by Claudia Raymond-Hayling, Second year Theatre and English (BA) student and Bristol Futures Advocate.
As the winter break approaches, many of us have upcoming deadlines and assessments. This can seem daunting, but there are some really simple ways that can help you manage them, ensuring your deadlines are met and completed to the best of your ability.
Establish how your modules are assessed
On blackboard, there’s usually an ‘assessment’ section to each module. This should help you find out how you are going to be assessed and how each assessment is weighted. This is really useful to know, as different methods of assessment require different skills. If you’re aware of anything you need to work on earlier, then you’ll have as much time as possible to work on these specific areas. If you regularly check your module information, you’ll also keep updated with any extra assessment information that will help you.
Find the dates of your deadlines and exams are as soon as possible
Write down these dates – I find it useful to write this on my calendar, so I can visualise the due dates in relation to other things I have going on. However, you could also write them down on a note somewhere that’s visible, so you are always aware of the due dates, and there’s no chance of you missing a deadline. If dates or assessment information have not been released yet, make a note of it and email your tutor to find out.
Look at the essay questions and exam topics in advance
This will give you a clear idea of what topics and information you’ll be covering in your assessments. When you’re in your seminars and lectures, it’ll help you think about the information to particularly focus on, making delegation of tasks easier during term time.
Email your tutors
Your tutors will always be happy to answer questions you may have, so make use of their expertise when thinking about any specific queries in terms of assessments. Alternatively, ask other people on your course for advice – you’re in the same boat!
Attend study-skills sessions
Study-skills will equip you with the skills needed that can be applied in exams, essays and coursework, through discussions with other members of your faculty. These sessions are very insightful and can be attended through workshops, drop-ins and bookable sessions.
Don’t be afraid to ask for extensions if you need to
Sometimes deadlines for certain assessments can feel quite overwhelming and extensions can be very helpful when needing to complete a piece of work. Whilst there are restrictions due to COVID, it is the upmost importance that your mental health is a priority, and extensions can be invaluable during times like this.
Whilst making lists and revision notes can be helpful, taking time away from your studies can be just as beneficial when managing deadlines. It’s important to have a balance and doing things you enjoy outside of your studies can boost your motivation!
I really hope these tips will help with managing your deadlines, and whilst different techniques of working help for different people, it’s worth trying to implement a couple of these and see how you go. Good luck!