News Article

Dealing with Deadlines

Tips an resources for staying on track with your coursework and deadlines


Deadlines seem to creep out from the shadows; silent, stealthy, sleek. You may have seen them in the unit outline, or maybe a lecturer mentioned the double D – due date! Your mind is a powerful entity that locked that somewhere deep within, so that the closer it gets the more the alarms sound. Luckily, you can train your mind to avoid panic and instead be proactive in confronting looming deadlines.

The time to prepare for deadlines starts early on. You can:

  • Get an SRC year planner and highlight these important dates:
    • last day to add a unit – 11 August
    • Census date - last day to withdraw (WD) – 31 August
    • First assessments - check your unit outline and Canvas
    • Date exam timetable released – 9 October
  • Add these dates to your phone calendar with a reminder 1 week ahead
  • Tackle things in little bits. For instance, you begin writing a paper 2 weeks ahead of due day, setting 20 min intervals where you just type whatever comes to mind, without stopping to think too much or make corrections. Then a week before deadline, you start editing and refining your thoughts.
  • Know who you can reach out to – please know that informing your lecture about difficulties you’re having can help you. Feel free to contact SRC help if you’re not sure how to communicate what’s going on.
  • Use the learning hub’s time management module – Module 10 – to map out your tasks. 

Sometimes, it seems that deadlines invite others due dates: show good cause deadlines, academic honesty deadlines… submit further evidence deadlines! These can all be very confronting, but it might help to break the task into smaller bits. For instance, respond to the person who’s set the date. Let them know if that date is feasible or if you need an extension. Explain any limits you might have or competing demands on your time. You can be honest about how busy you are. If your deadline arrives and you are not ready to act, then say so.

The university might offer you flexibility if they know what your issues are.

Finally, talk to an academic advisor. They may be able to help you with managing your study load and give you some ideas on ways to improve the way your approach specific subjects and your degree.

Finally, if you are too stressed out and unwell to complete an assessment task, speak to your doctor or a counsellor to get a Professional Practitioner’s Certificate to be able to apply for special consideration.

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