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Matheus

April 11th, 2024

How to use your formative feedback to score a distinction mark

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Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Matheus

April 11th, 2024

How to use your formative feedback to score a distinction mark

0 comments

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

One of the most challenging things about enrolling at LSE is handling not only the high expectations that professors and markers will put on your work, but also the expectation that you can put on yourself. After all, you may want a distinction classification grade as you believe this could open the door to a great job, or pave your way towards a prestigious postgraduate programme. Either way, securing a great mark in your programme may certainly seem hard — but it’s not impossible.

The first thing you should look into before submitting coursework is your department’s submission instructions and assessment criteria. This information should be readily available on each department’s website, along with relevant deadlines and other information. By checking this out in advance, you can familiarise yourself with the standards which you’ll be evaluated; it’ll likely be easier to produce good work once you know what’s expected from you and the baseline that your writing will be assessed against.

After getting acquainted with your department’s coursework guidelines, it’s imperative that you pay close attention to tips and instructions your course teacher will most likely mention during your classes — if you have any doubt, make sure to ask. You can always book office hours to address bigger concerns; it’s important to feel ready and confident before you get to work.

After doing this initial research, the best way to practise under LSE’s evaluative criteria is by submitting a formative piece of work. These aren’t compulsory — most professors will point out formatives are optional as the marks don’t count toward your course grade — only the mark from your summative submissions will appear on your final transcript. Thus, 100% of your final mark depends on how well you do on your summatives — irrespective of how good of a mark you get for your formatives.

Some of you may feel discouraged to put effort into working on formatives, however, these are the best away to tweak your writing skills before the mighty summatives. By following all the assessment criteria you absorbed from checking in with your department’s guidelines and class teacher and making sure you try to meet what’s expected, you can receive useful and helpful feedback on what you’re doing well and what could be improved. Since your final mark relies on an all-or-nothing approach in your summatives, feedback you get for your formatives is probably the best way to secure that distinction mark.

After getting your formative feedback, make sure you go through your marker’s comments carefully. They’ll most likely have singled out any area that you still need some work on. Their comments can range from suggesting you to draw more from the course literature, or advise you spend more time on your text’s structure. They may point out flaws in your analytical argumentation, and could describe your work as too descriptive. This type of constructive feedback enables you to do better next time.

To summarise, formatives allow you to identify your strengths and give you the opportunity to improve before the assessment for your summatives. Essentially, formatives are really the only chance you’ll have to fail with no consequences. However, it’s both in your and the School’s interest for you to do well in all work you submit!

With formative feedback, this contributes to the overall quality of learning offered at LSE and helps you to improve — so make use of it!

About the author

Matheus

Matheus Almeida is a master’s student, studying Media and Communications (Data and Society) with a bachelor’s degree in International Relations. Born and raised in the Brazilian state of Bahia. Highly interested in social media infrastructures and data applications. Main hobbies are dancing, partying, and dancing in parties as if nobody is watching.

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