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Thursday, October 06, 2022

Tutoring services provide boost come exam crunch time

Around October, brightly colored study guides, stacks of flashcards and coffee thermoses start popping up in the arms of students all over campus. 

Cram sessions and late nights at the library have always been college traditions, but UF students have been turning to alternative forms of studying to get the job done.

Tutoring and exam prep services on- and off-campus offer materials to help students review and test their knowledge before they have their dreaded lecture-hall exams.

UF offers free walk-in tutoring, appointments and review sessions at the Teaching Center, writing tutoring at the Reading and Writing Center and workshops through the Office of Academic Support.

Many students, however, choose to go off campus for studying supplements, such as exam reviews or weekly tutoring at TutoringZone and StudyEdge or note supplements from Smokin'Notes.

TutoringZone founder and CEO Matt Hintze said more than 11,000 individuals visited during the spring 2011 semester. Reviews and tutoring are offered for between 35 and 40 classes each semester. This fall, two journalism classes and one physiology class will be added to the list.

When students pay for a review session - usually $20 to $25 - they receive a fill-in review handout, a conceptual review, practice problems and solutions, and a mock exam with solutions.

A semester's worth of weekly reviews, usually around two hours each, costs between $180 and $200. Students can either attend live sessions or watch the review online with an access code provided in the study packet.

Accounting junior Yesenia Perez said she would "for sure" recommend going to TutoringZone for exam prep. However, she said it can lead to laziness in the class itself.

"TutoringZone can become a bad thing sometimes because you rely on it, so instead of watching the lectures for your actual class, you just go to TutoringZone," she said.

Marketing junior J.T. Madigan attended exam reviews for his chemistry, economics and accounting classes. He usually took the first exam in a class without going to TutoringZone, and if he wanted to score better than he did on that one, he would go for the following exams.

Waiting until after the first exam is not always a good idea, though, said Smokin'Notes president and owner Ryan Dix.

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Dix said he sees a lot of survey responses from students who say they wished they had started purchasing Smokin'Notes before their first exam instead of waiting.

However, Dix made it clear that supplemental learning isn't just for people who don't read their books or watch their lectures.

"We have students who maybe missed a class and want extra stuff in their notes all the way to someone who has a 4.0 and wants to get a 100 instead of a 95 on their exam," Dix said.

StudyEdge, TutoringZone and Smokin'Notes all have Facebook pages, which detail reviews and schedules. Students can also ask questions about specific exams on each page's wall.

Private tutors are also abundant in Gainesville. On its "Tutoring Resources" page, UF Student Government recommends students use, a Facebook application for tutoring.

Students can search for tutors, see reviews of tutors, schedule a tutoring section online and search by course code. Some of the tutors are volunteers and offer their services free of charge.


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