ASAP: Academic Success at Princeton
The Office of the Dean of the College offers a wide spectrum of resources for academic success, all at no additional cost to you. Keep in mind that it is normal and expected that you will be intellectually challenged in many aspects of your academic work, and that you will need help outside the classroom. It is much more constructive to seek this help early on, rather than waiting until you feel lost or overwhelmed.
Note that these resources do not exclude each other: you may want to join a study group and attend review sessions, or visit study hall for one course and work with an individual tutor for another. Your residential college dean or director of studies can help you decide which resources might be best for you.
Office Hours and Review Sessions
All Princeton instructors—from those teaching the largest lectures to those leading the smallest seminars and precepts—offer office hours open to their undergraduate students. Office hours with professors or instructors are an excellent place to start if you need some academic help. Your instructor can explain concepts that you are struggling with, offer guidance in problem-solving techniques, and refer you to additional resources. In quantitative fields such as math or chemistry, course heads often organize review sessions (weekly, or before exams). Led by graduate student instructors, these optional meetings provide students with an additional resource for learning course material. For a schedule of review sessions this term, visit http://www.princeton.edu/asap/review_sessions/
McGraw Study Hall @ Frist
McGraw’s study hall offers academic support in introductory chemistry, economics, mathematics, physics, and integrated science. Experienced, trained undergraduate tutors are available four evenings a week to guide students through learning strategies for course materials, thinking through problem sets and the concepts underlying them, and preparing for exams. Located on the 300 level of Frist Campus Center, no appointments are necessary; McGraw Study Hall is open Sunday through Wednesday evenings from 7:30 – 10:30 pm throughout the semester. For a complete list of courses supported, visit http://www.princeton.edu/asap/mcgraw_study_halls/
Study Groups in the Residential Colleges—Chemistry, Math, and Physics
Valedictorian David Karp ‘10 explained that much of his academic success was due to working with friends and classmates in study groups. To help freshmen and sophomores excel in core chemistry, physics, and math classes, the residential colleges and the McGraw Center are organizing tutor-facilitated study groups in those fields. Led by department-recommended tutors and resident graduate students, the study groups will meet regularly during the semester at a time that works for everyone in the group. These small groups offer continuity, meeting weekly to work on problem sets and strategies for applying concepts in exams, but also emphasize stepping back from the problems to review concepts and material and get a big picture.
Tutor-facilitated study groups are offered for PHY 103; CHM 201 and 303; and Calculus (MAT 103-201). The groups are publicized through the course instructors.
Individual Peer Tutoring
If you are encountering challenges in a course that you believe can best be addressed through individual work with a tutor, contact your dean or director of studies. Free one-on-one peer tutoring is available most commonly for introductory courses in chemistry, physics, biology, math, economics, and foreign languages. Individual tutoring may be especially helpful if you feel like you need help with specific parts of a course, or if your previous experience did not include preparation in an essential topic that you
need for a class. Your tutor will set up a schedule with you; if you have difficulty finding a time to meet, don’t give up. Contact your Director of Studies who may be able to assign you a different tutor. Individual tutoring is most effective if you begin early, since it can be more complicated to start meeting late in the semester. http://www.princeton.edu/tutoring.
[Please note that students may engage only the services of tutors in the Princeton undergraduate tutoring program and the Writing Center. Private tutors fall outside this program, and students are in violation of University regulations if they engage the service of private tutors (see Rights, Rules, Responsibilities).]
The Writing Center offers student writers free one-on-one tutoring sessions with experienced fellow writers trained to consult on assignments in any discipline. Writing Center Fellows offer advice on every aspect of the writing process, from getting started to developing a thesis, structuring an argument, and revising a draft. Juniors and seniors working on independent research projects, such as the JP and Senior Thesis, may work with a graduate Writing Center Fellow in extended appointments.