Plan To Succeed

Are you overwhelmed with the demands of university? Were you hoping for better results than you’ve been seeing? Like all first year students, you may still be adjusting to university life.

It is important to know that if you regularly evaluate what works and what doesn’t work, and access supports when needed, success is possible. Every test you take, every paper you write – all are giving you essential information you can use to evaluate your progress. No one plans to fail, but you can plan to succeed.

The following resources can help you make effective changes so you can get the grades you know you are capable of.

What Happened? Where To Go For Help
I’m having trouble understanding the content for my course.

target=_blank>Talking to your professor is the first step. Schedule an appointment or use your professor’s office hours to sit down and review what you are concerned about.

If you need assistance in developing stronger learning and study strategies, the Academic Learning Centre (ALC) offers individual appointments, as well as workshops, and online materials to you at no cost. They also offer a Tutor Registry to help you find a qualified tutor in your area of need.

The Faculty of Science offers a variety of options for extra help in the first year Science courses.

I've received a low grade on my written assignment or paper.

Review the feedback you received on your written assignment, as it should indicate the areas that need improvement. Refer to your target=_blank>course syllabus to make sure you followed the requirements in the assignment. Sometimes your writing is fine, but you received a low grade because you did not follow assignment instructions.

Talk with your professor during office hours or make an appointment to discuss the paper and ask how you can improve the next paper.

The ALC offers multiple writing resources such as writing tutors and writing and citing handouts that can help you make the changes necessary to improve on your next assignments.

I’ve received lower grades on my tests and exams than I thought I would.

Think about how much you studied before the test or exam and how you studied. Reviewing your course content regularly over days and weeks before an exam or test is preferable over cramming your studies into one or two nights beforehand.

The type of studying you do should be different for multiple choice questions versus long answer questions. Make the most of your studies by tailoring your style to match the exam format. The ALC can help you learn strategies for studying and test-taking preparation.

If you are experiencing severe anxiety or a sense that you may ‘blank out’ when writing a test, consider attending a Student Counselling and Career Centre workshop that addresses exam anxiety and successful stress management strategies so that you are at your best.

I don’t ever seem to have enough time to get everything done!

It is important to pay attention to how you spend your time. You may be overcommitted and may need to adjust/limit commitments until school is done for the term or the year.

Now that you have some classroom experience and have worked through assignments and prepared for tests, is the amount of time you’re giving to your studies enough?

I’ve changed my mind about which faculty I want to enter.

Research your new target program through Career Services to make sure it’s a good fit.

Academic advisors can help you plan for admission to a new program based on what you’ve already completed. U1 advisors are available in the First Year Centre to advise you in person, by phone and by email throughout the year.

My current grades are not competitive for admission to my intended faculty.

There are multiple options and resources you can use to help you earn higher grades.

The ALC offers individual appointments for you to address any specific study or learning concerns you may encounter along with their online resources.

Academic advisors can help you understand admission requirements and help you come up with a recovery plan based on your target faculty requirements.

  • Repeating a course may be a necessary option
  • Considering another admission route or an alternate degree program may be a possibility

See a U1 advisor in the First Year Center to begin your planning.

Career Services can also help identify alternate programs based on your skills and interests.

I can’t focus on school because I’m lonely, isolated, homesick, anxious or depressed

There are a wide variety of specialized resources and people you can talk to about how you are feeling, how to be connected to others on campus and how to live a healthy lifestyle at university.

Get Connected:

  • Student Counselling and Career Centre (SCCC)
  • Peer Advisors
  • University Health Service (UHS)

    Stay Healthy and Active:

  • Health and Wellness
  • Recreation Services

    Get Involved:

  • Student Life
  • Student Experience
  • UMSU Student Groups



  • May 8, 2014