5 types of student approaches to summatives


‘I have a summative in for tomorrow… no words have been written, little reading has been done, but is this the first time? No. Will it be the last? Definitely not, I just live for the thrill’. These words from a recent Durfess will resonate with a lot of students. Summative season is a stressful time for many and everyone has their own way to overcome it. So with the worst of it nearly behind us, let’s take a look at 5 types of student during summative season.

I just live for the thrill

1. The one with good intentions
You finally think you’ve cracked it this time, you plan out the time to start thinking of your essay, and then eventually writing it. You know which books to take out from the Billy B. Then, all of a sudden, it’s two weeks later, the books are gone, you’ve forgotten entirely about the topic and it’s due in four days. We all have our good intentions.

all of a sudden, it’s two weeks later

2. The one that’s not read the book at all –
We all have that one friend; it’s a week before the due date, and you hear the eternal words ‘I’ve still not read the book’. These are the people who like to take risks, the kind of people who risk the red lights outside the Billy B. They inevitably end up doing better than you. Whether or not they actually read it remains a mystery to us all.

Whether or not they actually read it remains a mystery to us all

3. The one that boosts their bibliography
We’re all guilty of at least considering this tactic; filling out your bibliography with every book you’ve read around the topic, even if it’s not referenced, just to seem more well-read and intellectual and to boost that mark of course. We’ve all been there, right? I seriously hope it’s not just me.

4. The one that pulls the all-nighter –
Not everyone is a master of time management, and summatives can really be a test of that skill. The night before is a make-or-break moment that seems to go on forever, it’s just you against the world. Eventually, you finish the piece, and all is right with the world. This is for people who ‘live for the thrill’. Just make sure you don’t then sleep through the deadline! It happens to the best of us…

it’s just you against the world

5. The one that lives at the library –
For some, summative season is a time to lock yourself in the Billy B in any free moment you get. It’s Sunday morning, you get yourself to the library, find yourself a study space and hit the grindstone. Kudos to the people who bring meals with them, planning ahead is a key skill. For many, though, for all the 4 or 5 hours you spend at the Billy B, you still only crack out a few hundred words. Instead, you sit on your phone and wait for the Tindurs to come flooding in. Time well spent.

You sit on your phone and wait for the Tindurs to come flooding in.

When all is said and done, the most important thing is that you get it done; how you do so is just another story to learn from. Summative season can be stressful, so I hope this has done its part to lighten the mood a bit. Best of luck and may the season of summatives make way for a lovely spring.


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