Studying Effectively

Using Feedback

Feedback is your main form of guidance and support from your tutors: feedback may be oral (discussion in lectures, seminars or tutorials) or it may be written (provided after formative or summative assessments). It is your best guide about what you are doing well and what you can do to improve your grades and quality of your work. It also helps you to develop your own skills of evaluation so that you get better at judging the quality of your own work. 

When you first get feedback

  • Read and consider all feedback carefully, whether positive or negative. You may initially focus on the grade, but comments on areas for development, or where you have not done as well as anticipated, can be especially helpful. Store any written feedback and returned assignments so that you easily relocate these and review them. You may decide to keep feedback in a single folder.
  • Re-read feedback a day or two after you receive it so you can review the points raised
  • Be clear that you understand what the feedback means. Work out why your tutors gave you the feedback they did. If you really don't understand it, make an appointment to discuss it.
  • When you have received several pieces of feedback, read through them and jot down a list of the main points that are made on each
  • Look for recurring themes.  These are the actions that are either gaining or losing you marks regularly. 
  • Make sure you recognise your strengths and any positive feedback. 
  • Identify one or two main areas for improvement. Select items that will have the most impact on your marks, or which you feel strongest about. If you do not know how to address these independently, speak to your school for advice on sources of support. 
  • Make a clear plan for how you will make use of feedback. Check back to your feedback action plan ahead of starting work on new assessments.
Student getting feedback from a tutor


Further reading

Studying at university

Types of teaching

Preparing for assessment

Recommended by Academic Support

People who can help

Talk to someone in your school or a specialist support service


Studying Effectively

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