We’ve all been there, you’ve received a mark you’re not happy with after spending what seems like forever on the assessment and you’re feeling defeated.

While it’s normal to feel disappointed when you don’t receive the results you aimed for it’s important to remember that not all is lost, that one mark doesn’t define you and there are so many ways to bounce back! Instead of focusing on the negatives if you receive a bad mark switch things around and use it as a learning experience, a chance to improve your skills and learn from the experience.

A simple way to do this is through seeking feedback on your work and utilising academic support from the range of resources available to students at the University of Newcastle.

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Lecturers, Tutors and Course Coordinators

Lecturers and tutors are a crucial resource for students to seek feedback from, especially considering they are involved in the teaching and the marking of the course. Your lecturers and tutors are here to help you succeed and part of that is helping you understand where you can improve when you don’t perform at your best. It is important to note that academics are busy people so if you’re seeking feedback on an assessment task, the best thing to do is to send them an email asking for feedback, or to make an appointment to discuss your assignment. Talking to the marker is a great opportunity to get an insight into the areas you need to work on in order to achieve higher marks and improve your grade next time around.

Academic Learning Support

Learning Advisors within the University’s Academic Learning Support team are available to assist students with a range of academic concerns, including understanding how to get started on a complicated assessment or making sense of marker feedback. Senior Learning Advisor Alison Hillier says that Learning Advisors are a valuable resource that all students should take advantage of,

“Learning advisors work with students at all stages of their studies, from enabling programs such as Open Foundation all the way to completing a PhD. We have specialist advisors for academic writing, maths and statistics, postgraduate studies, and English language for students from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. Learning advisors can also assist students with developing good study habits, efficient reading and notetaking.”

Your first port of call when seeking assistance is the Academic Learning Support page on the University of Newcastle website. This is where you will find various online study resources including information on how to access support in the form of skills workshops and PASS sessions. You can also book one-on-one online appointments with a Learning Advisor to help you get on track which is especially important during uncertain times like these.

“During lockdown, it’s easy to feel disconnected from your lecturer, tutor and other students, a learning advisor can help keep you motivated by guiding you and providing resources and ideas to help you stay on top of what you’re working on. Even if it’s just understanding how the assignment instructions and marking rubric fit together, or planning out a schedule to complete a huge project for the end of semester, having someone in your corner who understands the expectations of the course is invaluable.”

“Even if the problems seem huge, a learning advisor knows how to break down the issues and help students target their efforts in a way that get noticed in a good way!”

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So while it can be easy to let a bad mark get the better of you, we have to remind ourselves that a bard mark is just a bad mark, not a reflection of who we are and what we can achieve. Use it as a motivator to reach out for feedback so that you can smash the next assignment and prove to yourself what you can really do.


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