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Wilfrid Laurier University Centre for Student Success
February 10, 2016

Canadian Excellence

Info for Parents

The Study Skills & S.I. Centre (SSC) enhances student academic life through the promotion of proper learning strategies and study skills that are required by all undergraduate and graduate students to succeed academically.

My child is a 1st-year student. What academic transition issues can we expect for her or him?

  • The following table outlines some of the key differences between the academic skills required in high school compared to those required in university. The table illustrates that there are both different expectations and higher expectations for university students. Incoming university students need to recognize that they may need to upgrade their academic skills upon entry to university to help them to succeed academically.

High School


Time Management
  • 35 hours in class
  • homework after school
  • time managed by others
  • 20 hours in lectures
  • tutorials, labs, and homework
  • time managed yourself
  • up to 80 pages per week
  • group reading
  • memorization and facts
  • up to 250 pages per week
  • individual reading
  • active reading and analysis
  • no preparation required
  • up to 35 students
  • passive listening
  • questions and answers
  • preparing for lectures required
  • up to 400 students
  • active listening
  • critical engagement
Note Taking
  • re-copy notes from overhead, slides, or black/white board
  • usually only notes from the classroom
  • responsible for determining the important points to record
  • responsible for synthesizing reading and lecture notes
  • study material provided
  • shorter period of time required
  • rote learning
  • study material must be created
  • long period of time required
  • active learning
Exams / Tests
  • focus on memorization and regurgitation of facts
  • some tests standardized
  • 1 hour
  • focus on critical analysis, understanding of concepts, application, and problem solving
  • 3 hours

What academic support services are available for my child?

My child needs academic support, what can I do?

  • Parents with children who are having academic difficulties are encouraged to have their child contact the SSC as soon as possible. Although the SSC appreciates that many parents want to assist their children by calling the SSC on their child's behalf, we believe that it is important for students to take responsibility for their education and for them to contact us directly.

What else can I do to assist my child?

  • A positive and realistic attitude toward your child's academic abilities and difficulties is suggested.
  • Discourage your child from traveling home unnecessarily. Most students do not use their study time effectively or efficiently while at home due to the large number of distractions: family, friends, chores, etc ... Alternatively, visit your child for a few hours on the weekend: go grocery shopping, go to a restaurant, go to a movie. Once you leave, your child can then return to their studying without distraction.