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Advice from students: Things I wish I’d known before my first assessment

In this video, students at the University of York share what they wished known before their first assessment.
Looking back, I wish I had taken a bit more time to really look at the question and understand what it was asking. This way, you have it clear in your mind What you need to write about… this makes the whole thing so much easier. I would then address the key texts and materials provided in the reading list. Using the reading lists to find the key texts is really helpful as the lecturers Have put them on on purpose because they think it will suit the topic you’re covering and that you’ll be able to read them and mange them well. For my first assignment, I was definitely far more nervous and anxious than I needed to be.
I definitely didn’t trust my instincts and my natural approaches to the question and so looking back, I would definitely trust myself and have more confidence in my ability because I’ve chosen this subject because I’m interested and I’m passionate about it. So I’ll definitely have far more faith in myself going into it and I would advise anyone going and completing their first assignment to trust that they’re doing right thing.
My biggest advice for assignments is to start early, start sooner than you think is necessary because it’s never too soon, as soon as you know about the assignment you can start planning for it, collecting reading materials together or evidence and just putting It to one side so that when it comes down to writing it or preparing or drafting the assignment, you’ve got all the information already, and you will thank yourself later. It is really important to keep track of everything you read, so you need it for your bibliography at the end of essays but also you might need to read it again.
The worst thing is finding a really good article and then completely losing it and never finding it again. I wish I’d known how much support is available in my department. It kind of gets ingrained in you when you’re at school that When you go to uni, you’re on your own, that you’ve got to do it all by yourself and that’s something I really took the heart, and I didn’t ask for help at all for the first assignment beyond what we were given in lectures and seminars but now three and a half years later, I don’t do an assignment without sending several emails to my tutors and that’s I always get really helpful responses back from them.

In this video, you get the benefit of students’ wisdom about that first assessment – in hindsight.

Many of the points they make are covered in the next few steps, so read on. There are plenty of opportunities for you to share your thoughts too.

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Next Steps to University: From Choosing A Course to Your First Assessment

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