Students study together at the University Writing Center. MAYA HOOD | THE POLY POST

Tutoring tools for finals

The semester might be coming to a close but there’s still some time to get up to speed before finals week arrives.

The Learning Resource Center (LRC), located on the second floor of the library (Building 15), supports students through tutoring, workshops, test preparation and academic skills tutoring to ensure students succeed in their courses. 

The LRC includes tutoring and is home to the Writing Center and the Reading, Advising, & Mentoring Program (RAMP).  Tutoring at the LRC comes in one-on-one tutoring for all subjects and small group tutoring for classes on topics such as math, science, business, social sciences, engineering, etc., so it’s not separated by disciplines.  

Students study together at the University Writing Center. (Maya Hood / The Poly Post)

Students can come to the LRC as walk-ins or by appointment. Unlimited drop-in sessions are allowed as long as students have a 30-minute break between each session. 

If students want to learn how to deal with stress, improve their studying skills, learn strategies for becoming better test takers, or learn to become better communicators, the LRC can help with that too.

Tracy McDonald, director of the LRC and a math lecturer, said attending the workshops helps to acquire new skills. 

“A lot of times we’re under the impression that [we are] learning when we’re memorizing,” McDonald said.

She said the important thing to learn is recalling the information and applying it, not just memorizing.

The center also recently started supplemental instruction, which is a peer-assisted study approach to learning for classes that have high DUF numbers, meaning where most of the students enrolled received a D or an F. 

“It’s not re-teaching, it’s not reviewing, it’s really where they tackle a difficult concept and through different techniques all to build collaborative learning,” McDonald said.

At the Writing Center, located on the other side of where tutoring takes place, students can get help with any type of essay or report with a thesis tutor. 

Also, if students are seeking help preparing for the Graduation Writing Test (GWT), there are consultants present every day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

Students can also practice for the test by choosing practice prompts. 

A student can pick a prompt, sit down and write for 75 minutes — which is how long the GWT is and see if the essay would get a passing grade.

Alexis Jara, a lead clerical assistant at the LRC, said the Writing Center is useful for any class.

“They mainly help with structure and grammar so sometimes people think they can help with the content, like if it’s a history paper, [but] they won’t help you fact check,” Jara said. 

Online tutoring can be accessed through Blackboard. However, it can take up to 72 business hours for a tutor to respond. 

Subject-based workshops that allow struggling students to get extra help are also available on chemistry, math, physics, engineering, etc. 

A workshop schedule can be found on the website. RAMP, located behind the Writing Center, does not provide tutoring to all students but serves students who are low-income, first generation, and students who have disabilities. For more information about the LRC and its different programs visit

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