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How to Get a First in Your University Assignments?

By FLtt 04 Feb 2021

How to get a First in your University Assignments Tips & Tricks from Bogdan, a current student at Coventry University.

You are in the right place! Everyone wants to get a First-class in the assignments and to finish the degree with the best grade possible.

Here are a few points:

  • Stay focused on getting a top grade
  • Develop your research skills
  • Use the library resources at university
  • Improve the presentation of your work
  • Limit your time on social media
  • Ask tutors for help
  • Find a study buddy at university
  • Pick topics that you're passionate about
  • Go to your university classes
  • Remember to take breaks from work
  • Stay healthy while studying
  • In-depth engagement and intellectual risk

And here are more:

  • Go to your university’s Academic Skills Centre
  • Understand the assessment structure for each of your modules
  • Use a grade calculator throughout the year
  • Speak to your subject leader about how your grades will be calculated
  • Find out your university’s regulations on rounding grades up or down
  • Find out the weighting your second and final year has when calculating your final grade. Some units place more emphasis on your final year grade.
  • Attend and record your lectures 
  • Form a study group of like-minded students
  • Go to office hours
  • Ask the lecturer if you can record the office hour
  • Use the time to find out as much information as you can about upcoming exams and assignments
  • Bring samples of your coursework for review and samples of your revision to see if you are on track
  • If the lecturer is happy to review your work before submitting it, ask them what you could do to improve it
  • Set artificial deadlines (write down all of your deadlines and aim to complete your work ahead of the deadline so that you can get it reviewed by the academic support centre at your university and by your lecturers).
  • Study smart, not hard
  • Embrace Feedback and develop your resilience
  • Do a placement year
  • Stay healthy
  • Pick your modules strategically
  • Go beyond your recommended reading list
  • Get used to independent study
  • Network with students in the year above
  • Make your first-year count
  • Get subject-specific advice


  • Getting a first-class degree doesn’t happen by accident. It requires a lot of strategic planning, preparation and perseverance.
  • In order to get a first, you must be ready to go the extra mile and sometimes making sacrifices.
  • Whilst getting a first-class degree is an amazing personal achievement, it will not convince employers to hire you. You must be able to demonstrate employability skills.
  • A first-class essay always presents its arguments and its supporting evidence in the order and manner that's best suited to its overall goals. Not according to what topic areas its author finds the most interesting or most comfortable to talk about. It can chafe if you feel you have more to offer on a particular topic than the assignment allows you to include. But balance and structural discipline are essential components of any good essay.
  • The best way to communicate this is to pay attention to two things. First, the content of the quality sources you read in the course of your studies. Second, the rhetorical style these sources employ. Learn the language and frame your arguments in the same way scholars do. For example, "What I want to suggest by juxtaposing these two theories is…" or, "The purpose of this intervention is…" and so on.
  • Keeping notes of all your sources used in research will make writing your bibliography (references) later far less of a chore. Get into the habit of exporting every reference you search for into the bibliographic software program of your choice.
  • Make sure you organise your research into categories. This will ensure you have a focused set of scholarly sources waiting for you when you've decided on your final essay topic. Develop your own essay topic and talk to your tutor (often!)

Good luck!


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