Back to The Staffroom

My assignment is due tomorrow and I haven't even started it yet!

By Tom Lenton on 15 March 2022UKblogAssessmentsStudy tipsNSWblog

Uh oh…

Well, if it really is due tomorrow, let’s do this and do it quick! You could have anything due tomorrow, so instead of a step-by-step guide let’s focus on some tips and tricks to pull off this craziness. Legions of students before you have done it and legions of students after you will do it so have faith—you can do it 💪.

1. Prioritise

This probably doesn’t need to be said but if it’s due tomorrow then clear your schedule tonight—this is absolutely your top priority right now! Normally we recommend getting plenty of sleep but if you have something due tomorrow, tonight's the night to push your bedtime back a little bit (still no all-nighters though!)

2. Get your head in the game

Okay, no matter how much of a mountain it seems, this has to be done tonight. Don’t let yourself even consider the option of handing it in late—just thinking that will make it even harder to finish in time.

It’s time to get your head in the game and focus on the task ahead. You want to grab some water and make sure you’ve eaten. Then, set yourself up in a clean, bright area, find a supportive chair and grab all of the resources you'll need to do your assignment.

Tip!

You can check out our video on Study Spaces for everything you need to set up the perfect workspace.

3. Work out exactly what you need to do

To work as efficiently as possible you should first understand exactly what you need to do.

That means you need to think about exactly what ideas or topics you need to cover and what your approach should be. So, read the assignment and marking criteria carefully and identify any keywords. Also highlight any important details, like the word count or page limit, the submission format and any other info that will affect how you approach this task.

This will vary massively depending on the assignment. The point is basically just that you should make sure you know exactly what you need to do before you start. Trust me, it’ll make everything quicker if you do ⏰.

4. Do a brief plan

To make sure we can get this done properly in one night, the next step is to plan your answer. This will make it a lot easier to start writing and, if you have to do any research, you will know exactly what you’re looking for.

So, sketch out a brief plan onto a page. Work out what needs to go into your answer and how it’s going to be structured. It might feel difficult or pointless to plan at this point, but if you can get some of the hard work out of the way here it’ll become much easier to write!

5. Research efficiently

Now, this one is obviously only relevant if you need research for your answer. Gathering research for an essay or report can take time. By using the keywords from the syllabus and assessment notification, you’ll be able to focus on the resources that you actually need. As far as you can, drop your research straight into the plan and you’ll be moving much more efficiently.

Don’t forget to reference as you go! This will save you time and ensure you don’t make any mistakes 😅.

6. Quality over quantity

This is a seriously important tip. When you’re really under pressure, it can be tempting to just smash out as many words as possible so you can hit that word count—don’t do this! It’s just going to give you a whole lot of waffle and even worse marks.

Instead of waffling, stick to your answer plan, use your research and fall back on the ideas in our lessons. It will get you a much better result for not that much extra work ✅.

7. Do your final read over tomorrow morning

Once you’ve finally pulled off that answer, it’s time to go to bed. You’re probably going to be too tired, too stressed and too wrapped up in your answer to be able to give it a proper check and edit.

So, just get some sleep now, set the alarm 30mins earlier tomorrow and read over it again with fresh eyes and a clear mind. You should be able to pick up any little mistakes and make the whole thing read a lot better and generally end up with a stronger answer!

Remember

Even though this isn’t ideal, you can still pull it off! The secret is to be as efficient as possible. So, keep calm, find out exactly what you need to do, plan, research properly and don’t waffle.

Oh and next time, don’t leave your assignments to the last minute 😅. Instead, watch our lesson on Planning an Assignment and use the downloadable planner so you aren’t in this sticky situation again.


For more study tips, tricks and advice, keep reading the student blog or follow Atomi on Instagram. See you there 👋.

Try Atomi for free and receive regular updates from the Staffroom.

Learn More