lacks communication skills due to a disability and is completing advanced work when it is not required. In return, the professors have become egotistical and grade his papers for made up biased issues which have been confirmed to be incorrect grading from other members of the field.

How might a student handle a situation such as this and yet still prosper and graduate with a network of potential workplaces when the professors cannot handle someone who knows more then they do and go after him to encourage failure?

  • 4
    What does "completing advanced work when it is not required" mean in this context?
    – ff524
    Jun 12, 2019 at 13:53
  • 9
    Perhaps, unsurprisingly, you do what needs to be done to get good grades, then get out of there as quickly as possible. Projecting your feelings for the professors, which come across clearly in your question, isn't likely to help either, but that is more for Interpersonal Skills SE.
    – Jon Custer
    Jun 12, 2019 at 13:58
  • 11
    You sound angry. That is not going to solve anything. First thing you need to do is calm down. Don't assume that you are smart and the others are dumb. Don't assume malice or egotism. Start from the position that you are surprised about the grade and would like to learn what you did wrong so you can improve your future work. Jun 12, 2019 at 14:01
  • @MaartenBuis I am not angry because this is the third person involved in this conversation, but if this statement sounded angry then obviously what is partaking between a student-professor needs intervention. No one said anywhere that someone is dumb.
    – ABC
    Jun 12, 2019 at 17:00

2 Answers 2


There are a couple of things that can be going on here. The short version is that you have a disagreement with your instructor about how your work is being graded. You have interpreted the grading one way; I'm sure we would get a different version if your professor were here. It's entirely possible you are answering questions that are not being asked (and this is what is causing your low grades).

Here's one example: If I were to ask a student to solve a physics problem using only basic algebraic methods and then discuss the benefits of this method and its limitations, and a student solves the problem using methods that involve calculus, they have solved the problem using "more advanced work", except that they have totally failed to answer the question I asked. In an ideal world, I would communicate to this student that, while their math was great, their lack of understanding of the question means they missed the point of the question (and, in fact had not answered it).

I have been in the position of being a student and thinking that a question was simplistically put and that it warranted a more complicated solution than what I thought was being asked for. My solution was to go talk to the professor. He had office hours; I went. I started the conversation by saying that I thought two methods of looking at the problem would yield two different answers, and I explained why I thought that the more complicated answer was better. The professor completely agreed and we had a great chat. (He told me to keep the more complicated answer and wrote on my homework a note to his TA to accept it as is.)

One of the big challenges of teaching (perhaps the largest) is teaching by increment, and finding the right "sized" increment. I've taught a wide range of science classes; all of them start with some simplifications that you later find are wrong. These simplifications give students a chance to tackle a new concept without overwhelming them. You may be running up against a limitation of this method. Perhaps you (like the student in my example) are more proficient at math than what is being used in your class, but you are focusing on the math and ignoring what the question is really driving at.

My first suggestion to you is to go talk to your professor. From your question, I believe that you feel you have some problems in communicating. Getting better at this is going to require you practicing it. You've also stated that the "professors have become egotistical"; this sounds like an assumption to me, and a dangerous one at that. (I'm not saying that it isn't possible that this has happened, but I see no evidence here.) If you have not spoken directly to your professor, you may be interpreting their responses through an inaccurate lens.

Lastly, if you have a disability, you should find out if your school has resources that are available to you, and use them. Someone who is trained to be an advocate for students with disabilities working at your school will be able to give you more detailed advice than a bunch of strangers here on the internet.

  • is there any evidence the OP is the student, and not the professor? I agree that it is somewhat unlikely that the professor would describe themselves as egotistical but you seem to using the pronoun "you" in your answer so confidently referring to the student.
    – user109420
    Jun 12, 2019 at 15:40
  • 1
    @kartop_man Sure, there's a bit of an assumption on my part. Options: 1. it's the professor. (not likely, given the use of 'egotistical' and 'made up biases'.) 2. It's a third party (possible; poorly communicated; question shows lack of perspective. Could be an upset 3rd party.) 3. The OP is the student. (OP could be using language that avoids first person for a variety of reasons.) Given the language, I highly doubt the OP is the professor; without evidence I chose not to multiply my entities. Thus, I assume the OP is the student.
    – Van
    Jun 12, 2019 at 15:52
  • I appreciate you taking the time out to type this response it was helpful.
    – ABC
    Jun 12, 2019 at 16:58

If you have communication issues because of a disability, and it is interfering with your coursework, at least in the US, you would approach the office that handles disabilities. They will work with you to get the disability officially documented, and then you will work with them to discuss appropriate accommodations with your coursework and your instructors.

  • Thank you, for the response.
    – ABC
    Jun 12, 2019 at 16:58

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