Most of this may be venting a little. The main question is in the last paragraph.
I'm currently in my second semester of graduate school and I've been struggling in my current course. A lot.
I've been below both the median and the average grade on every single homework assignment. At best, my score has been 94% of the average of the class. At worst, it's been less than 60% of the average score. (note, not total score)
This is currently my only class. I'm working full time while working on my masters so I don't have time to dedicate more to another class. Due to current family/financial issues, I am incapable of quitting my job and becoming a full time grad student. Even if that is what I would like to do.
I feel like my job currently gives me a large disadvantage, but I'm not sure if that's true or just narcissistic. Other students are enrolled in multiple courses and also have positions at the university. I'm not sure how that compares to a 40 hour work week. I do know that it does give me one clear disadvantage (or that may just be in my mind too). The professor allows for "collaboration" on the homework. I feel like my job may hinder me from that more than others, particularly because I live a half hour away from campus. I have not been able to fully "collaborate" on homework with anyone. This makes me unsure as to whether or not that would make a difference at all. If I sound bitter about this point it's because I am a little, but that's because if I can not rationalize this that means that I may just not be up to snuff, I guess. So blaming something is my primary way of dealing with my difficulty right now.
I have been told by the advisor that this is one of the hardest courses the program offers, and I believe it is the hardest course that I am required to take. I had a similar problem with my first class my first semester. I was barely able to pass the class I was taking with a B, however I have been told that it was also a fairly difficult course compared with others.
I have also been told by other students, and the TA, that a popular strategy with this course is to take it until the exam, then drop out and take it again the next semester. I'm not entirely sure how true this is, and it seems almost a little twisted for a graduate course to push students to do that.
I've sought help from the professor, who only told me that it was still possible for me to get a B, but didn't comment on how likely that was. When I talked with the TA, I got the feeling that he was holding back on calling me an idiot, but that may just be in my mind. I know he is trying his hardest, but it's hard to hear criticism from someone your "equal"(but not really) to so I didn't ask him too many questions when I should have.
How often is it that a student has to drop a grad course, so that they may take it again at a future time?