approaches to graduation
- Set a "Iíd like to graduate with a degree average of x%" goal.
- When choosing units, look for potential synergies between units already done, personal interests and potential future interests.
- When choosing units, find out a bit about them before enrolment (in case there are some aspects which you may later find to be uncomfortable).
- Create a degree planner that lists projected unit titles, with grades attained being filled in as the semesters pass. This gives perspective, allows planning, and allows computation of a current degree average. It can take the stress off - you'll know if you only need to get 55% for a certain unit.
- Create a document like this that hones personalised survival techniques.
- Start a collection of 'gems' - useful information that can be applied in other units.
- Do some work - forget about school though :-)
- When choosing tutorial times, keep a note of the times you have preferenced. Refer to these notes when preferencing other tutorial times.
- Assess the probability of obtaining a preferenced tutorial time. If the tutorial and the lecture are back-to-back, the tutorial will likely be oversubscribed, while if it's 8:30am on Monday, it will likely be undersubscribed. Bear this probability in mind when preferencing conflicting tutorial times.
- To avoid timetable conficts and facilitate attendance, generate a timetable which can be referred to while preferencing tutorial times. After the tutorial time has been allocated, enter the allocated tutorial time onto the timetable.
contextualise unit content
- Read what others have said about the unit.
- Be familiar with the unit outline.
- Glance at previous exam papers to see what is expected.
- Create an assessment schedule that lists work due for all units, date, what it is worth and what was attained (added upon return of marked work). This gives perspective, allows planning, and allows computation of a cumulative scaled mark. It can take the stress off - you'll know if you only need to get 55% for a certain essay or exam.
- When estimating marks, be impartial. Say a C grade is worth 60%-70%, when receiving a C, use 65%. Inaccuracies will average.
- If the exam is worth a low percentage of the overall mark, more effort during the semester is needed, and less for exams. Conversely, if the exam is worth a high percentage of the overall mark, less effort during semester is needed, and more for exams.
- Know the numbers. Don't sweat over assessment that's worth 2.5%. Calculate how much is needed to pass and how much is needed to be happy. There's no point putting in major effort if it's not going to affect the outcome.
learn relevant material effectively, and continuously
- Use association techniques to aid recall.
- Reinforce learnt material whenever possible.
- Form a team; discuss current topics with others.
- Seek out real world application of learned theory.
- Skip topics in the textbook that arenít covered in the unit - aside from being a waste of time, they may well confuse things.
- Pay attention to broad principles; details are transient. Principles are required learning; details earn high marks.
- Preparation pays off; things have more time to sink in and become assimilated.
- Think criticially; question everything, and bounce new concepts off existing conceptual frameworks.
- Be selective with the textbooks you buy. Textbooks are a rort; the library and the net can do better. Buy books in subjects you intend to stay with.
- Explore the library.
- Refer widely; synergy occurs where multiple sources of input are used.
- The essential question with research is "who knows what I want to know" - to whom would the information you seek be important? [source: Business Information Sources (Daniells, 1985)]
- Potential sources of information include industry newspapers; trade journals; magazines; annual reports; government agencies; professional bodies; industry ombudspeople; industry observers/experts; advocacy groups; mass media; customers; databases; internet search engines
- Before searching for info, define search terms and keywords (for use with electronic search tools)
assessment attack strategy
- define the topic
- if able to choose the topic, ensure that a topic is selected in which there will be a reasonable amount of information available
- decide on an approach
- define the structure
- allocate functional tasks (if in a team)
- research and create
major assessment management strategy
- Create a summary to track each project; the summary should include:
- unit code
- task (as defined by the assessment outline)
- criteria of evaluation (skills required to be demonstrated)
- team member details (if applicable)
- external organisation details (if applicable)
- date due
- bibliographic data
- Make an effort to remember people's names.
- Obtain contact details; write the name next to the details (for later reference).
- Create a categorised repository to store all names and details collected.
- Allow time; start team-based assessment earlier than you would individual assessment. This is because agreeing and co-ordinating takes time in itself. Time also facilitates touches requiring a complete document, such as Appendix letters, and figure, table and page numbers.
- Meet regularly, but not too frequently, to discuss progress. Too frequently is where you spend more time in meetings than working on the project itself.
- Define tasks clearly; reinforce relevance to structure.
- Work to smooth group operation, and better results will come easier.
- Participate in tutorials, especially at the start and the end of the semester. Aside from obvious learning opportunities, this maximises first and last impressions, and thus gets easy "tutorial participation" marks.
- Attend lectures, especially in periods of assessment. Aside from obvious learning opportunities, lecturers tend to unfairly, self-indulgently reward attendees with useful tidbits, simply for turning up (or perhaps because they were too disorganised to put it in writing any earlier).
- Decide which parts of the unit are likely to be examined. Usually the examined parts are those that consumed lots of time during the unit.
- Skim chapter summaries during last-minute study.
- Read prior assessment (eg. marked essays) just before entering the exam. Topics are likely to be similar, and the work will be familiar.
in an emergency..
- Get to know relevant academics. They have wisdom and influence :-)
- Find a doctor that understands how impending assessment can shorten one's lifespan.
- Understand appeal processes.