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 Senior 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).

Princeton Students can meet with a McGraw Learning Strategies Consultant to work on any of these topics. Daytime, evening, and weekend appointments are available.

Do you have suggestions about topics or issues for McGraw Undergraduate Programming? Email your ideas to

Fall 2018 Academic Strategies Workshops


I need a break, but I've got a lot of work! – Balancing Work and Play During  Winter Break

Lots to do? Limited time? Want to balance time with friends and family with getting ready for finals and deans date assignments? Come to this session to think through your demands and make a realistic plan for the break. You’ll get more done and enjoy the break more too.

Friday, December 7, 2:00-3:30 p.m. in 330 Frist Campus Center
to reserve a spot.

Wednesday, December 12, 4:30-6:00 p.m. in 330 Frist Campus Center
to reserve a spot.

How will I get it all done? – Planning for Dean's Date and Finals

This interactive workshop will focus on successful strategies for how to complete Dean's Date assignments efficiently and prepare for exams effectively. Come get your questions answered about managing one of Princeton's unique challenges. Discussion topics are time management, productivity, and dealing with stress.

Wednesday, January 9, 4:30-6:00 p.m. in 330 Frist Campus Center
to reserve a spot.

Friday, January 11, 2:00-3:30 p.m. in 330 Frist Campus Center
to reserve a spot.

Previously held Fall 2018 Academic Strategies Workshops

Princeton Students can meet with a McGraw Learning Strategies Consultant to work on any of these topics. Daytime, evening, and weekend appointments are available.

Feeling Confident for Midterms: Test Prep and Learning Strategies to Succeed this Midterm Season

Ready for your midterms? In this workshop you will learn proven methods for:

  • Anticipating and preparing for the kind of problems and questions you will be expected to answer on exams.
  • Selecting and prioritizing the most important information in your courses.
  • Synthesizing and reducing large amounts of information from multiple sources into manageable formats.
  • Organizing your knowledge in ways that promote deep learning, retention, and efficient recall.

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.

How does my professor expect me to do all this reading? Managing assigned readings

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, and methods for reading faster and more efficiently.  This is an active, hands-on workshop in which you will learn specific strategies by applying them.

Let's get a meal sometime: How to ensure academics don't overwhelm your social life

Princeton academics and extracurriculars pose unique time management challenges and offer incredible opportunities. Enhance your time (and task) management strategies so that you can have the kind of Princeton experience you want and achieve your most important goals while finding balance. This is an active, hands-on workshop in which you will learn specific strategies by applying them.

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 to efficiently schedule your whole semester, manage time on a daily and weekly basis. getting more out of your study time, and 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.

Not Like High School – Understanding (and coping with) How Princeton is Different

Many students find adjusting to the examination styles of each new course to be challenging, and it is usually around midterm time that this realization sets in. Turn the "shock" of midterms into a successful learning experience by reflecting, evaluating, and strategizing for the future. Join us for this Midterms Reflection Workshop.  Together we will:

  • Reflect on the midterm experience: what you learned, how you felt, what you would like to work on.
  • Discuss ways to adjust your mindset and approach to the course.
  • Learn how to evaluate your test results in a practical and constructive manner for future success.
  • Develop strategies for academic success in the remainder of the semester. 

There's so much to do!: What should I do the first week, when, and how? 

Learn from McGraw learning consultants (Princeton Juniors and seniors) practical strategies for starting your courses off strong and managing your time effectively so you can make the most of all that Princeton has to offer. Get their advice, ask your questions, leave with valuable resources.

Too Much to Learn, Too Little Time: How to Decide What to Study

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 efficiently.

Why do I keep putting things off? – Strategies for Getting Started and Finishing!

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. and Learn a variety of techniques for managing procrastination