By Leanne Goodall

Waiting for that OU TMA to come back can bring out a huge mix of emotions

Let’s be honest, that’s the question that everyone wants the answer to when they first submit assignments with The Open University. We put all of our blood, sweat and tears into the TMA itself and can’t think beyond it yet the moment we’ve submitted it we begin to think about the result and exactly how long it takes to mark the TMA.

In my experience it varies from tutor to tutor, from module to module and even from one assignment to another within the same module. Tutors are given 10 working days to turn around their marking of your TMA which actually equates to 2 weeks. Those two weeks can be the longest two weeks ever and have been known to send students literally bonkers. The fastest TMA turnaround that I think I’ve had is 2 days but that was quite a shock as most of mine have tended to be nearer the full 2 week marker.

Waiting for those TMA results can be such hard work – how many times exactly can you refresh your Student Home page in one day?

For those that don’t know what I’m on about there: the results are loaded onto your OU Student Home page for you to see. You then get sent an email to tell you that the results are ready and that you can view them.

OU students constantly log-in

The problem is that the email is often delayed by several hours and so it’s only natural for us students to let our minds wander: maybe those results are sat waiting and we don’t even know because that email is STILL in transit… So the standard thing for many OU students is to constantly log-in to their Student Home page and check for themselves. Loads of us do it, it just can’t be helped. We need to be put out of our misery one way or another. If we’ve done well then great – let us celebrate. But if we haven’t then we still need to know so that we can commiserate that evening read over the tutor’s comments, see where we can improve and set about what to do next.

One of my TMAs was actually returned after the 10 day period. Yep, even that can happen. Obviously your tutor will do everything that they can to get them all done within the 10 days but just occasionally there will be a reason that they can’t do it. Just as we can apply for an extension from time to time, they can go over that 10 day period if they really need to. Don’t fret though, this isn’t common practice and they will let you know if they need a bit of extra time.

Try not to crash Student Home

You also need to remember that the 10 working days only starts from the day you submit your assignment. If you have submitted late due to an extension (which always needs to be pre-arranged with your tutor) then your tutor still gets the full 10 working days to mark it and get it back to you. Of course this doesn’t apply if you manage to submit early. If you do that then you just have to wait a bit longer.

So I hope that’s helped a bit for anyone who has been wondering how long it takes to mark a TMA and, more importantly, get your results back. There will be many students waiting to get the first TMA result back from their newest modules right now (me included) so good luck and try not to crash Student Home by checking it too frequently.

Leanne is half way through a BA (Hons) in History with the Open University and enjoys writing as a freelancer as well as on her blog. Find out more here. You can catch up on all of Leanne’s excellent contributions on STOU here.

Do you think TMAs take too long to come back? Do you feel nervous waiting for it to be returned?Please LIKE/SHARE/TWEET or leave a comment below. This social currency helps us to grow and improve the value we are able to provide for OU students 🙂

The Open University study guide is now available! Click on this image to find out more.

The Open University study guide is now available! Click on this image to find out more.