Skip over navigation

Advanced Academic Strategies Workshop Series

Spring 2014

The McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning is offering a series of hands-on, active, and process-focused workshops in which students learn and apply strategies designed expressly for the highly demanding Princeton University context. Led by McGraw's Associate Director, Nic Voge, the emphasis is on advanced and innovative techniques for purposeful and efficient learning. Students apply the strategies to their own course materials whenever possible during the workshops and, ideally, make a one-to-one follow-up appointment in The McGraw Center which builds upon what they learned in the workshop.

The strategies introduced emerge from a common core of research-based learning principles and comprise an integrated strategic approach. While each workshop can stand alone, the series is designed to build on itself and thus reinforce the core principles, and yet is sequenced to be responsive to the current demands of the semester (e.g. midterms).


Organizing Your Semester for Balance and Success

Map out your semester from the very start!

Balance academics with everything else Princeton has to offer. Learn about the biggest organizational and time management challenges from Princeton upperclassmen—so you can overcome them. Try out proven practical techniques and tools. Find out about fundamental principles of time management and self-management that allow you to adapt to new, unexpected situations. Prevent procrastination before it prevents you from getting things done!

Bring to the workshop the syllabi from each of your courses and leave with a useful toolkit for:

  • Efficiently schedule your whole semester
  • Manage time on a daily and weekly basis
  • Getting more out of your study time
  • Using to-do lists more effectively

This is an active, hands-on workshop in which you will apply strategies to YOUR own courses. Individualized follow-up appointments with staff in the McGraw Center in Frist can be arranged.

Friday, Feb. 7, 1:30-3:00 p.m.,  330 Frist
Wednesday, Feb. 12, 4:30-6:00 p.m., 330 Frist


Managing Large Amounts of Information: Blueprinting Your Courses

Got a huge reading load

Want to learn some methods for managing the large amounts of information assigned in your courses?

Learn how to "blueprint" your courses so that you can read, take lecture notes, and study more purposefully and efficiently.

The Blueprinting Approach--a set of researched-based strategies--is expressly designed for reading-intensive Princeton courses, but can be adapted to any course.

Bring a course syllabus to apply this innovative method to one of your own courses during this hands-on, practical workshop.

Friday, Feb. 14, 1:30-3:00 p.m., 330 Frist
Wednesday, Feb. 19, 4:30-6:00 p.m., 330 Frist


Making the Most of Princeton Language Courses

Studying a foreign language at Princeton can be both time-consuming and challenging. Join us for this McGraw workshop if you would like to learn how to successfully balance your language course alongside your other classes while developing strategies to more effectively and efficiently move towards fluency. Hear tried-and-true tips from experienced upperclassmen and come find out how to enjoy instead of just “get through” your language classes!

This is an active, hands-on workshop in which you will apply strategies to your own courses… as such, please bring the syllabus for your language course and any class material that you find particularly demanding.

Sunday, Feb. 16, 4:30-6:00 p.m., 330 Frist

Can’t make this time? Make an appointment for a learning consultation to address language learning at Princeton.


Strategies for Efficient Reading

Learn How to Maximize Your Reading Efficiency

To achieve academic success at Princeton it is crucial for students to develop superior strategies for reading and learning from text. In this workshop you will learn: 

  • an approach that helps you align your learning strategies to instructor objectives
  • techniques for reading various kinds of academic texts
  • strategies for enhancing retention and recall
  • methods for reading faster and more efficiently

This is an active, hands-on workshop in which you will learn specific strategies by applying them. 

Friday, Feb. 21, 1:30-3:00 p.m., 330 Frist
Wednesday, Feb. 26, 4:30-6:00 p.m., 330 Frist


Efficient Mid-Term Exam Preparation: Determining What to Study & How

Performing well on exams is critical to success in your courses. In this workshop you will learn proven methods for preparing yourself to meet the unique demands of Princeton exams and truly excel.

This is an active hands-on workshop in which you will work on materials from YOUR own current courses. So, bring a syllabus or two and any other information from your courses such as previous exams (check Blackboard) that might be useful in preparing for midterms.

Friday, Feb. 28, 1:30–3:00 p.m., 330 Frist--THE 2/28/14 WORKSHOP HAS BEEN CANCELED.
Wednesday, Mar. 5, 4:30-6:00 p.m., 330 Frist


Developing an Effective Plan for Managing Independent Work

Hoping to make spring break productive?

The Princeton JP and Senior Thesis represent exciting opportunities for students to explore and contribute to the scholarship of their discipline. At the same time, independent work requires new skills and strategies for task and time management of a large time-consuming project. Avoiding procrastination and making the most of available time over spring break can pose a challenge of its own. In this workshop you will:

  • reflect on obstacles that are impeding the progress of your work and discuss strategies to overcome them
  • create a plan to manage your project, find balance and make the most of your Spring Break
  • analyze  the demands of your project and identify resources available to support you

**Upon registering, you will be invited to propose specific questions or items you would like addressed in the workshop.**

Friday, Mar. 14, 1:30-3:00 p.m., 330 Frist


Understanding and Overcoming Procrastination

Is procrastination an obstacle to maintaining balance and achieving academic success?

If so, you are not alone.  Up to 80% of college students report that procrastination has been a significant issue. Procrastination is not a matter of mere “laziness” and the solution is not simply “better time management”. In order to overcome procrastination it is vital that you understand its root causes and motivational dynamics. It is also vital to learn an array of (sometimes counter-intuitive) strategies and techniques for dealing with it.

In this workshop you will:

  • Gain a deeper awareness of what procrastination is and why people do it
  • Understand the motivational dynamics and mind games that perpetuate procrastination
  • Learn a variety of techniques for managing procrastination

All participants can arrange individualized follow-up appointments.

Wednesday, Apr. 2, 4:30-6:00 p.m., 330 Frist


Final Exam Prep/Making the Most of Reading Week

In this workshop you will learn ways to organize and use your time to study for final exams effectively and efficiently. Gain strategies to:

  • make a realistic schedule
  • create an effective study plan
  • enhance efficient study, retention, and recall.

This is an active, hands-on workshop in which you will learn specific strategies and leave with useful resources. Bring the syllabi from your courses.

Friday, May 2, 1:30-3:00 p.m., 330 Frist
Wednesday, May 7, 5:00-5:50 p.m., 330 Frist