First-term Grades and Academic Advising

As first-term grades begin to appear, many students question their academic decisions and future path. If a student is concerned, he or she should meet with their Academic Advisor as soon as possible to discuss the situation. Students often get focused on one lofty goal and if they see it slipping away, they lose focus and motivation. We encourage students to forget the goals (temporarily) when studying and enjoy the learning for its own sake.

The first year of university is …

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Study Spaces

Study spaces in Mills, Innis & Thode libraries are organized into learning zones. The purpose of the Learning Zones is to promote the library as a space for research, reflection, discovery and learning. A set of expectations, benefits and cautions is associated with each zone and students are encouraged to select the zone that best meets their needs. Each of the library learning zones establishes basic expectations for acceptable behaviour that are enforced under the Regulations Governing Personal Behaviour.

Study spaces …

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Spring and Summer Courses

If students are unsure whether taking a summer course is beneficial, they should speak with their academic advisor.

Students from outside the Hamilton area may also want to consider the option of taking courses on Letter of Permission. This allows students to take courses at another university for credit at McMaster. Students who wish to explore this option should contact their academic advisor in their respective Associate Dean’s office. A student must achieve a minimum grade of C- or 60 per …

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Cumulative Average

A student’s cumulative average is a weighted average based on all graded courses taken at McMaster University.

To find out more about the grading system employed at McMaster University and to see an example of how the cumulative average is calculated, explore the Grading System section of the Undergraduate Calendar on the Registrar site.

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Exam Anxiety

Exam anxiety is the most common concern for students towards the end of each academic term.  It is important to recognize that feeling anxious is normal before any big event.  If, however, anxiety reaches a level where it prevents a student from functioning normally (e.g. sleeplessness), it becomes a bigger concern.  Students experiencing symptoms like this should seek help from The Student Wellness Centre.

Any student experiencing concerns about their final exam schedule, should meet with their Academic Advisor located in …

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What happens if a student is ill?

If a student misses academic work, he or she can access the McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF) through MUGSI to report absences of up to five days. The MSAF enables students to request relief for any missed academic work. Please note, however, this tool cannot be used during final examination periods. A maximum of one un-documented Academic Work Missed request can be submitted per term.

Note, the form should be filled out immediately when you are about to return to class …

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Selecting a Level II Program

With the completion of term 1, level I students should be considering their course selection for Level II. For information on this process, students can visit their faculty website or drop in to their faculty office.

Typically, each faculty will host Level II program fairs and/or information sessions on this process. These events are a great opportunity for students to meet academic advisors, faculty and undergraduate students from various departments to discuss program details, admission requirements, application procedures, upper-level course selection …

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Reducing Course Load

As the first term progresses, many students find they cannot manage the workload for a variety of reasons. This is particularly true for students who have been ill and missed a significant amount of work. Often the quickest and best solution is to reduce the course load. Students can discuss the implications of reducing their course load with their academic advisor. They must take note of the sessional dates in the Undergraduate Calendar.

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Preparing for Exams

Preparation for exams begins when courses begin. Good study habits, time management, frequent review of course material and, if possible, relating course materials to everyday life will go a long way toward preparing students for final exams.

Parents can help by reminding students to:

Prepare a written study schedule which includes meals and sleep.
Take advantage of help and resources. If a professor offers a study guide, use it. If they offer a review session, attend it, and if previous exams are available, …

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Academic Advising

Each Faculty provides students with access to academic counselling from professional Academic Advisors who can provide assistance in many areas including:

course and program selection
registration procedures
preparation for a wide variety of post-degree initiatives, including graduate studies, professional studies and vocation
comprehensive academic direction that spans a student’s undergraduate educational career to help prepare for lifetime success
sensitive and encouraging alternatives for those who have not met their academic goals
admission information including assessment of advance credit for applicants from a wide range of educational …

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