The Student Room Group

Got my first assignments back - what do I do now?

I am so hard on myself, as you will see as you read it this post.

So, I have recently started university and I have just in the last few days been given my feedback for my first set of assignments. As I'm doing two modules at the same time, that is two sets of assignments. I don't know whetger that is the same for all universities.

For one of the assignments I got 72%, and for another I got 52%. Now, as I am the beginning of my degree, and I'm only in first year, I consider this a good position to be in. Firstly, because I know that I can write to a certain level, and it is not necessarily my ability to connect and apply ideas that is holding me back; it's my inappropriate referencing and having the time in space within a word count to properly explain and develop my analysis. Secondly, in particular I view the referencing as bit of an 'easy fix', because having read my feedback and brushed up on my referencing, I now understand how I got the referencing wrong and how I can improve it for the next assignment.

Anyway, that is bit of context of the way. w
What I really wanted to say is that getting the 52% although not bad at all at this stage it has really knocked my confidence in starting the next assignment for the module.

I know that each assignment is different, so there is going to be fluctuating understanding and fluctuating grades, to a certain extent because certain types of questions my mind will comprehend better than others. That is only natural. The 52% certainly was a blow. I know that I'm very hard on myself.

I think I just need to feel the shock and the slight pain, and then move on. I also find the disparity between the two grades quite amusing, in a way, because it just shows how easy it is to potentially miss interpret a question or not quite hit the mark. Regardless, it is all a learning experience.

In general, I am feeling quite overwhelmed with wanting to do the best that I can. Is it bad to consider speed reading some of the reading, and focusing on aspects of the reading that are most important to answering the assignment questions? What a mean by this is, quite a lot of the reading is building up skills and context, and then aspects of it is relating directly to the question and it is my responsibility to apply and converge that information correctly. That said, I feel like I might make a note of the most important areas to read upon, and spend more time on them, and skim over the least important parts. This will save me time and energy as well, but in doing that I would feel as though 'I'm not doing it right', or that it may negatively impact my grade.

A second or third perspective on this would be great.
Original post by LiteraryGeek
I am so hard on myself, as you will see as you read it this post.

So, I have recently started university and I have just in the last few days been given my feedback for my first set of assignments. As I'm doing two modules at the same time, that is two sets of assignments. I don't know whetger that is the same for all universities.

For one of the assignments I got 72%, and for another I got 52%. Now, as I am the beginning of my degree, and I'm only in first year, I consider this a good position to be in. Firstly, because I know that I can write to a certain level, and it is not necessarily my ability to connect and apply ideas that is holding me back; it's my inappropriate referencing and having the time in space within a word count to properly explain and develop my analysis. Secondly, in particular I view the referencing as bit of an 'easy fix', because having read my feedback and brushed up on my referencing, I now understand how I got the referencing wrong and how I can improve it for the next assignment.

Anyway, that is bit of context of the way. w
What I really wanted to say is that getting the 52% although not bad at all at this stage it has really knocked my confidence in starting the next assignment for the module.

I know that each assignment is different, so there is going to be fluctuating understanding and fluctuating grades, to a certain extent because certain types of questions my mind will comprehend better than others. That is only natural. The 52% certainly was a blow. I know that I'm very hard on myself.

I think I just need to feel the shock and the slight pain, and then move on. I also find the disparity between the two grades quite amusing, in a way, because it just shows how easy it is to potentially miss interpret a question or not quite hit the mark. Regardless, it is all a learning experience.

In general, I am feeling quite overwhelmed with wanting to do the best that I can. Is it bad to consider speed reading some of the reading, and focusing on aspects of the reading that are most important to answering the assignment questions? What a mean by this is, quite a lot of the reading is building up skills and context, and then aspects of it is relating directly to the question and it is my responsibility to apply and converge that information correctly. That said, I feel like I might make a note of the most important areas to read upon, and spend more time on them, and skim over the least important parts. This will save me time and energy as well, but in doing that I would feel as though 'I'm not doing it right', or that it may negatively impact my grade.

A second or third perspective on this would be great.

Hi @LiteraryGeek

Firstly, what a great set of grades in first year! Try not to be too hard on yourself, especially as you got 72%, so you're more than capable of achieving high. Your 52% is also not a bad grade, by the way. But, I'm a high achiever myself so I understand the feeling of wanting to keep doing better.

My biggest tip with feedback is to really understand what your tutor has said. Take your time and read the feedback, make sure you understand it. If you don't - try to ask your tutor about it. Then you'll be better equipped for your next assignment as you know what to look out for.

Regarding speed reading or skim reading, there's nothing wring with looking for the bits of text that are most relevant. Just make sure that you understand what you are reading, as this will make your writing so much easier. And sometimes, you do have to read as much of the text as possible, and other times not so much. It's best to tart by skim reading to see if the text is useful and then determine how much you need to read.

As you're only in first year, I would use each module as an opportunity to work on your previous feedback as best you can. If you had a specific comment about referencing, try to polish this up in your next essay.

Getting the most concise essays into a restricting word count takes practice, but if you keep redrafting your essays and try to condense your writing through simply practicing, it will start to feel much easier.

Try not to be too hard on yourself! You're doing great so far! And try your best to move forward taking your feedback on board!
Best of luck.
Emily 🙂
Student Ambassador at BCU
Reply 2
Original post by BCU Student Rep
Hi @LiteraryGeek

Firstly, what a great set of grades in first year! Try not to be too hard on yourself, especially as you got 72%, so you're more than capable of achieving high. Your 52% is also not a bad grade, by the way. But, I'm a high achiever myself so I understand the feeling of wanting to keep doing better.

My biggest tip with feedback is to really understand what your tutor has said. Take your time and read the feedback, make sure you understand it. If you don't - try to ask your tutor about it. Then you'll be better equipped for your next assignment as you know what to look out for.

Regarding speed reading or skim reading, there's nothing wring with looking for the bits of text that are most relevant. Just make sure that you understand what you are reading, as this will make your writing so much easier. And sometimes, you do have to read as much of the text as possible, and other times not so much. It's best to tart by skim reading to see if the text is useful and then determine how much you need to read.

As you're only in first year, I would use each module as an opportunity to work on your previous feedback as best you can. If you had a specific comment about referencing, try to polish this up in your next essay.

Getting the most concise essays into a restricting word count takes practice, but if you keep redrafting your essays and try to condense your writing through simply practicing, it will start to feel much easier.

Try not to be too hard on yourself! You're doing great so far! And try your best to move forward taking your feedback on board!
Best of luck.
Emily 🙂
Student Ambassador at BCU

Hi Emily, thank you for taking the time to write such a detailed response. A lot of what you have mentioned resonates with me in many ways such as the fact that you are also a perfectionist. You're right, I got the 72% in an essay, so I'm more than capable of achieving high it is just accepting that it is going to take time to fully understand how to write in the right way, and in the most concise way, in order to convey as much meaning as possible in as little words possible. Thank you. I appreciate you also expanding on the skim reading comment. The fact that I need to understand what I'm reading, and the fact that even if a piece of reading is less significant than others —it does help provide context which allow us to expand ideas.
Reply 3
Original post by KimsonGared.
Well, I was in such your position sometimes back. I choose to find an online tutor, whom I could send assignment then he does for me. This guaranteed me high scores. Maybe I connect him to you.

You are a pathetic cheat
Original post by LiteraryGeek
I am so hard on myself, as you will see as you read it this post.

So, I have recently started university and I have just in the last few days been given my feedback for my first set of assignments. As I'm doing two modules at the same time, that is two sets of assignments. I don't know whetger that is the same for all universities.

For one of the assignments I got 72%, and for another I got 52%. Now, as I am the beginning of my degree, and I'm only in first year, I consider this a good position to be in. Firstly, because I know that I can write to a certain level, and it is not necessarily my ability to connect and apply ideas that is holding me back; it's my inappropriate referencing and having the time in space within a word count to properly explain and develop my analysis. Secondly, in particular I view the referencing as bit of an 'easy fix', because having read my feedback and brushed up on my referencing, I now understand how I got the referencing wrong and how I can improve it for the next assignment.

Anyway, that is bit of context of the way. w
What I really wanted to say is that getting the 52% although not bad at all at this stage it has really knocked my confidence in starting the next assignment for the module.

I know that each assignment is different, so there is going to be fluctuating understanding and fluctuating grades, to a certain extent because certain types of questions my mind will comprehend better than others. That is only natural. The 52% certainly was a blow. I know that I'm very hard on myself.

I think I just need to feel the shock and the slight pain, and then move on. I also find the disparity between the two grades quite amusing, in a way, because it just shows how easy it is to potentially miss interpret a question or not quite hit the mark. Regardless, it is all a learning experience.

In general, I am feeling quite overwhelmed with wanting to do the best that I can. Is it bad to consider speed reading some of the reading, and focusing on aspects of the reading that are most important to answering the assignment questions? What a mean by this is, quite a lot of the reading is building up skills and context, and then aspects of it is relating directly to the question and it is my responsibility to apply and converge that information correctly. That said, I feel like I might make a note of the most important areas to read upon, and spend more time on them, and skim over the least important parts. This will save me time and energy as well, but in doing that I would feel as though 'I'm not doing it right', or that it may negatively impact my grade.

A second or third perspective on this would be great.

Hi there

Whilst you may not be too happy with your grades, I think they are really good considering they are your first assignments. Congratulations! :smile:

It is true that grades can vary between different modules, and this is perfectly normal. Different modules and markers expect different content and writing style, so achieving consistency is sometimes a challenge too.
I know you are put off from the 52%, but I do agree with you that you are being quite harsh on yourself, and it is a learning experience. On improving your grades, if you wanted more in depth feedback, I would recommend asking your seminar leader for feedback on your coursework, this will help you identify your strengths and weaknesses and apply it to the next assignments.

Addressing your questions, it is not bad to speed read some of the material and focus strongly on the assignment related questions. In University, it is really up to how you study the best. I also enjoy reading the coursework question before looking at the relevant readings. (It will give you more time to focus on achieving high marks.) Many essays look more at depth of analysis rather than breadth. Just one thing to note: if the module is an exam based subject, it may be worth making some notes for the less relevant readings, as they may come in handy for exams.
There are bound to be some information in readings that are less relevant, and it is okay to just skim over these, as long as you can pick out a main argument, or you could even find relevant quotes to support your essay, I believe these will be quite good.

You are doing really well so far! 72% is already on the high end of marks. Keep it up and take it easy, I am sure your grades will improve over time.

Hope this helps.
Chloe
University of Kent Student Rep
Original post by LiteraryGeek
I am so hard on myself, as you will see as you read it this post.

So, I have recently started university and I have just in the last few days been given my feedback for my first set of assignments. As I'm doing two modules at the same time, that is two sets of assignments. I don't know whetger that is the same for all universities.

For one of the assignments I got 72%, and for another I got 52%. Now, as I am the beginning of my degree, and I'm only in first year, I consider this a good position to be in. Firstly, because I know that I can write to a certain level, and it is not necessarily my ability to connect and apply ideas that is holding me back; it's my inappropriate referencing and having the time in space within a word count to properly explain and develop my analysis. Secondly, in particular I view the referencing as bit of an 'easy fix', because having read my feedback and brushed up on my referencing, I now understand how I got the referencing wrong and how I can improve it for the next assignment.

Anyway, that is bit of context of the way. w
What I really wanted to say is that getting the 52% although not bad at all at this stage it has really knocked my confidence in starting the next assignment for the module.

I know that each assignment is different, so there is going to be fluctuating understanding and fluctuating grades, to a certain extent because certain types of questions my mind will comprehend better than others. That is only natural. The 52% certainly was a blow. I know that I'm very hard on myself.

I think I just need to feel the shock and the slight pain, and then move on. I also find the disparity between the two grades quite amusing, in a way, because it just shows how easy it is to potentially miss interpret a question or not quite hit the mark. Regardless, it is all a learning experience.

In general, I am feeling quite overwhelmed with wanting to do the best that I can. Is it bad to consider speed reading some of the reading, and focusing on aspects of the reading that are most important to answering the assignment questions? What a mean by this is, quite a lot of the reading is building up skills and context, and then aspects of it is relating directly to the question and it is my responsibility to apply and converge that information correctly. That said, I feel like I might make a note of the most important areas to read upon, and spend more time on them, and skim over the least important parts. This will save me time and energy as well, but in doing that I would feel as though 'I'm not doing it right', or that it may negatively impact my grade.

A second or third perspective on this would be great.

Hi @LiteraryGeek ,

Congratulations on a great set of results, especially for first year!

Results definitely vary a lot from module to module, so try not to be too hard on yourself. I've found I've done well in some and others that I think I have written well I don't do as well as I thought I would. I would say to talk to your module tutor and ask them to clarify any corrections you do not understand, or if you just want to ask them what else you could have done better then they are usually happy to go through this with you. They want you to do well and this way you will know what to include next time.

I would also say with the reading that it is okay to skim read as long as you know what you are looking for. This way you can pick out the key words and then take in the key parts of the text. You can always go back and re read it if you need to.

Getting a result that you didn't expect can be a good thing as it means you will be aware of certain things now going forward!

Good luck with the rest of your studies!
Lucy-SHU student ambassador
Reply 6
Original post by hallamstudents
Hi @LiteraryGeek ,

Congratulations on a great set of results, especially for first year!

Results definitely vary a lot from module to module, so try not to be too hard on yourself. I've found I've done well in some and others that I think I have written well I don't do as well as I thought I would. I would say to talk to your module tutor and ask them to clarify any corrections you do not understand, or if you just want to ask them what else you could have done better then they are usually happy to go through this with you. They want you to do well and this way you will know what to include next time.

I would also say with the reading that it is okay to skim read as long as you know what you are looking for. This way you can pick out the key words and then take in the key parts of the text. You can always go back and re read it if you need to.

Getting a result that you didn't expect can be a good thing as it means you will be aware of certain things now going forward!

Good luck with the rest of your studies!
Lucy-SHU student ambassador

Thank you very much for your reply, and for your reassurance. I am definitely getting in the swing of trying to take things one day at time and approaching an assignment as completely different to another. I am starting to get into the mindset that each module and each assignment needs to be written differently. I'm hoping, with time, that my writing style will automatically adapt as per the question.

Quick Reply