Making the Grade: Academic Issues at Berkeley

For many undergraduates, coming to UC Berkeley can be exciting, intimidating and maybe even alien.

The familiar and perhaps comforting world you came from quickly becomes a distant memory as small classrooms give way to larger lecture halls Now you might find yourself in the classroom with the professor who wrote the book you are reading. As for the competition, after being at the top of the class in your previous school, you might now think everyone around you is a former valedictorian. Making the academic transition to UC Berkeley can be a challenge. The competition, pace and intensity may be different than what you have experienced before. Even the most confident students realize that taking advantage of academic support services can make the world of difference. There are many academic resources and services that can help you strengthen your study strategy, test-taking, and time management skills.

As for graduate students, juggling life responsibilities with graduate school is stressful and overwhelming. You are in a marathon that requires mental, emotional and physical fortitude to get through the many hurdles. When faced with writing and project deadlines, procrastination and worries about whether you have chosen the right field can surface and create disturbances in your life.

For APIs, pursuing a degree whether it's a bachelor's, master's or Ph.D. is often not only for yourself but for your extended family as well. The pressure to succeed becomes more than a personal goal for various reasons.

Helpful Links

  • Academic in the Residence Halls has a comprehensive list of resources which includes tip sheets on preparing for midterms and finals:
    • Seven Day Procrastination Plan
    • How to Take Essay Tests
    • How to Manage Procrastination
    • Where, When, and How to Study
    • Do's and Don'ts
    • Midterm and Finals Prep Checklist
    • How and Why to Form a Study Group
    • How to Pull an All-Nighter
  • Student Learning Center is the primary academic support service at Berkeley. Their goal is to provide students with study skills, strategies and a support system to make the academic transition to Berkeley seamless and successful. In addition to offering tutoring, adjunct courses and study groups to support your classes, they offer several workshops and classes on:
    • Time Management & Procrastination
    • Motivation & Goal-setting
    • Effective Reading Strategies
    • Exam Preparation and Performance
    • Lecture Note-taking
    • Writing and Research
    • Public Speaking
  • Academic Adjustments Due to Illnesses
    In some instances, students become ill and must appeal to their College for adjustments to their schedule. The Colleges might require medical documentation to support their case. This website provides information on the medical verification process at University Health Services.
  • Campus Resources for Graduate Students
    Graduate Division Office provides information and resources on academic support services such as dissertation or grant writing and academic publishing; academic advising; mentoring; professional development workshops; teaching and resources for graduate student instructors.