A number of students have written, and the words "concerned student" are generally in the title. The following is a sample:

     Dear Dr. Patt,
     Good day sir,  this is *********** (a student from your 306 class).  As
     you know sir the test were returned today and well i got a disapointing
     grade (18 to be exact).  Well the thing is that I really do like your
     class.  To be honest with you it is the most interesting class i have
     this semester.  And well i cannot see my self doing anything else than
     engineering.  My question is do you think that i can still pass the
     class with a pretty good grade if i don't give up and do better in my
     other tests? I mean i do pretty good in my homeworks and I like the
     class alot, I just think that my study skills aren't what they suppose
     to be.  I am thinking I just need to change the way I study (because
     don't get me wrong, i do study alot for your class).

     Thank You,
     << name withheld to protect the concerned student >>

If you are able to pull it together from here on in, you certainly can do well in the course. The issue is whether you are able to pull it together. I am unable to read your mind, so I can't ascertain exactly what the problem is in your case. I think the first step is to talk frankly with your TA. Go over the exam with him/her, for example, during office hours. Ask him frankly if he thinks you are really understanding the material or if you are kidding yourself. As I said, plenty of students do poorly on the first exam, use that information as a wakeup call, re-correct, and do just fine. Others continue to do poorly for one reason or another. I don't know which group you are in. A conversation with your TA should provide some good insight. Let's see where you are after that.

Good luck.

Yale Patt