Completing assessments when you’re time poor
During times when you’re juggling multiple things at once, it’s important to start simplifying your workload and use your time strategically.
Design a writing plan
One of the first things you can do is map out a writing plan for your upcoming assessment. This is where you can allocate yourself time to purely focus on completing your assessment. Break up these times in achievable slots and keep in mind that research, planning and referencing takes up time, alongside writing your assessment and proofreading. A basic way to break these up could be giving research, planning and referencing 15-minute slots, writing your first draft 45 minutes, 30 minutes to proofreading and making changes. As you use this method personalise the time slots based on your strengths and assessment word limits.
Sometimes we get carried away and especially when we’re fascinated by a topic. You will find some parts of the assessment more exciting than others. Though when it’s crunch time, it’s crucial to remember to stay on track with the right readings and more importantly the right sections that will help you complete your assessment.
Compared with undergraduate studies, postgraduate programs focus more on critical thinking and ask you to formulate your own arguments around key topics and use readings to support these. This is where understanding the assessment’s task and researching relevant sources will save you time and energy down the track. It’s okay to put aside readings or note down sections that you’re interested in and read them later.
Got writer’s block?
Writer’s block is not only frustrating but time-consuming. A simple method to help activate your mind and get rid of writer’s block is by beginning in the middle. Once you’ve created a rough outline for your assessment, start with the body of your essay or tackle your main topic first, before you even consider focusing on the introduction or conclusion. This will help you figure out the crust of your assignment and help you tame your ideas and focus.
You could maybe even use this as your first draft and next time you come back to writing, focus on branching out from those initial thoughts and keep referring back to your outline to see if you’re heading in the right direction.