A checklist to rock your first assessment

We hope you're having a great time settling into the first weeks of your course. We also hope you’ve been trying out a few active learning methods such as preparing for lectures, taking notes and setting up a self-study schedule.

It’s not too early to get started on your first assessment. Assessments are used throughout the course to help you align your study with the learning outcomes expected of you at different stages. It’s a good idea to check the handbook for key knowledge areas and skills to be tested.

For many of you, the first assessment might be your prac or lab work, an online test, a short writing task, the first entry in your reflective journal, a team-based project, or a calculation and problem-solving job. Here's a friendly checklist to help you prepare proactively for your first assessment. Ask yourself these questions and note down what you need to do.

Manage your task

  • Have I found out what the assessment requirement is?
  • Have I located relevant resources, e.g. textbook, subject guide, staff contacts?
  • Have I allocated enough time for preparation?

Get the big picture

  • Have I identified and summarised key knowledge areas so far in this subject?
  • Have I reviewed and collated my lecture notes regularly to see main concepts?
  • Have I classified problems and examples into key topics/theories/models in this subject?
  • Have I matched different approaches/methods to different types of problem?

Get lots of practice

  • Have I practised analysing example problems or questions?
  • Have I applied the processes/techniques taught in the subject to new problems?
  • Have I tried to solve a problem or answer a question as far as I can before referring back to worked examples or notes?
  • Have I recorded my prac/lab data regularly?
  • Have I presented my prac/lab data critically, with logical reasoning for all results I find and all explanations and interpretations I make?
  • Have I tried transforming information using tables, graphs and diagrams?
  • Have I tried creating information gaps in my study material (e.g. deleting parts of formulas or processes) to test myself on the missing links?

Team up

  • Have I joined others to practise solving problems or asking and answering questions?
  • Have I tried teaching my study material to a real or imaginary audience to organise and communicate the information more clearly?

Assess yourself

  • Have I assessed my own work and prioritised areas that need immediate intervention?
  • Have I been able to perform the required prac/lab procedure satisfactorily?
  • Have I been able to use prac/lab instruments or online tools as expected of me at this stage?
  • Have I been able to explain the solution to a problem or the answer to a question using relevant principles/theories?

Finally, make this checklist work for you, and have fun preparing for your first assessment, seriously!