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.
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.
- You run the risk of falling behind in your future assessments while you’re working to meet extended deadlines.
- Requests for extensions are not guaranteed to be granted in every instance so you may have a penalty applied to your assignment marks if your request is not accepted.
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 Adviser 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:
- The Trimester Planner is an at-a-glance calendar which includes all of Deakin’s important dates. Add in your assignment and exam dates so you can see approaching deadlines and periods of increased workload.
- The Weekly Planner can be used to plan each week’s tasks. Pop in your classes, your other commitments like work, exercise, family time and social events, and then block out time for study.
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 3 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 challenging at times. Be kind to yourself and seek support if you’re struggling.
- See the full range of Study Support resources available at Deakin to help you manage your studies and develop your academic skills.
- Check out the DeakinWELLBEING app, which includes interactive tools, videos and podcasts that can enhance relaxation, focus, energy, mood and productivity in minutes.
- Our Counselling and Psychological Support (CAPS) service offers free and confidential psychological support to Deakin students located in Australia. You’ll have a real-time telehealth consultation – which means you’ll speak to your counsellor over the phone or via Zoom.
- If you’re not ready to talk one-on-one, visit Ask Counselling, which contains questions asked by Deakin students and answered by CAPS counsellors. You can browse the questions by topics, such as anxiety, loneliness or family problems.
- For emergency, 24-hour support, contact LifeLine or SuicideLine.
Your wellbeing matters, and we’re here to help.