You may find that some of your assessments are conducted online and will be different from what you are used to.
Short Format Assignments
Some of your assessments may be in the form of Short Format Assignments (SFAs), so make sure you understand what these involve and when your deadlines are.
Time Constrained Assessments
Some of your exams may be in the form of Time Constrained Assessments (TCAs). Make sure you understand what these involve and check with your School for specific details of what you will be required to do and when they will be taking place.
Getting ready for your assessments
Plan carefully how you will manage your assessments from home – find a quiet study space, let family/friends know your assessment timetable, and plan your time to make sure you meet your deadlines.
Prepare for any potential issues with this Assessment Troubleshooting guide.
Check-out the latest Fresher Take Podcast episode:
Preparing for an SFA
Preparing for a TCA
TCA time management
Time Constrained Assessments (TCAs) are often longer than a standard exam, usually 1.5x the length of the equivalent exam. Getting more time to complete an exam sounds appealing, however, the time can pass extremely quickly. Here are some time-saving tips, that you can take in the build-up to and during your TCA.
Collect all the resources you may need during the exam. This could be case studies, papers, equations, lecture notes, etc. Have it all in a folder that’s easily accessible.
If you have pages and pages of lecture and seminar notes condense them down and highlight what you need to know so it stands out.
Practice! Try as many past papers as possible and get as many mock answers written in practice. This will allow you to familiarise the wording of questions.
Read mark schemes. If they’re available familiarise yourself with what your tutor will look for in an answer. This way you can avoid silly little mistakes that can stop you from getting top marks.
Download any resources or apps that you need beforehand. Microsoft Lens is recommended for uploading any hand-written notes or diagrams so by downloading it and figuring out how to use it will save time in the long run.
Make a plan. It doesn’t have to be in-depth or take a lot of time but spend some time planning what’s going to go in each paragraph. If you’re analysing a paper or a piece of text, read through it and make bullet point notes for ease whilst writing.
To save time in the long run, constantly save a backup copy of your work. Worst-comes-to-worst and your internet crashes, the last thing you want to do is write it all again.
Staying focussed during a long TCA
Time Constrained Assessments (TCAs) can range from just 90 minutes to 7 hours and staying focussed for that amount of time can be extremely difficult, especially when you have to sit in one place and focus on your computer screen. So, here are five tips on staying focused during long periods of time.
The last thing you want to do is feel drowsy 7or even fall asleep in the middle of your TCA. Try and get a good 8 hours sleep, and definitely avoid going out. You don’t want to be exhausted the day of your TCA.
Have a bottle of water to keep your hydration levels up – drinking plenty of water can increase alertness and improve your attention span.
As tempting as it is just to check it every now and then, don’t! Turn it off or if you’re using Microsoft Lens put it on aeroplane mode to avoid distractions and being sidetracked.
If your TCA is 4 hours, take a 5-minute break after 2. If it’s 6 hours, take a 10-minute break after 3.
This will allow your brain to relax and refresh, allowing you to reassess how it’s going and where you can go from there.
You’ve just sat in one space for an extremely long time, treat yourself to an evening relaxing. Giving yourself something to look forward to will provide you with the motivation to work as hard as possible. This could just be a takeaway, a movie night or an evening with your flatmates. As long as it’s something to look forward to!
Additional Study support
Extensions & Extenuating Circumstances
Further guidance on when and how to apply for Extenuating Circumstances is available through Student Services.
You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org for specific advice and support.
You need to be especially aware of the rules and reguations for Academic Offences when working remotely and submitting your assessments online.
If you are struggling or need advice, please contact the relevant support services.