Five Academic Tools to Help You Crush This Semester

Students share their secrets to getting ahead and staying ahead in classes.

By Theo Schwinke

Now’s the perfect time to establish good study habits that will see you through the semester. We talked to five students about the resources they use to get the jump on their classes — all offered to Mizzou students at no additional cost.  

Tiger Tutors

For senior Tabitha Houska, Tiger Tutors has made an enormous difference over the course of her academic career:

“I found Tiger Tutors my freshman year when I was struggling through biochemistry. Having a tutor who’s also a student explain concepts really made it all click. Because of them, I’ve been able to ace my classes here at Mizzou.”

– Tabitha Houska

Tiger Tutors offers drop-in small-group sessions where you can ask questions, review material and discuss homework with peer tutors who have gotten an A- or better in your class. .

Tiger Tutors is perfect for you if you need help with the most common courses. The Tiger Tutors schedule for the fall semester features sessions for some of Mizzou’s most popular subjects, including chemistry, biochemistry, math, physics and Spanish.


Pursuing four majors, junior Trisana Hardin has a busy schedule. When she needs extra support, she turns to NetTutor

“I wanted help this summer with calculus — math is not my strong suit. I had used NetTutor in the past and really liked how they were able to help in a wide variety of subjects in a way that fit my schedule.”

– Trisana Hardin

NetTutor connects you with online tutors who help you work through problems so you will be confident in your own results. You may work with a live tutor, submit a question to the online Q&A center, or review archives of previous tutoring sessions. 

“If you need help with a course that’s not covered by Tiger Tutors, you can find it on NetTutor,” said Caitlin Danborn, tutoring coordinator in the Learning Center. “They cover an extensive list of subjects, including upper-level and niche courses. For some high demand courses, they even offer 24-7 support, so if you need help at 3 a.m., they’ve got you covered.”  

Academic Coaching

When grad student Heather Gaudette wanted to pick up new learning strategies, she turned to the free Academic Coaching services of the Learning Center:

“The academic coaches helped me adapt my learning techniques, my time management skills and my test-taking strategies. Now I’m thriving! I’m doing great in my courses, and it really feels like I can tackle anything.”

– Heather Gaudette

Academic Coaching lets you schedule one-on-one meetings to learn and practice studentship skills, such as effective notetaking, study strategies, time management, and identifying resources so you can make the most of your time.

While Academic Coaching is especially useful to students making the transition from high school to college, it isn’t exclusively for first-year students or entry-level courses. “If you want to learn how to be a good student, give yourself a head start and check it out right away,” Danborn said.

The Writing Center

When senior Kennedy Rowe needs help with writing of any kind, they go to the Writing Center.

“I’ve used the Writing Center for the past four years. You get feedback right away from real people on grammar, organization and effective communication with your audience. And it’s not just class papers. They can help with cover letters, essays and résumés, too.”

– Kennedy Rowe

The Writing Center helps writers at all levels at all stages of any writing project. Meet with writing tutors in-person or via Zoom appointments or get help asynchronously via the Online Writery. Tutors focus on the broad aspects of your writing before moving on to the finer detail work.

“If you’re overwhelmed, confused or just don’t know how to begin a writing assignment, visit the Writing Center,” said Abigail Klapatauskas, a Writing Center tutor. “We want to empower you with confidence while you brainstorm, write and revise your writing projects.” 

The Disability Center

As a student with a documented disability, sophomore AnnaBelle Massman counts on the support of the Disability Center to remove potential obstacles to her learning and help her adjust to college life:

“I came from a very small school, so coming to Mizzou was a big change for me. The Disability Center helped set up the academic accommodations I needed to access my education. They also made me feel welcome and a part of the community. Now I’m involved in campus organizations, and I’ve made the dean’s list!”

– AnnaBelle Massman

The Disability Center advocates for equal access and inclusion of Mizzou’s students with disabilities. It facilitates provision of accommodations to students, offers educational programming and provides consultation to the university community.

Disability Center Director Ashley Brickley emphasizes the diversity of disability. “We work with students with all types of disabilities, ranging from learning disabilities and chronic illness to mental health disorders and physical and sensory disabilities,” she said. “Success is up to the student, but we provide accommodations to address the barriers that may get in their way.”

Whether you’re just starting out on your Mizzou journey or about to graduate, these proven resources can help you achieve more this semester.