Are you feeling prepared for the new semester? As the winter (or summer) break comes to a close and a new semester approaches its time to get back into the swing of studying. So, what better way to stay organised this semester than with an assessment calendar!
There are so many benefits to writing out and keeping track of the due dates of assignments and exams. It’s why I use one every semester. To save you time creating one from scratch, I even have a printable assessment calendar and assessment list for you to download at the end of the post. You can just print out and go!
Now, why do you need an assessment calendar?
Keep track of assessment dates
This is an obvious one, but keeping track of assessment dates is so important at university. Most of the time you won’t be given reminders when things are due. If you miss handing in an assignment nobody will chase you down asking for it.
Making sure you have remembered everything can be difficult. By keeping track of due dates you can make sure you don’t miss any assessments.
It can also be tedious looking up the curriculum or unit guide each time you have a new assessment to remember the due date or how much it’s worth. Completing a calendar at the beginning of a new semester puts you on top of everything. It ensures you know everything about your class and helps you to stay organised.
Visualise your assessments
You can avoid the shock of realising an assessment is due the very next day (it’s happened to the best of us) by having a visual aid for the semester. As you cross off days on the calendar you can see what is coming up. I always look at the start of the week what I have due over the next few weeks. I can see weeks where I have more free time and weeks that are congested with assignments. This lets me plan for how much work I need to do. It also helps if you need to plan social or extra-curricular activities. You can just have a quick look to see what your schedule is like.
We tend to think of a semester by weeks, so an assessment calendar that is organised by weeks allows you to clearly see when everything is due. It also gives a visual representation of how much time you have to complete it.
I like to use different colours for different classes to clarify dates. It isn’t unusual that we sometimes have a single date stuck in our minds but associate it with a different assignment. This can cause confusion and some last minute panic when you realise an assessment is due earlier than you thought. Colour coding or clearly writing the class with the assessment keeps the dates straight in your mind.
Prepare and prioritise assessments
You can also prioritise your assessments based on which ones are due first. A list of all assignments allows you to cross them off once you are finished and focus on the next one. In calendar form, you can look at the semester as a whole. As you cross off each day (and each assessment) it gives a good sense of completion to motivate your study.
As you can see each assignment individually, it makes planning and completing each one much easier. You gain a good idea of how much time you have to work on each one. Everyone completes assignments differently, which means you can decide how much work you want to do each day coming up to the due date. An assignment worth 20% may require more effort and preparation than an online quiz worth 2%. With this level of organisation at the beginning of semester, you can plan accordingly.
Creating and using an assessment calendar
Where do you start? I make all my assessment calendars on Excel. It’s great for tables and square layouts. You can just as easily use any word processing program which has a table feature. The main components you need are the week number and the day or date it is due. For a list it’s a good idea to include a column that gives information on how much the assessment is worth.
You can keep your calendar or list on the computer or print it out. I like having a print out to stick on my wall so that I can look at it every day. I’m also a pen and paper kind of girl, so I like having a copy in my planner. All you need to do is look at your class curriculum or unit guide and fill in what assignments are due on which dates. That’s it! Once it’s filled out, your assessment calendar will help you through the whole semester.
Making an assessment calendar can be a little time consuming, so I’ve done the hard work for you! You can download 2 styles of assessment calendar and list below. The calendar covers 15 weeks and fits all onto one page. Just print it out and get organised this semester!
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