You’ll have a number of assignments throughout the year. Their number, length and weighting (how much of the course they are worth), will largely depend on the course you are studying. However, whether it’s essays, lab reports, presentations or anything else, the key to good grades and a stress free life is to plan your study.
During your previous education, you may have found out how you work best: you may be an organised early bird, who needs a plan and plenty of time to work to their best; or you may be a night owl who needs a bit of pressure to help you concentrate; or anywhere in between. Whichever type you are, it is important that you don't forget the study skills you've already acquired just because University is a different learning environment. Keep to the planning, reading and revision skills you've honed so far, and you'll be able to develop them further.
If you don't feel like you have the skills you need, or if you haven't found a study style yet that you feel works well for you, there are University services that can help.
The Centre for Academic Practice and Learning Enhancement (CAPLE) can provide students with information and assistance on academic writing, study skills and planning.
It is your responsibility to get your work in on time so you need to organise your work and your social life to make sure it is done on time. If there are good reasons why you can’t finish a piece of work on time then you can ask for an extension. You are the only one responsible for your individual assignment so make sure you do yourself justice and get the best results you can.
There are very few people in the world who like exams! Similarly to assignments you need to prepare for your exams in advance, this means, for example, writing up your notes throughout the year so that when it comes to revision time you can study not write up notes!
For most people exams cause a certain amount of stress and anxiety. If you can harness this bit of adrenalin to make you work harder then great, but there may be times when the stress and anxiety get out of control and can cause problems in your exams. Take some time to work out why you’re anxious. It may help you to talk through your feelings and concerns, and the Student Counselling Service can help with this. Counselling can range from a single session that helps you see the wood for the trees, to courses of counselling for more difficult or complex issues.
The ASK service can provide further advice and information on University Services, asking for extensions and dealing with other issues related to academic work.