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University of Newcastle Library guides

How to plan your study time: Get your assessments organised

Strategies and ideas to organise your time, notes and assessments for effective and effiecient study.

Get your assessments organised

When you begin to study at university you must plan ahead and prioritise.

First do some long-term planning 

     On a semester planner:

  • Write in the dates that assignments are due and exams are scheduled.
  • Work out how long you will need to complete each task.
  • Remember to allow for extra workload. If you have several assignments due at the same time, you will need to begin each task even earlier than usual.
  • Set start dates for each task.  Write them on your planner.
  • Now work within the start and due dates to plan out when you will complete each step of your assessment tasks 


Next, break up large assessment tasks into smaller steps.

Step 1: Analyse and brainstorm: This takes about 15 minutes. You pull the question apart to make sure you understand each component of the task and then write down everything you know and need to know to get started on the assessment. Here is the link to Analysing an essay question.

Step 2: Do your research. This takes time, so start assessment tasks about four (4) weeks ahead of the due date so you have enough time to do the research. While researching, begin a rough draft of your thesis statement. This is your answer to the question. Click here to see how to write a thesis statement.

Step 3: Plan out your essay. Take about an hour or so to work through this. Click here to see how to plan an essay.

Step 4: Next write your essay. If you have planned it well, then you are able to break this step up into writing one paragraph per session (instead of having to write the entire essay in one go). Here is our guide to structuring an academic essay.

Step 5: Next, complete the referencing. Complete your in text referencing as you write your essay and complete your bibliography/ Reference List once you have finished the essay. Go here to find the referencing guide for your course.

Step 6: And finally edit your writing carefully. Ask someone else to read over it because fresh eyes will pick up small errors more easily.