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Student concentrates while studying at Burwood campus

2 May 2022

Struggling to meet your assignment deadlines? Here’s how you can plan more effectively

It’s that time of the trimester where assignments are simultaneously rolling in and due for submission. How are you managing the juggle? We understand balancing your uni studies with your other commitments can seem overwhelming at times, especially as we re-adjust to our day-to-day responsibilities following two years of COVID restrictions.

Life is unpredictable and things can crop up that are beyond our control, and you may need to apply for assignment extensions in such circumstances (and that’s OK!). However, it’s important to remember that relying too much on receiving extensions to fulfil your study obligations can be a slippery slope for a couple of key reasons.

So, how can you stay on track with your studies to avoid any possible pitfalls of assignment extensions? The key is managing your time effectively and finding the right balance. 

Seek help (and do it as early as possible)

If you’re getting behind on assignments because you’re feeling unsure of how to tackle your tasks, there’s a range of Study Support resources designed to help you improve your academic skills.

If you’re really struggling and need personalised help, chat to a Writing Mentor, Maths Mentor or Language and Learning Advisor to help you understand and improve your assignments. Every Deakin student can also use the online platform Smarthinking for tutoring help 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Plan your time effectively

One of the secrets to success at university is good time management. It can be as simple as taking some time to plan the days, weeks and months ahead. A good rule of thumb is to put aside 10 hours per week for each unit you’re studying. To make sure you’re creating a realistic study plan, make full use of Deakin’s handy study planners:

We’ve also got a great Assignment Planner tool designed to assist you by breaking down your assignment into manageable stages. Just enter the relevant dates for your assignment and you will receive your assignment plan with a suggested time frame and helpful resources on how to approach each stage of your assignment.

Curb the urge to procrastinate

In addition to planning effectively, it’s important you stick to your schedule. Procrastinating is incredibly common and an easy trap to fall into, but it just puts you under unnecessary pressure.

Try to do some study on most days of the week – even if it’s only one or two hours – so you don’t end up with a mountain of work to catch up on. See our tips on how to break this pesky habit!

Keep your study load manageable

Consider whether your enrolment obligations are realistic in regards to your other commitments. If you need to withdraw from a unit, you should do it before the census date for each trimester. This is the last day you can drop a unit, intermit or discontinue your course for the current study period without a reference on your academic record or being liable for the full amount of your fees.

While the census date for Trimester 1 has passed, keep this in mind for upcoming trimesters. If you’re experiencing difficulties, or you think you may not be able to continue studying and need to withdraw from a unit, intermit or discontinue your course, it’s best to speak to Student Central first for advice. They may be able to give you some options or help manage your study load to allow you to continue your studies.

Seek help if you need it

University study is rewarding but it can feel very challenging at times. Be kind to yourself and seek support if you’re struggling.

Your wellbeing matters, and we’re here to help.

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