Assignment due dates are part of the assignment itself. The instructor/teacher/professor wants to determine whether their students can adhere to simple instructions.
This is the reason why assignments that are delivered late attract fines in terms of deduction in marks or even rejection.
Yes, some of the instructors are very strict when it comes to assignment due dates and they can reject your assignment even when it is a few minutes late!
Now, instructors can give students various due dates that determine the date, hour, and minute in which they are required to submit their completed work.
They may decide to set those due dates or let the plagiarism-checking platforms such as Turnitin or Blackboard set default deadlines.
Note that some institutions only allow their students to submit their work through such platforms so that the assignments can be automatically checked for plagiarism.
That being said, let us explore what the most common due dates and times mean for students and the submission of assignments.
11:59 PM is one of the most common assignments’ due time (deadline) given to students. I know you may be wondering why this is the case. Why not any other time of the day?
Well, the reason is that in the contemporary world, institutions of learning may have students from different time zones who may be attending online classes or are required to submit their homework at the same time.
In assignment submission, 11:59 PM means that the paper or essay is due at the very last minute of that day and not even a second or a minute late. If as a student you upload a file one minute after 11:59 PM, will have submitted on the next day 00:00 AM, and not the previous day, which is a minute earlier.
For example, if the instructor states that the assignment is due, let’s say, on Friday the 16th, students should deliver their work by 11:59 PM on Friday the 16th. If you upload it on Saturday the 17th then you are late because the time will be 00:00 hours, a new day.
To coordinate the due time, a specific due date has to be set in which the final day to submit the assignments is set.
A complete day is made up of 24 hours with the start of the day being at midnight.
Midnight is written in 24hrs clock as 00:00 hours.
What this means is that when the clock reads 00:00 hours, we have entered another day.
Therefore, if students were required to submit on the previous day, it means that they are late.
To some of us, determining whether 11:59 PM is morning or night can be confusing.
Some of the genuine reasons for this confusion are that the “PM” initials signify nighttime and most of the time zones in the world are within the dark side of the earth; meaning that they are experiencing night.
However, 00:00 hours or midnight is considered to be part of the morning because it is the start of a new day.
The problem is that 11:59 PM and 00:00 hours are separated by less than 1 minute (59 seconds) and the former is considered night while the latter is considered morning. Well, all the factors held constant, 11:59 PM should be considered night.
Don’t be confused by the aforementioned technicalities. What matters is the time of day. If it is 11:59 PM, the day has ended and a new day will begin at 00:00 hours midnight.
As aforementioned, 11:59 PM signifies the end of a complete day. A complete day is made up of 24 hours and 11:59 PM in 24 hours style clock is written as 23:59 hours.
This indicates that only less than a minute is left for the 24 hour-day to end. Therefore, when 11:59 PM passes, a new day comes when the clock indicates 00:00 hours or midnight.
As we have noted, a complete day is made up of 24 hours. What this means is that for us to experience a complete “today”, we must experience it from midnight (00:00 hours/midnight) to 23:59 hours/11:59 PM.
Therefore, when someone tells you that they expect something tomorrow, it means that today must pass; or rather we must pass 11:59 PM and transition to 12 AM or 00:00 hours because that would be a new day (tomorrow).
Now, if your instructor tells you that your assignment is due tomorrow at 11:59 PM, it means that they expect the assignment the next day one minute before midnight.
For example, if today is Friday the 16th and the instructor has told students that their assignment is due tomorrow at 11:59 PM, they will have to submit their work by Saturday the 17th at 11:59 PM. If students submit their work one minute after that, they will have delivered on a Sunday morning (12 AM or 00:00 hours).
If you submit your assignment at exactly 11:59 PM, you are okay because you have not breached the deadline.
An important thing you should note as students is that when your instructors ask you to submit your assignment, they tell you to do so via plagiarism-checking tools such as Turnitin or Blackboard. Such tools set their default deadlines at 11:59 PM because it is the end of a complete day.
They do not count the seconds between 11:59 PM and 12 AM. According to such tools, you only need to submit your work before the clock in your time zone reads 00:00 hours or midnight.
As noted, students should make sure that they upload their assignments before midnight because the assignments will be past due.
If you are submitting your assignment at 11:59 PM, it means that you only have less than 1 minute (60 seconds) to upload your assignment files.
To ensure that your assignment is successfully uploaded within a few seconds, it is best to upload it as one file to avoid wasting time. It takes more time to upload several files, meaning that you will be late.
Bearing in mind that you only have a few seconds to upload your assignment files, you should use fast internet. Fast internet will allow you to upload your files within a short time and beat the deadline.
Slow internet is not only annoying but it can make you submit your work past the deadline because by the time it uploads the complete file, the 59-second window will have passed.
This should be an obvious thing to do. Your computer should be plugged in to ensure that there are no disruptions when uploading your assignment files.
Small file sizes can be uploaded faster compared to larger files. Additionally, if your internet is slow, the process of uploading a small-size file will be faster.
Larger files will take more time even when there is moderate-speed internet.
It is also very important to not close the window or tab of your browser as you are uploading your assignment. This is because if you close, the window or tab will take more time to reload the content and this will make you late.
Finally, it is important to wait until the uploaded assignment has been confirmed.
Do not be in a hurry to close the browser window/tab before confirming that the file upload has been successful.
This is because it might not be successful at times and you may be required to retry uploading the file again.
Therefore, to avoid submitting your assignments late and consequently being penalized, take note of the explanations and tips in this article.
With over 10 years in academia and academic assistance, Alicia Smart is the epitome of excellence in the writing industry. She is our chief editor and in charge of the writing department at Grade Bees.