Skip over navigation

Advanced Academic Strategies Workshop Series

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).


Fall 2015

Making The Academic Transition To Princeton: Student Panel

Achieving success at Princeton requires that students adjust. Get strategies and advice for achieving balance and academic success from Princeton juniors and seniors. Learn about campus academic resources, too.
Friday, Sept. 18, 2:00-3:00 p.m. in 330 Frist Campus Center
RSVP to reserve a space.

Succeeding in your Discussion-Based Class: How to Prepare and Engage in Seminars and Precepts

In this 60-minute session, students will learn how to succeed in discussion-based classes. Over dinner, we will outline and then practice strategies to help with three tasks commonly associated with such courses:
  • Managing reading assignments
  • Maximizing participation during class or precepts
  • Preparing to write papers.
Participants will also have time to reflect on what changes they would like to implement immediately.
Tuesday, Sept. 22, 6:00-7:00 p.m., Mathey College Private Dining Room (over dinner)
RSVP  to reserve a space.

Make the Most of your Textbook and Course Resources: Chemistry and Life Sciences

Textbooks in chemistry and the life sciences are common course resources. While they are assigned with the intent to assist the learning process, textbooks themselves can often become a challenge due to their dense text and the sheer amount of material. In this workshop, we will discuss how to most efficiently learn with a chemistry and life sciences textbook and associated reading assignments and importantly, how to use cues from lecture, precept, and assignments to guide our reading.
Wednesday, Sept. 23, 6:00-7:00 p.m., Whitman College Private Dining Room (over dinner)
RSVP to reserve a space.

Mapping 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.

Wednesday, Sept. 23, 9:00-10:00 p.m., Butler D028
RSVP  to reserve a space.
Friday, Sept. 25, 2:00-3:00 p.m. in 330 Frist Campus Center
RSVP to reserve a space.

Make the Most of your Textbook and Course Resources: Physical Sciences and Mathematics

Textbooks can be underutilized resource in the physical sciences and mathematics due to their length and technical density, although they contain a vast wealth of information. In this informal dinner time workshop, we will go over common techniques for using textbooks in the physical sciences, particularly in:
  • Grasping the big picture
  • Building more practical tools for problem sets
Students will come away with techniques to best utilize their textbook and take on the semester!
(all students are encouraged to bring a textbook from one of their introductory physical science or mathematics courses to use as we go through our helpful techniques)
Monday, Sept. 28, 6:00-7:00 p.m., Butler College Private Dining Room (over dinner)
RSVP to reserve a space.

Efficient Learning Strategies: Managing Large Amounts of Information

Looking for more effective—and efficient—study strategies?  Because of the large amounts of information assigned and the compressed schedule of midterm exam week, you need to prioritize, organize and study course content as the course unfolds. Waiting until exam week to study just doesn’t work.  Learn several different study methods applicable to a variety of courses so that you can read, take lecture notes, and study more purposefully and efficiently in ALL of your courses.
Wednesday, Sept. 30, 9:00-10:00 p.m., Location: Butler D028 
RSVP  to reserve a space.
Friday, Oct. 2, 2:00-3:00 p.m. in 330 Frist Campus Center 
RSVP  to reserve a space.

Advanced Reading & Learning from Text Strategies

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.

Wednesday, Oct. 7, 9:00-10:00 p.m., Butler D028
RSVP to reserve a space              

Friday, Oct. 9, 2:00-3:00 p.m. in 330 Frist Campus Center               
RSVP to reserve a space

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 at:
Wednesday, Oct. 14, 9:00-10:00 p.m., Location: TBA 
RSVP to reserve a space.