Improving Grades Without Studying More helps students this fall

By: Brittany Wargo

Improving grades while cutting down on study time may seem like a pipe dream to some. However, this is what The University of Akron’s Counseling Center taught students to do at a free workshop Tuesday.

“Improve Your Grades Without Studying More!” was hosted by Donna McDonald, PhD. The center regularly offers workshops as part of their “College Survival Kit” series to help students succeed both academically and in life.

Tuesday’s workshop aimed to teach students strategies to improve attention, understanding and memory.

“I’m here because I can never remember things when I am studying. I heard these workshops really help,” UA student Stephanie Deem said.

These workshops can help students learn how to earn better grades on tests by learning to manage time, what to eat and how to stay motivated when stressed out.

McDonald also explained how helpful joining an organization can be for students who wish to improve their scores.

“Students who join organizations tend to do better and stay in school,” McDonald said.

Along with slide show presentations, the workshop asked students to take short quizzes to assess how they deal with studying for a test.  Students also learned breathing techniques to help them relax and focus while doing school work. The exercises are available at

McDonald also suggested that students create a two-hour study block. Students should find a quiet place without distractions and study nonstop for about two hours before taking a five-minute break to help get the brain on track.

“I think the best plan is the study block plan to become more successful. It can help you become more efficient when you study,” McDonald said.

“This workshop was great!” student Carrie Wall said. “It helped me learn how to get over my test anxiety, and the breathing technique really worked for me when she [McDonald] was teaching it to us.”

The Counseling Center is located in Room 306 of Simmons Hall. A complete schedule of workshops is available online at