Prepare for assessments
Help for assessments and preparing for assignments.
Please take a look at our planning advice and poster presentation guidance:
- Use the assignment planner tool to create a personalised schedule for each of your written assignments.
- Our resource on creating an academic poster will help if you are producing a poster for a conference, tutorial, or a poster presentation for assessment.
We have created a 'How to improve your work before submitting' online workbook, with tips and tools to help you recognise areas for improvement in your work, and make final reviews and edits.
We have a full range of further online workbooks to improve your research, planning, writing, presentation and time management skills. Browse our study skills collection to learn online or book on to one of our workshops.
Submitting your work online
Depending on the course you are studying, you will be expected to submit material for assessment in a variety of digital formats.
Online assessments in Blackboard
Online assessment in Blackboard covers things to be aware of before submitting. Two examples, consider anonymity or the word count policy.
Submitting assignments through Blackboard
Your module tutor will tell you what format they want you to use when submitting work. This will be different for different subjects.
For required assignment submissions to Blackboard, follow submitting assignments through Blackboard guidance.
If you are asked to submit hand-written or hand-drawn material as part of an assessment, download our student guidance for home exams.
Submitting assignments using Pebblepad
You may need to create and submit work using the Pebblepad platform. This could take the form of a reflective portfolio or other online assessment.
Submitting assignments using Blackboard Collaborate Ultra
You may be asked to take part in a live assessment session using Blackboard Collaborate Ultra. This video guide shows you have to use the assessment tool for live presentations, role plays, vivas or oral exams.
Sometimes you may need to attach or submit a document where there is a limit on the file size it can accept. Read this article on how to check the size of a file and compress images.
To submit a very large file (over 100 MB) you will need to use an alternative approach using your UWE Microsoft OneDrive. A video guide is available for zipping, uploading to One Drive, sharing and submitting.
SafeAssign is a coursework originality checker provided by Blackboard. It helps identify plagiarism by detecting unoriginal content in student submissions. It compares student submissions to internet resources, articles and other students' submissions.
Support is available on how to avoid plagiarism.
Your course work may involve working in a group with other students. This is a skill that employers will value. Find out more about presentation skills and managing presentation anxiety.
Collaborating with your team virtually
Microsoft Teams is a teamwork hub and collaboration tool in Office 365 which allows you to work on group projects, discuss ideas or collaborate on files.
Exam preparation and revision
You may find the following resources helpful:
- How to do better in written exams: Guidance on how to prepare for exams.
- Past exam papers: Even if the format of past exam papers is different, it still gives you an idea of the type of content that is typically tested.
- Try not to spend a lot of time around people who are stressed - it's infectious! Stick to those who understand, but can be reassuring and constructive. Be positive about yourself and remember what you have achieved in the past.
- Take a ten-minute break every hour. Do a little light exercise to burn off any adrenaline and remove the stiffness that comes with sitting and concentrating.
- Caffeine encourages adrenaline, which increases anxiety. Go easy on the coffee and remember that tea and many soft drinks are also high in caffeine. High sugar foods also result in 'lows' when your energy and mood drops rapidly. Eat a little and often and drink plenty of water - we dehydrate fast when we are stressed.
- Allow yourself some fun and relaxation. Reward yourself after a period of concentration - this will help to keep your batteries charged.
- Aim for plenty of high-quality sleep. Stop revising and relax for a while before you go to bed. Make sure you sleep well.
There comes a time when less is more. A time to let go of the need to read what hasn't been read and just make sure you are in the best frame of mind to remember what you do know.
A bit of stress is important in keeping us sharp and motivated, the buzz can be enjoyable. However, as the anxiety rises, we reach a point where our performance begins to drop off.
Human beings are programmed with a reflex 'fight-flight-freeze' response to threat. We get a surge of adrenaline and other powerful brain chemicals which short-circuit some of the more complex thinking and memory parts of our brain - the very bits we most need in an exam.
These chemicals are great for getting us ready to fight off a threat - we breathe faster, taking in more oxygen so our heart can pump blood to our major muscles faster. No wonder we sometimes want to get up and run away when we feel panic in an exam.
In the exam
If you feel panicky or blank, take time out to breathe very slowly until you can refocus. Don't worry if time runs out - towards the end of the exam, offering notes rather than full sentences can help you to pick up marks.
Remember that exams are not an assessment of your worth as a person. Some people are just good at exams rather than in the subject. Many exams are failed because of people's lack of self-esteem and anxiety, rather than any lack of ability or intelligence. And remember, most exams can be retaken if things do go wrong.
If you're still anxious about your exams, help is available through our health and wellbeing services.
Coping with anxiety at university exams
A short story describing a student’s experiences of stress and anxiety at university whilst studying in the library and how it affected her personally.
Completing exams at home
You might also be asked to complete exams at home. Here are some tips to help you.
Before your exam:
- revise as normal, look at past exam papers and make a revision timetable
- use online study groups to revise with friends and support each other
- check your exam timetable and don’t ignore notifications from your programme leader as timings and details might change
- ensure you understand the exam requirements such as, the format, timing expectations, submission requirements and other technical needs.
On the day:
- check you have the technology you need such as, access to Blackboard and wifi connection
- some exams will have a 24-hour completion period but we recommend you try to complete the exam in the original time frame
- whatever the time constraints, have a clock nearby.
After the exam:
- give yourself some time to relax and then move on to your next assessment.
Learning and teaching terminology
Key terms used around learning, teaching and assessment methods across the University.