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What to do when an extension won’t help you

By Carrie 04 Jun 2019
Image of student using laptop for assessment

Picture this: it’s 12pm on the day before your assignment is due and you haven’t even looked at the assignment question, or had time to open the Library databases and start searching for material. Your anxiety levels are at an all-time high and you don’t know what to do.

This situation is very familiar to our team of Student Relationship Officers (SRO) and, because life is complex, we see the above scenario play out for students in an infinite number of ways. When you’re juggling study with a career, relationships, family and many other responsibilities, it’s almost inevitable that at times, life will throw you a curveball that will disrupt your study. While sometimes an assignment extension of 24 hours or a few days will be enough to get you over the line, there may also be situations where study simply cannot be your priority right now and there just doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day for you to be able to get that assignment done.

So, what do you do if an assignment extension just isn’t going to help?

Firstly, take a deep breath. You need to remember that we are here to help and support you as much as we can and you are not alone. We know there can be a lot of pressure on you as a result of your studies and there are a lot of emotions involved, so we highly encourage you to reach out for help.

Secondly, assess your circumstances. We know that life can get in the way and so the question you need to ask is:

‘Can study be a priority for me right now?’

If the answer is no, we recommend you contact the SRO team as soon as possible to discuss your circumstances and the options available to you. You can email us, call us or chat with us online or on-campus. Let us know what is going on (sometimes this can be really cathartic!), and we will go through your options with you. Depending on the time of semester (check out these important dates), some options may have implications, such as academic or financial penalties. The recommendations we provide you with will take all of these factors into account and we’ll explain each possible outcome to you in detail. There may be an alternative available to you that you didn’t even know existed. You then can make an informed decision about your studies and what is best for you.

If the answer is yes, that you think you can make study a priority and you do want to complete the assessment piece, then you’ll need to consider the following factors and develop an action plan to get the work done:

  • How much is the assessment piece weighted in terms of your overall course grade? If this is a heavily-weighted piece, getting it done and done well could be crucial to passing the course.
  • How many assignments do you have in addition to this one?
  • Where are you at with the assignment right now?
  • How much work still needs to be done?

Be realistic about the answers to these questions, as you don’t want to create more stress for yourself in an already stressful situation. If you think you can complete the assessment, but perhaps you need just a little more time, you may be able to apply for an assignment extension. It’s important to remember that an extension is not guaranteed, so you should continue working on your assignment while your application for an extension is being assessed. To increase your chances of being granted an extension, be sure to follow the assignment extension policy and submit the correct information.

Sometimes, even the best laid plans can go awry and when life happens, it’s important to remember that you’re not alone. We are here to help you navigate the challenges of balancing study and life. We understand that there are a lot of university policies and procedures to take into account and can help you find your way through. If you are not sure what to do, reach out for help and contact the SRO team.

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