Keeping on top of College Assessment

Hello all you beautiful people πŸ™‚

I’m currently in week 3 of semester 1 and all of my assessment pieces are looming in the not-to-distant future. So I thought this would be the perfect time to procrastinate a little and write this post about keeping it together when things start to get the most stressful!

Step 1. Make a plan!

As soon as my subject outline (or syllabus) is released I go through that bad boy with a fine tooth comb. I list all of my assessments (major and minor) and I write them down in order of due date on my assessment planner. Then I pin my planner up right above my desk so I alway know what I’ve got coming up and how far into the future it is.

Additionally I also write my due dates in my little hand-held planner AND I save them into the calendar on my phone ~ with reminders set a month in advance just to keep me on my toes.


Step 2. Read the assessment rubric.

All assessments should have some form of criteria or rubric associated with them. When I start revising for a test or planning for an essay the rubric is always the first place I start. It is literally the criteria that your professor will be marking you against. Treasure it – Don’t neglect it ❀


Step 3. Do the Assessment.

So we’ve arrived worst part. Actually doing the assessment.Β I’m pretty lucky in the sense that as a Maths/Physics major I don’t get a whole lot of written assessment pieces… I get a hell of a lot of problems to solve and a little bit of matlab code to write (ugh) but in general I only have to do around one major essay each semester. So I’ve broken this section into 2 – so I can better explain how I prepare for essays and on-course tests.

  • Essays
    1. Start with a mind map (should only take a few hours)- this should build straight from your essay question and your assessment rubric. I’ll write a separate post (hopefully in the not-to-distant future) explaining exactly how I mind map.
    2. Decide on your key talking points(~ a day or two to decide). Β Pick one and stick to it.
    3. Research your key talking points (the bulk of your time should be spent here!!). I use a special “Research Note template” for all of my notes. I include the focus (or talking point) on each page and I always list my sources as I go.
    4. Put it all together – I like to leave myself enough time to do a paragraph or a section every 2 days… this means I’m not rushing and I can really focus on the point I’m trying to make
    5. Proof read, once twice, three times…
    6. Have somebody else proof read
    7. Proof read again, check sources
    8. Final draft


  • On course tests
    1. Keep on top of your tut questions – the majority of test material will come directly from these!
    2. Know the due date – these little tests ALWAYS sneak up on me
    3. Start revision 2 weeks prior
    4. Start intense revision 4-5 days prior
    5. Go in and smash it

On-Course tests are designed to make sure that you are keeping up with course work… the best prep you can do is to not fall behind with your homework!

So that’s all I’ve got to share with you about staying on top of college assessment. Are there any other tips and tricks that you can think of? Drop me a line and let me know πŸ™‚

Oh, and also … here are some of the planners I use to keep on top of stuff… they are yours to enjoy πŸ™‚

Assessment Planner


Weekly ToDo List

xoxo Millie

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