Tackling your Incomplete grades in 4 steps

March 21, 2022

 Mentoring Sequence, Tackling IncompletesFeeling unsure how to manage completing your incomplete(s), especially on top of your current course-load? We talked with Lesdi C. Goussen Robleto, former L&S Mentor. Lesdi offered four steps you can take to get your incompletes to completion!

Step 1: Map Your Incomplete(s)

Before getting a plan underway, it’s important to identify how many incomplete(s) you have and the corresponding work for each incomplete. To get yourself organized, try making an excel sheet or begin a Google doc dedicated to mapping your incomplete(s). Start off by making a list of all the assignments, projects, and/or outstanding work for each incomplete. Having these smaller components identified will make it easier to scaffold a plan for tackling your incompletes. Be sure to include any deadlines.

Tip: Check University deadlines for incomplete coursework and check in with your Professors and GSI’s to ensure you are on the same page regarding deadlines. Remember that the Professors and GSI’s for your incomplete course(s) need to have enough time to grade your work before the deadline for grade submission.

Step 2: Create a Time-Management Plan

As you prepare to tackle your incompletes, consider your current workload and capacity by getting a time management plan in place. To do this, you will need to map your current courses and workload in order to schedule in time to work on your incompletes. It helps to identify specific time-windows that you will work on your incomplete(s) to keep the work contained and manageable. Be sure to select windows that are feasible! The goal is to get organized by managing your time while also honoring your capacity.

Tip: Use Google Calendar to map your class time and extracurricular activities in order to identify openings in your schedule. Pencil in important deadlines for the semester to avoid bottlenecks in your time management and tackling incompletes plan.

Step 3: Tackle your Incomplete(s) Step-by-Step

Once you have identified time in your schedule to work on your incomplete(s), you can begin to pin-point specific tasks and assignments that you will work on during each working session. Refer back to your list of assignments to create a plan and determine a timeline of progression. Working around specific (and smaller) goals will help keep you on track. It's also a great strategy for combating procrastination. 

Tip: Make a to-do list for each tackling incompletes working session with concrete tasks. Set yourself up for success by creating manageable tasks and tackling assignments in parts.

Step 4: Anticipate Adjustments 

As you work on your incomplete(s), it's important to anticipate and address adjustments. Even with the most sound tackling incompletes and time management plan, shifts in your schedule and workload expectations are inevitable. When issues or challenges arise, instead of feeling guilty for not “sticking to the plan,” adjust your plan by breaking down assignments into even smaller components, finding additional openings in schedule, or asking for an extension. As you do this, be sure to communicate with your Professors, GSI’s, and advisors in a timely manner. 

Tip: Check out our article, "4 steps to study plan like a pro." 

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