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If you fall behind Time management skills

Nearly all students get behind at some point - it's quite normal, so don't panic. Ask for advice as soon as you realise there's a problem. If you identify an urgent concern and you don't know what to do, call your student support team for advice.

Take time to:

  • Review your key deadlines.
  • Review your commitments and plan how you might meet those deadlines.
  • Consider where you can compromise and identify what's preventing you from keeping on top of study.

Studying a module

If a particular aspect of studying a module is slowing you down, speak to your tutor who may be able to clarify things for you, or start a discussion on the online forum.

If you can't make it to tutorials, ask your tutor to suggest ways of staying connected with how everyone else is progressing. If you don't attend, you might lose touch with how other students are getting on with their studies (tutorials are helpful for comparing your own study progress with that of other students). Remember that many tutorials are recorded. You can access recordings after the event even if you didn't book to attend. This is a great way to catch up with study at a time convenient to you.

Check what material is the focus of the next assignment - maybe you can concentrate on that and give less time to the rest of the section. Ask your tutor for permission to submit an assignment late if necessary. See Asking for an extension to your assignment deadline.

I was really falling behind and posted a message on the forum "Anyone got any tips? I'm losing the plot" and I got loads of support! I got ideas on where to focus particularly (and what to skip over), was also nagged into joining students at a local pub to brainstorm. It really helped me get back on track.

Supporting apprentices

Your Practice Tutor and Line Manager can help you identify areas of focus to create a realistic plan to help you progress your apprenticeship whilst balancing study, work and home life. While you'll discuss your study plans with your Practice Tutor and Line Manager at your regular progress review meetings, you should call an interim meeting when your circumstances change. As you wait for the meeting consider how you're using your off-the-job protected training time and whether there is anything that could be done to apply your study more into your day-to-day work activities. This will help you reduce the pressure on your dedicated off-the-job time.

Wider study concerns

If you have difficulties or challenges which are urgent or confidential, for example a health matter or work/life/study balance problems, talk to your Student Support Team. One of our advisers can discuss options and point you in the direction of sources of help.  We have specialist careers, disability and mental health teams who may be able to support your study or help you plan how you can reach your goals.

In following video former learning adviser, Emma, discusses how your tutor and student support team can help if you think you're falling behind or struggling to cope with your studies.

Advice for students who are struggling

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Emma: regional learning adviser. If a student is really struggling and they feel that they can't cope you know, we would take the time to explore that with them. And we would look, while we're talking to them, we'd be looking at how many assignments they'd completed, looking at their record, what their grades are so far, and we would be able to then see whether the student is being perhaps over critical.

Many students have no idea that they're actually doing very well, because they're working in quite an isolated way sometimes, particularly if they don't go to tutorials. So if a student phones me and says I'm doing very badly and I'm getting in the 60s and 70s, I'd be able to say you're actually doing very, very well. Is it that you've fallen behind? What is the nature of your difficulty? And we'd look at the calendar with them. I'd look at how many more assignments they have to do. Which assignments are essential? Which perhaps could be left out? I'd encourage them to speak to their tutor.

If it really is that they really can't keep going at this time, then I'd look at options for transferring their presentation to the next year. And for some students they can actually take what we call interrupted study. They can freeze and store the points that they've scored so far, the grades that they've got, and they can pick up the same time next year, at the same point. That might be a welcome option for some of them rather than just feel they've got half way and they're losing out altogether.

Last updated 5 months ago