Every few lessons you will have a Tutor Marked Assignment to complete. This is an excellent opportunity to cement your knowledge and improve your understanding and exam technique.
When you get to a TMA you should look back over the previous lessons before starting the assignment. If there are any parts of the lessons that you are still unsure about then do speak to your tutor. Pay particular attention to the what you need to know and what you might be asked to do sections at the end of each lesson.
Now you are ready to do your TMA. Different subjects have slightly different approaches, but as a general rule, spend about an hour on a 50 mark assignment. The mock exams are important exceptions to this, but we will talk more about them in a later blog.
Work through the TMA, answering as much as you can. Leave gaps if you get stuck or are unable to answer a question. When you have completed as much as you can, open your folder and textbook for help to fill in the gaps. If you find that you are unable to complete large sections of the TMA, speak to your tutor for advice.
Pay particular attention to the exact wording of each question, to make absolutely sure your answer is appropriate to what is asked for. Also, look at the number of marks that are available for each question. Each valid point you make in your answer will be worth one mark.
Post or email your completed TMA off to your tutor. Don’t forget the coversheet if you are posting it! Graphs or diagrams can be scanned if you prefer email. Remember, however, that graphs must be hand-drawn. Your tutor will mark your work and return it to the office at Oxford. Your marks are recorded and the suggested answers are included with your marked TMA which is then posted or emailed to you.
The feedback you receive from your tutor, and the suggested answers, are one of the best opportunities you have to improve your understanding of your subject. Spend some time with the questions, suggested answers and your marked answers all together. Check the ones you got wrong – and make sure you understand why. Read the suggested answers to the ones you got correct carefully, too – and see how you can improve your wording.
Your tutor will contact you for additional feedback. Be prepared for the call and discuss any parts that you need to check. All that remains is to take all you have learnt from this TMA on to the next one.