Academic Achievement Center, CMHS to provide student resources for Finals Week


A sign advertising CMHS as a resource for students. (File/The Daily Campus)

As finals week approaches, the University of Connecticut’s Academic Achievement Center (AAC) is providing students with resources for exam preparation, including a five-day study guide.

With finals week beginning Dec. 12 and ending Dec. 18, some students will now begin to calculate the grade they will need for their final exams, First Year Programs and AAC Assistant Director Leo Lachut said.

“Throughout the semester, we try to give students what we call, ‘strategic academic counseling,’” Lachut said. “We help students understand the worth of each assignment so it doesn’t come down to the final exam to save their grade.”

From Dec. 1 to Dec. 9, the AAC is hosting the Finals Grind, a program in which students are instructed by an undergrad-student coach on how to study for finals.

Students bring any or all of each of their courses’ study materials, such as notes and homework, to the AAC and the coach will divide each subject’s work into a five-day study guide.

“Studying small-chunks overtime help with long-term memory,” Lachut said.

As an incentive to participate in the program, students will be entered into a contest for a $25 gift-card giveaway to a local Storrs restaurant.

“We want you to be confident when you go into the exam,” Lachut said. “I want you (the student) to drop the pen like a microphone.”

While the AAC aids students in academic preparation, UConn’s Counseling and Mental Health Services (CMHS) has increased nonscheduled staff in order to offer stress-management for any students who feel anxious about exam week.

CMHS is offering breathing, meditation and cognitive techniques to help students uphold their mental health, CMHS Director Elizabeth J. Cracco said.

“We see students cramming and not sleeping which is one of the worst things you can do cognitively,” Cracco said.

Students also tend to engage in end-of-semester events and substance abuse before setting down to long, intense study period days, Cracco said.

“Partying hard usually disrupts working hard,” Cracco said.

Students should aim to get a steady amount of sleep and keep a healthy diet during Finals Week, Cracco said.

In addition to stress management techniques, the Health Education office will provide pet-therapy and massage chairs for students during Finals Week.

The AAC will be open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday.

CMHS will be open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Neel Razdan is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at

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