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About this time in the school term Teachers are giving out assessment pieces and tasks ready to challenge your understanding of their subject area. Believe it or not it is a stressful time not just for the student, but for the teacher as well. They need to make sure they can facilitate any and all necessary information to ensure you are able to complete the task competently. Likewise you are studying up, doing additional school or homework and checking to make sure you have all of the class handouts – if you haven’t they are very important places to start.

The bottom line is though, how are you going to do the best you can on this assessment task and achieve the result you truly deserve?

Make a Timeline

It is all too easy to simply throw that assessment task sheet into the bottom of your bag or locker and forget about it until the night before it’s due. Such habits will not only repeat your past low marks, but they will set you on the wrong course to finishing the academic year with real progress. If you get in early and set yourself a checklist of mini goals you are more likely to finish with success. Here are a few ways to make a useful rather than daunting timeline.

  1. Break each part of the task up into much smaller pieces.
  2. Set regular, but spaced-out due dates for the smaller tasks.
  3. Leave plenty of time for editing, improving and rewriting before the due date.

 Double, Triple Check

Usually a teacher will spend at least one lesson outlining, exemplifying and explaining an assessment task, but if you are absent, disengaged or confused this lesson can be a complete waste of time. Ask the teacher for a one-to-one meeting so they can explain the task and you can ask as many questions as needed. If you are still a little uncertain and your teacher is not the head of the subject, you could also ask to speak with the department head to ensure that you glean all necessary information about the task.

 Increase Your Feedback

Many teachers require and insist on a draft version of your assessment task before the final due date. This request is done for three reasons:

  1. To liaise with the student individually about specific comments gleaned from their appraisal of your draft.
  2. To give a teacher an idea of your working practices for the subject as well as the task itself.
  3. As a baseline for marking to compare the improvement between draft and final copy.

However, just because your teacher has only asked you to submit one draft does not mean that you are restricted to that. Ask to submit several drafts, especially after key feedback from them. Each draft will dramatically improve your successful completion of the task and it is sure to increase your end marks.


If you find that you have disharmony with your teacher regarding explanation or you feel that you need further support, a professional tutor can be an invaluable investment.