University life is going to be packed and hectic, or at least it is/will be so if you choose to make the most out of it. There will be CCAs, part time job, planning of school events, social events and academic grinding. 

If we want to be well employed in the future, we are going to need to have more than just our degree to show. We need work experience, connections, character and work competency in general; and that’s why we need to do more than just studying. 

Since our university life would be so packed and hectic; time management would, in a very cliché manner, be of vital importance. We all know how to do that: planning your day the night before or even before the week begins and stick to the plan no matter what. Cool, that’s no problem; but the real problem is actually the feasibility of the timings we set for ourself. Can we really stick to the plan, or are we going to compromise the standard of our work in doing so? I take pride in my work so I would end up doing the former. Here’s an example: We really want to finish this essay in 2 hours but it can easily be spilled over into a 12 hours one because of meticulous crafting and intensive research needed; and so…kaboom! Plan ruined. 

We want an ideal plan but sometimes it remains an ideal that cannot be translated into reality. So the real question to ask here is: how do we bridge the gap between ideal and reality? 

Assessment criteria and learning outcomes

We have seen this, yes you probably did: Your teacher hands you a piece of paper called “Marking criteria”; and because of how technical the content is, you just dump it in your ever-expanding trash folder. Ok that’s what I did, not you….maybe.

Well the thing is, I have found out just how precious that piece of paper is. Metaphorically, it is the target board in archery / shooting. The assessment criteria lets us know exactly what needs to be done for us to get our A. Here are 2 excerpts from the book, How to Succeed in your Social Science Degree:

“…examining those assessment criteria. They are usually published in student handbooks, and it is obvious that students need to look at them before and during their studies” (Arksey, Harris, and Available, 2007)

“The same point can be made about learning outcomes. These are commonly published as well… use them to guide their readings and research activities.” (Arksey, Harris, and Available, 2007)

This is too elemental to explain and I would make you sound really dumb when I try to explain it: We use assessment criteria and learning outcomes to guide our work, demonstrating what the university needs us to demonstrate. If you don’t do so, it’s like a customer who tells you, a seller, that he wants item A; but you continue to insist in selling him item B. Do you think you will profit from him?

If you actually feel intellectually insulted by this explanation, you will understand why I call this elemental. I did the explanation anyway to demonstrate its futility. In future posts, I shall not attempt to explain this sort of elemental reasoning.

In conclusion, making active use of assessment criteria and learning outcomes is one of the many ways you can make yourself more task-efficient. There’s not much explaining to do, so this post simply serves as a reminder for you and I because people tend to forget about this valuable resource or don’t actually know how valuable it is. I was the latter and I expect myself to be the former soon enough, which is why I am writing this post to remind myself in the future. I hope this post will also serve you well.

Signing off,


Arksey, H., Harris, D.E. and Available, N. (2007) How to succeed in your social science degree (Sage Study skills series). Los Angeles, Calif. [etc.]: Sage Publications.


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