How to Prepare for Exams and Meet Assignment Deadlines | Top Universities

How to Prepare for Exams and Meet Assignment Deadlines

By Zain Nabi

Updated March 11, 2021 Updated March 11, 2021

“Do you think King Joffrey Baratheon...?”

“Shut up.”

“The imp really...”

“I have an exam, back off!”

“In The Winter Soldier, Captain America and the Black Widow actually...”

“Are you not listening to me?”

This is just the tip of the iceberg. Conversations with my friend Bildy are maddeningly distracting. He will never shut up and always talks about something I am interested in.

In his defense, he doesn’t distract me on purpose, but he has not got an impressive IQ either. A sixth grader would be smarter than him. Oh, in case you were wondering, Bildy is my imaginary friend. He stays with me all the time and gets super excited while I am preparing for exams.

“Do you know the girl next door?” He finally got me. The next few hours were spent discussing ‘cool’ ways to look impressive in front of the neighbor, playing PS3 and watching a movie.

Preparing for exams and meeting assignment deadlines can suddenly make absolutely everything except studying incredibly interesting. I would not mind even cleaning my room if it gave me a break from study. But, in order to take off on that alluring vacation trip, first you have to take those end of semester exams and hand in all your course assignments.

I am sure most of you, if not all, have a friend like Bildy and think of exam season like I do. But sitting in an exam and passing it with at least an average score will take some doing on your part. You have to play your role, even if means being pretty stern with your version of Bildy. Here are my tips on how to prepare for exams, set personal goals and make a study plan to help you meet all your deadlines, while still enjoying your life too.

Start preparing for exams and assignments early

I am usually very upbeat at the start of my semester. In the first lecture, I try to completely understand the course requirements and assignments, especially their due dates so that I can set some personal goals and start writing my study plan. But Bildy usually has other plans. “Look at the guy in the red shirt, he is playing with his iPad,” he whispered as I was about to note the assignment deadline. I shrugged him off, but he had already done the damage. I spent the rest of the session watching what everybody else was doing. I could see most of them had such a friend because they all were doing everything but paying attention to the lecturer.

Anyway, the best way to go about preparing for exams and coursework deadlines is to create a study plan for the semester. Now before I put you off, let me clarify what this means. I am not asking about designing a building. After Week 1 you should know exactly what your personal goals are, which assignments you need to complete, what exams you need to pass, when the deadlines are and roughly how much time you want to dedicate to each task. Planning in advance means you should have more time to prepare for each exam and work on each assignment, and will help you avoid pressure when the deadlines loom.

Set yourself some personal goals

Create some personal goals for yourself. Reaching them will give you personal satisfaction, as well as helping you feel more prepared. While talking to Bildy in my first lecture, I decided that I would complete the assignments of all my other units earlier than their due date and then spend some extra time on the assignment for this subject. I had figured out that this one would be especially tough and require some extra attention. Believe it or not, I finished all my other assignments a month before the end of the semester and got a distinction average too. I am still figuring out how the latter happened.

Double check all the information

I can tell you from experience that this is one of the most important aspects of preparing for exams and coursework. I usually mark my calendar with assignment deadlines and exam dates. That’s what I was doing when Bildy brought that iPad guy to my attention. 5 June was still three months away and I made up my mind to start working on the toughest assignment at the start of May. The only problem: once I had scored a distinction average in my other subjects, I found out that the deadline for this piece was actually 5 May. I hadn’t checked my information and realized only a week before the assignment was due that I had made a blunder. So a piece of work that needed at least a month had to be done in just a week. Even the brilliant guys find this hard. I am not even near them.

I did finish my assignment, but it was quite substandard. I wonder now what will happen to my prestigious distinction average. Sometimes, I just hate Bildy…

This article was originally published in June 2014 . It was last updated in March 2021

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Written by

Hailing from Pakistan, Zain finished a Masters of Journalism and International Relations at Monash University in Australia. He is working as a journalist and media trainer in Melbourne along with secretly harboring an ambition to become a filmmaker.


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