Here Are 7 Tips to Score Higher for SUSS Assignments and SUSS Grades!
Scoring 50s to 60s in your TMAs and GBAs?
Ever gotten back your TMA or GBA assignments with little to no valuable comments?
Thought you did well on your exams, but you did poorly instead?
Well, these happened to me too.
Hi, I’m Firdaus, and I am an SUSS alumnus who majored in Marketing and minored in Business.
I’m here to share with you a tip on how to score higher for your SUSS assignments — something that many SUSS students have trouble with.
Oh, I included a bonus tip too! So make sure to read everything! ;)
1. Read your study guide before attempting any assignments
The first step to getting better grades is to read your study guide. This is also the bare minimum you should do.
This is because your study guide usually contains the key points of the different topics you have in each module.
These key points are just enough to apply the correct theory to the question. Using the wrong theory is the key to doing badly, even though your application of the wrong theory is correct.
For example, I’m a marketing student. There is a difference between Integrated Marketing (IMC) Tools and the 4Ps of marketing — although there are a lot of overlaps.
But if you use them interchangeably or incorrectly, it shows that you don’t know your theory.
So, knowing the correct theory to apply to the question is the bare minimum for you to get at least 40–60 marks.
For me, what I like to do is to read the question before reading the entire study guide.
From there, I extract notes from my study guide that I think the question is asking for so that it’s easier to answer.
2. Read your textbook
The second step is to read your textbook. I myself didn’t read my textbooks at the start during my first few semesters.
I mean, it’s so dull, and there’s so much to read; who could ever do that?
Too bad, your textbook is a gold mine when it comes to scoring higher for your assignments.
Until you start reading your textbooks, you’ll realise how much your study guide lacks in information.
When I started reading my textbooks, my eye opened wide and I was slapping myself for not doing this earlier.
Here’s a marketing example:
Marketing students, you guys know what Points-of-Parity (POP) are, right? Well, there are 3 categories of POPs — Category POPs, Competitive POPs, and Correlation POPs.
If you want to pass, simply stating what Brand A’s POPs are is all you need.
But if you want to score higher, then you need to identify the different types of POPs Brand A has and categorise them accordingly. This is what will make your answer stand out from the rest.
And most of the time, this information is only available in your textbook.
Don’t want to read your entire textbook in one sitting?
I got your back.
In step 1, you’ve already extracted the relevant notes to those questions. All you have to do is skip to the relevant page in your textbook and read.
It’ll explain more of the theory for you to determine if it’s the correct answer. If it’s right, it gives you more information to make your answer stronger.
3. Structure your sentences properly
Now, this step is easily one of the most crucial parts you shouldn’t miss.
If you read your textbook and don’t structure your sentences correctly, you won’t score as high as you hoped.
In fact, if you decide to skip reading your textbook, this would still be the most crucial part.
I’ve seen students who scored higher with better sentence structuring than students with good theory + application but poor sentence structuring.
And I was once also the latter.
But how do I structure my sentences properly?
Here’s a tip I learned from being a freelance SEO writer and an editor for Dollar Bureau.
Subject -> Theory -> Application -> Conclusion
Here’s an example:
|Brand A employs channels of distribution in its brand management strategy (subject). Its partnerships with over 2,000 online and offline retailers in Singapore, including well-known brands like ____ could have indirectly impacted its brand equity through “image transfer” (theory + application). As these retailers already have an existing brand image in consumers’ minds, consumers associate this image of ___ with Brand A (conclusion).|
If you observe the answer above, you’ll see that the flow of ideas is smooth and easy for your lecturers/instructors to understand.
You don’t make them search high and low to give you the marks you deserve.
After marking many papers, they will likely be tired and won’t give you higher marks.
So please, make it easy for them.
But what if you don’t have enough word count and the Subject -> Theory -> Application -> Conclusion method is too long?
Well, I usually skip to Theory -> Application -> Conclusion.
|Brand A has over 2,000 retailers in Singapore, including brands like ____ that indirectly impact its brand equity through “image transfer” (theory + application). As these retailers have an existing brand image in consumers’ minds, consumers associate this image of ____ with Brand A. (conclusion).|
From 59 words to 41 words. I’m sure you can reduce the word count further.
If Subject -> Theory -> Application -> Conclusion is too confusing for you, every time you write a sentence, ask yourself, “So what?” until there’s nothing you can add any more.
|Brand A employs channels of distribution in its brand management strategy (subject; so what?). Its partnerships with over 2,000 online and offline retailers in Singapore, including well-known brands like ____ could have indirectly impacted its brand equity through “image transfer” (theory + application; so what?). As these retailers already have an existing brand image in consumers’ minds, consumers associate this image of ____ with Brand A (conclusion).|
As you can tell, you can’t say “so what” in the last sentence, which is also the conclusion of that idea.
Of course, you must ensure that the flow of ideas makes sense every time you “so what?”.
Here’s an example of the lack of flow in an answer:
|Brand A employs channels of distribution in its brand management strategy (subject; so what?). The channels of distribution have an existing brand image in consumers’ minds; thus, consumers associate this image of _____ with Brand A (conclusion).|
From here, there’s a missing sentence to link the idea together. How does Brand A employing channels of distribution make consumers associate the image of ____ (let’s say luxury) with Brand A?
How do I, as the person marking your assignment, know why consumers associate luxury with Brand A just because they use channels of distribution in their brand management strategy?
But if I were to write this instead:
|Brand A employs channels of distribution in its brand management strategy. Brand A’s partnerships with brands like Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and Hermès could have indirectly impacted its brand equity through “image transfer”. The distribution channels have an existing brand image in consumers’ minds; thus, consumers associate this image of luxury with Brand A.|
Do you see the difference? Every sentence has its own purpose, and the flow of ideas is apparent here.
4. Use keywords in your answers
Once you’ve written your answers, I recommend using keywords in your answers.
Using keywords in your answers and proper sentence structuring will allow your lecturers/instructors to give you marks easily.
Keywords are essential as they show you understand the theory and what you’re talking about.
In the example I’ve been using, I’m trying to communicate that consumers perceive Brand A to be luxurious due to its partnerships.
I could use the following:
|Brand A is perceived by consumers as luxurious due to their partnerships with Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and Hermès.|
But this barely shows how much I understand the topic.
However, if I use the following:
|Brand A’s partnerships with brands like Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and Hermès could have indirectly impacted its brand equity through “image transfer” The channels of distribution have an existing brand image of luxury in consumers’ minds; thus, consumers associate this image of luxury with Brand A.|
Do you see how I used the bolded terms above instead? It shows that I understand the theory and know how to apply the knowledge I have.
5. Underline, bold, or italicise your keywords
Another way to get the attention of your instructors or lecturers is to underline, bold, or italicise your keywords.
What I like to do is bold my keywords or theory and underline the subject and conclusion.
This makes the markers’ life easy and (hopefully) will get me more marks.
6. Read scientific journals and/or news articles (BONUS!)
I know I should’ve probably put this in step 3, but I recommend writing down your answers before supplementing your work with scientific journals or news articles.
This is because you will probably be too tired to add on more to your assignment, you don’t have the time to read them, or you don’t even have enough word count!
I know — I experienced all 3.
Reading and citing these sources makes your argument much stronger, especially if the journals did the studies correctly.
Let me use the same example above:
Brand A employs channels of distribution in its brand management strategy. Brand A’s partnerships with brands like Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and Hermès could have indirectly impacted its brand equity through “image transfer” of luxury. Furthermore, in the study done by ____ (2020), over more than 87% of consumers view Brand F positively based on the partnerships they have and said that they are more likely to purchase from them. This shows a transfer of brand image between brands through partnerships made. As consumers have an existing brand image of these luxury brands, the channels of distribution used are likely to associate Brand A with luxury.
As you can see, adding the study makes your argument crazy strong as it’s scientifically proven. Without this sentence, you’re merely making an inference – a rather good one – which could still be wrong.
So, if you’re looking to really score, add citations for scientific journals and/or news pieces.
P.S. Sometimes, your textbooks cite scientific journals showing studies on that topic. Instead of citing your textbook for this, you can cite the study and journal directly for bonus marks. (you’re welcome)
7. Check your work
Checking your work is something that is probably skipped way too often.
After writing your answers, read the case and question again, and then check if your answers are correct, or if there is a better way to answer.
Don’t do it immediately after you’re done. You’re probably tired after reading your study guide and textbooks, and answering the questions.
Instead, check the next day with a fresher mind. Chances are, you’ll find mistakes or just a better way to phrase your answers.
Once you’re confident, submit your assignment and you’re done! J
I hope this post has been useful in helping you understand how to get better SUSS grades.
This is not a sure way of getting high marks, but you’ll definitely notice better marks for your assignments.
All the best!