Semester A, Summative results are due for release shortly. For some the stress & anxiety is coming to an end, whilst for others it is just beginning.
The stress and anxiety you feel leading up to results day has a lot to do with your own expectations, but also those of your family and / or account payer. There are a variety of options available to you in terms of dealing with your and other’s expectations, as well as with the disappoint of possibly not having done as well as you had hoped:
Dealing with assessment result pressure and expectations
Assessment result anxiety is a very real thing and can be experienced during the wait for results or even once you’ve received them. Feelings you may experience include:
Expectations, both real and imagined, internal and external, need to be managed in order to minimize their harmful, demotivating effects and maximize their energizing, positive effects. Ways of dealing with pressure and expectations, in relation to assessment results, include:
- Talking to someone who is not directly impacted by or involved in the situation, such as a friend or the BMH counsellor.
- Talking to the person who is setting the expectations, and explaining that the added pressure is not helping.
- Re-assessing your own expectations – are they realistic, are they attainable, are they helping or hindering you?
- Writing down your feelings, drawing, singing, dancing – these are all cathartic ways of expressing and excising what you are feeling.
- Avoid using alcohol and / or drugs as a coping mechanism, the problems and stress will still be there once you sober up.
It is also useful to take a step back and put things into perspective:
- Poor assessment results are not the be-all and end-all of life as you may know it – unless you allow them to, they cannot stop you from achieving your long term goals.
- Poor assessment results are not a reflection of your worth – they are a snapshot of a moment in time in your life.
- Ask yourself “Will this matter in five years from now?” – if the answer is “yes” now is the ideal time to make a change and put a plan into action; if the answer is “no” then let it go.
Your options going forward
Depending on your assessment results, you have a number of options going forward:
a) Apply for a Supplementary
Second chances are a wonderful thing BUT before you get too excited and rush off to collect a Supplementary Assessment Breif, read the fine print and make sure you meet the requirements for a supp:
- Did you get 30% or more for your first summative assessment attempt?
- Were you legitimately ill or absent for the summative assessment and do you have a valid medical certificate to back this up?
- The 2017 supplementary fee for summative assessments is R350.00
For more information on supplementary assessments please consult your 2017 BMH Student Rulebook or click here.
b) Submit an Appeal
You have the right to appeal an assessment outcome. All summative assessments are returned to students for the purpose of advancing learning and verification of grades awarded (excluding exit-point, exit-level subject summative assessments). It is thus your responsibility to check your assessment and grade awarded and inform your Branch Manager if there are any discrepancies.
You have five (5) working days, from the day that results are published to submit an appeal for a specific assessment event. Appeals submitted after the 5 day window will not be taken under consideration.
For more information on the procedure to follow should you with to appeal an assessment result please consult your 2017 BMH Student Rulebook or click here.
c) Set Up a Student-Lecturer Meeting
If after you have received feedback on the summative assessment and you are still unclear of where you went wrong or lost marks, consider setting up a student-lecturer meeting. All BMH lecturers have consultation hours during which they are available to meet with students.
For tips on how to prepare for and get the most from a student-lecturer meeting click here.
d) Schedule a Session with BMHs Counsellor
Sometimes you just need someone to talk to and be there for you, which is why BMH offers free counselling to all its registered students. You may be dealing with problems (personal and / or academic) which are bothering you and preventing you from achieving your goals, or you may just need an objective person to share your concerns with. For more information on how to go about scheduling a session with BMH’s Counsellor please click here.
Reach Out.com (2015). Dealing with Exam Results. Retrieved from: http://au.reachout.com/dealing-with-exam-results. [Accessed: 24 June 2016].
How often do you find that you’ve run out of time? For some people, it feels as if there are never enough hours in the day to get everything done.
Below is a short quiz, courtesy of Mind Tools, the purpose of which is to identify aspects of time management you need help with. You will be able to find additional and related posts on the Student Wellness Blog that will help you with learning to manage your time more efficiently and effectively.
- For each statement note which response best describes you and write down the point value (e.g. Q.1 – Rarely = 2 pts; Q.2 – Very Often = 5 pts).
- Be sure to answer the questions as you actually are, and not how you hope or wish to be.
- When you are done, total up your points to get your final score.
15 – 30 Ouch! The good news is that you’ve got a great opportunity to improve your time management and long term success. However, to realize this you are going to need to work on your time management skills.
31 – 45 You’re good at some things, but there is room for improvement. Identify where your time management skills are falling short and with some changes you will most likely find that your life will become less rushed and stressful.
46 – 75 You know how to manage your time efficiently. You may have some areas you’d like to tweak but overall you’re doing well.
As you went through and answered the questions you may have picked up on areas where your time management is lacking. Below is a summary of the main time management areas explored by the quiz, and a guide to what posts you need to keep a look out for to help you improve on them.
Goal Setting (Questions 6 & 10)
One way of managing your time effectively is by setting goals. When you know where you are going, you can then plan for what exactly needs to be done, and in what order. Without proper goal setting, you may waste time on a muddle of conflicting priorities.
People tend to avoid goal setting because it takes time and effort. What they fail to see is that a little time and effort now, saves a lot of time, effort and frustration in the long run.
Visit the Goal Setting posts that are already available on the blog – there you will find tips on how to set goals and avoid common pitfalls.
Prioritisation (Questions 1, 4, 8, 13, 14 & 15)
Prioritising what needs to be done is a vital part of good time management. Without it, you may work really hard but not actually achieve the results you were hoping for because you were working on tasks that were strategically unimportant.
Most people make use of a “to-do list” system of some sort. The main error with these lists is that they are just a collection of things that need to be done, in no particular order. To work efficiently you need to identify and work on the most important, highest value tasks first. By doing this you won’t get caught out trying to get a critical task done as the deadline approaches.
Visit the Time Management posts already available on the blog for tips on how to create effective, time managing “to-do lists”.
Managing Distractions & Interruptions (Questions 5, 9, 11 & 12)
Having a plan and knowing how to prioritise it is one thing. The next step is knowing what to do to minimize interruptions and distractions when you are working on implementing your plan and getting tasks done. Although interruptions and distractions are a natural part of life, there are things you can do to minimize their time-robbing effects, something as simple as closing your door when you are working, or switching off your cell phone.
Procrastination (Question 2)
“I’ll do it later” has led to the downfall of many a student. After too many “laters” the work piles up and any task seems insurmountable. The first step to beating procrastination, is recognising that you are a procrastinator. Next you need to figure out why – Are you afraid of failing? Are you not understanding the work? Are you focusing on less important, low value tasks because they are easy and give you a false sense of achievement?
Once you know why you procrastinate you can start planning ways of breaking the habit. Reward yourself for getting the task done, and remind yourself regularly of the consequences of not doing the boring, high value tasks.
Scheduling (Questions 3 & 7)
Much of time management boils down to scheduling your time effectively. When you know what your goals are and you’ve prioritised them, the next step is to create a schedule that keeps you on track, and protects your from unnecessary stress.
This means understanding the factors that affect the time you have available to you. You not only need to schedule priority tasks, you also need to leave room for interruptions, and build in contingency time for unexpected events that would otherwise wreak havoc on your schedule. By creating a realistic schedule that reflects your priorities and supports your goals, you are gaining control over your time, as well as keeping a healthy work-life balance.
To learn more about how to schedule in “safety margins” and make the most of the time available to you, visit the Time Management posts already available on the blog.
How Good is Your Time Management? (n.d.). Retrieved from: https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newHTE_88.htm. [Accessed on: 13 February 2017].
Eight Goal Setting Mistakes: Avoid Them to Achieve Your Dreams. (n.d.). Retrieved from: https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/eight-goal-setting-mistakes-infographic.htm. [Accessed on: 16 February 2017].