The Time Constraint Assessment (TCA) and the Short Format Assignment (SFA) are ways of testing your knowledge and understanding. You will be given set questions and you must submit your answers over a set time period.
You will have several hours to complete a TCA and several days for an SFA. You can refer to your own notes and other resources but you should still revise the same as you would for any other exam.
Revision is essential to getting a good mark, so give yourself a head start by getting organised and finding effective study strategies.
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Organising your revision will not only ensure you know what you need to do but will also help you feel calm and in control.
Do not leave your revision to the last minute! Create a revision timetable, so you know what to revise. Be realistic about how much you can learn in one go and schedule a sensible amount of time for each revision session.
It is not a good idea to just read your notes over and over; you will remember the material better if you revise actively, by really engaging with it. There are many strategies which can help you:
Small amounts of information are easier to remember, so break each topic down into small chunks:
The best way to learn something is to teach it to someone else, so try explaining the topic to someone who doesn’t know anything about it:
This will show you what you know and where you have gaps in your knowledge:
You may find you can remember material better if you involve your senses:
You will feel calmer if you aren’t worried about the format of the TCA or SFA, so make sure you read everything your School or department send you.
You need to find out:
Gather all the resources (books, lecture notes, revision notes) you are allowed to use and make sure you have water and snacks ready.
It’s important to plan before you start writing:
Save some time at the end to check if everything you have written makes sense. If you have time, check your grammar and spelling.
Because you are allowed access to resources such as books and notes throughout TCAs and SFAs, your emphasis should be on showing your understanding. Spend the minimum time and words on description and more time and words on analysis and evaluation.
If you are asked to write an essay, structure it in the same way as coursework essays:
Although you are allowed to refer to resources during SFAs and TCAs, it may be that your department will be more relaxed about the presentation of your referencing than they would be for coursework. It’s a good idea to check with your department before the day of your TCA/SFA.
Try to write in formal academic language but if you aren’t confident about this, don’t let it stop you writing: instead aim to communicate your understanding as clearly and concisely as you can.