Learning from your assessment feedback

Activity time: 30 minutes

Types of media: Handout/s, Webpage, Helpsheet, Word Document


Unknown Author (University of Kent)


Highlighting the importance of assessment feedback, this resource offers advice on how students may make the most out of any comments received. Guidance includes reading feedback as soon as it is received, keeping a learning journal and forming action plans.


Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 3.0

(This resource can be freely repurposed and reused)



Date Modified

Date Added

This information/resource was last updated in November 2022.

This post was originally added to LearnHigher on: January 6, 2012

About this resource

Your tutors take a lot of time to give you feedback on your work- why not make use of it to guide how you will tackle your next assignment? You may even improve your grades while improving your understanding of each assessed topic. Use the following steps to help you make the most out of your assignment feedback and don’t let any possible disappointment cloud how you approach your next assignment. Instead, let constructive self-criticism lead to an ‘action-plan’ for future assignments.

1. Read your feedback as soon as you receive it.

Reading and making use of your feedback is an important part of the assessment cycle.

  • You can use positive and negative comments to improve your work but don’t take any negative comments as a sign of personal failure. Use them to improve your work next time.
  • If you are clear about any part of your feedback, talk to your tutor. Find out why you got the feedback and grade that you did and plan ways to improve. For instance, did you meet all of the assessment criteria?

2. Keep a learning journal.

For each assessment, sort your feedback into useful categories and keep a note of all the feedback your receive. You can use the template below to help or you can design your own template.

  • Look for patterns in the feedback: are you good at certain tasks and not at others?
  • Look for the common areas to improve and find help for those particular areas. Make sure you work on these for the next assessment.
  • Ask your tutor for feedback on these particular areas in drafts of your assessment.

Download a blank learning journal template.

3. Action plan: Prepare your work.

Does your feedback relate to problems with:

  • The way the answer addresses the question?
  • Relevance and application of reading?
  • Range of reading material?
  • Missing/inaccurate in-text citations and references?

Make sure your analyse your assessment question fully before starting and plan your reading. The Assignment Survival Kit can help with this.

4. Action plan: Plan your work.

Does your feedback relate to problems with your:

  • Interpretation of the question
  • Integration of reading/research
  • Uneven and unfocused direction and structure of the main argument.

Look at your initial assessment plan and keep that handy while you are researching. Plan your work at both a general level (roughly answering the question) and at a detailed level (paragraph plans, developing your argument). Keep track of your reading and make sure you embed your references right from the start!

5. Action plan: Producing your assessment.

Does your feedback relate to problems with:

  • Structure and organisation
  • Language
  • Difficulty in following the argument
  • Embedding evidence.

Reread and proofread your work before you submit it. Make sure your introduction and conclusion are integral to your work and that you have a clear understanding of the structure you want to use for your work (ie an academic essay or a report). Use clear language and check your grammar. Use the Assignment Survival Kit to help you check your work.


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