Sat. Apr 13th, 2024

Were you unsatisfied with your grades last semester? Wish that you had better study habits, test taking and note taking skills? This is possible because the academic success workshops are back and ready to help students to be the best that one can be. The academic success workshop is a free program developed by the Learning Assistance Resource Center (LARC) located in the Lawrence Center. Workshops are four weeks long, with the topics changing weekly. The topics that the workshop will cover are time management/distributed study, note taking, testing formats/test anxiety, and essay writing, in that order.

The first work shop of the semester is currently in progress and there will be another starting up after spring break. Workshops are held on Thursdays at 3:15 p.m. in the LARC.

According to Adam Wassel, the graduate assistant at the LARC who facilitates the program this year, the general purpose of the workshop is to offer study skills and techniques that any student can use in any class that they take.

He also believes that the majority of a student’s education will take place outside of the classroom. This is crucial because the LARC cannot offer tutoring in every class that WCU has to offer, which is the main reason that these workshops. The workshops began at the request of students as well as faculty members from various departments.

“Universal skills can be applied no matter what your year or major is,” Wassel said.

“For younger students it will highlight the difference between high school and college as well as for older and nontraditional students to make the transition back into school or into the real world. People think these skills are assumed, but not all know what is expected,” Wassel added.

So far the success of the program, that began last semester has been overwhelmingly positive according to Wassel. He hopes that students will actively participate and ultimately get the most out of the workshop.

“I would like students to leave with a clearer idea that the more you put into your education, the more you will get out of it,” Wassel said.

Wassel gave an anecdote of a student who was sent to last semester workshop by their advisor and was reluctant to enjoy it at first. However after the conclusion of the first week the student approached Wassel and said, “I’ll be back next week. It was really cool.”

Each workshop will give students different skills that are needed to succeed in the college environment. The time management sessions give students a clearer idea of how much time they are expected to spend outside the classroom on coursework. Also during this session it is discussed how students can consolidate their time to get the most out of the little time they spend with their textbooks.

“It’s about working smarter, not harder,” Wassel said.

The note taking sessions covers the Cornell system of note taking, which is a proven system of keeping notes organized. It also teaches to not attempt to write down every word the professor says as this can result in missing most of the lecture. The session also helps to make notes that are not just thorough, but also to make notes better study aides.

The test taking session goes over various exam formats and how students can prepare for them. Also test anxiety is discussed both how to identify it and overcome it. The session stresses that students should not throw away returned and corrected exams even if they did not do as well as they hoped to. Returned exams can serve as the best study aides for future tests and finals.

In the essay writing session, various brainstorming techniques are discussed as well as how to work with a strong thesis statement and most importantly the revision process. It is stressed that even the best writers do not get it right the first time, which surprises a lot of people.

“Writing effective essays isn’t nearly as difficult as some people think it is; people often view an essay as one big job, when really, it’s a series of small jobs. I’m an English major, so I usually enjoy the Essay Writing sessions the most,” Wassel said.

The remaining times for session are as follows: time management: March 12th, note taking: March 19th , test taking /anxiety: March 26th and essay writing is on Feb. 19th and April 2nd.

For students who are unsure about grades or study habits, and wanting to change that, LARC would be one place to go for improvements. If students want to learn new techniques on how to break bad habits and develop beneficial routines in the remaining years of one’s education, stop by LARC or contact Adam Wassel at to register.

Samantha Greenberg is a second-year student majoring in English. She can be reached at

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