Welcome to Learning Strategist Services

What does a learning strategist do?

A learning strategist can help you develop study skills, learn effective time management, prepare for exams, and more. Available for one-on-one appointments, the learning strategist can help you take a detailed look at your learning and find an individualized approach toward success.


Seton Academic Centre, Room 346
166 Bedford Highway, Halifax, NS


Book an Appointment

Meet the Learning Strategist

Learning Strategist and Student Success Coordinator

Centre for Academic Advising and Student Success

Mount Saint Vincent University

Hello Mount Community! My name is James Jollymore – I am the new MSVU Learning Strategist and Student Success Coordinator – having joined the Centre for Academic Advising and Student Success team in May. Previously, I worked as an Accessibility Consultant and Student Success Specialist at George Brown College (’03 – ’21) in Toronto. I grew up in River Hebert, NS, and completed both my undergraduate (class of ’97) and graduate (class of ’01) degrees at Acadia University.

I look forward to working one-on-one with MSVU students who would like support with learning strategies, holding workshops for students, coordinating, and facilitating UNIV 0001: University Student Success course, as well as coordinating the Supplemental Instruction program. Many opportunities to connect with students!

Outside of working in post-secondary, I find any opportunity to travel. Most recently I was in South America (pre-COVID) for 4 months exploring Uruguay, Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Peru. Experiencing other countries, cultures and languages has been an invaluable part of my life-long learning journey!


Seton Academic Centre, Room 346
166 Bedford Highway, Halifax, NS


Mount Saint Vincent University is located on Mi’kma’ki, the ancestral and unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq people.

Tips for Exam Preparation

Take time to make a plan:

  • Use strategies such as calendar blocking and to-do lists to plan your week

Check your knowledge:

  • Start your study session by writing everything you know on a piece of paper to determine the gaps in your knowledge. Use this to decide what to study first or where to spend more time.


  • Use the traffic light method to organize your material (Red=study first, Yellow=study second, Green=study last/review)

Use effective study strategies:


•      skim the test and before answering any questions

•      write down as many things you can recall about the topics

Read each question CAREFULLY:

•      underline key words

•      reword when necessary (e.g., turn a negative (-) statement into a positive (+) one

Go through the whole test once, in order.

•      Answer the questions you’re sure of.

•      Mark those you find difficult.

Return to any unanswered questions.

•      Still not sure?….make an educated guess.

Take your time: –

•      stop,

•      close your eyes,

•      focus on your breathing (20 secs) to re-focus/re-centre yourself.

Exam Planner

Note Taking Strategies

Cornell* Notes

Divide the paper into 3 sections:

  • Draw a horizontal line about 5 or 6 lines from the bottom.
  • Draw a vertical line about 2 inches from the left side of the page.
  • Draw a dark horizontal line over the top line.


  • Write course name, date and topic at the top of each page.

Write Notes

  • The large box to the right is for writing notes.
  • Skip a line between ideas and topics.
  • Use abbreviations and shorthand as much as possible (not complete sentences).
  • Review & clarify

Review the notes the same day.

  • Pull out main ideas, key points, dates, and people and write them in the column on the left.

Write a summary of the main ideas in the bottom section.

Reread your notes in the right column.

  • Spend most of your time studying the ideas in the left column and the summary at the bottom. These are the most important ideas and will probably include most of the information you will be tested on.

*This strategy is based on the strategy presented by Pauk, W. (1997). How to study in college (6th ed). Boston: Houghton Mifflin. Learning Toolbox. Steppingstone Technology Grant. James Madison University, MSC 1903, Harrisonburg, VA 22807

7 Sleep Myths — Busted


Hitting the hay at the end of a long day should be something we look forward to. Yet for many of us, sleep is full of stress and anxiety. What if I can’t get to sleep? How will I function if I don’t get 8 hours rest? Are siestas actually a good idea?

Mistaken beliefs around sleep don’t help the situation. So we’re here to set some common sleep myths straight — helping you separate fact from fiction and ease your worries around sleep issues.

Myth #1: If I can’t sleep, I should stay in bed

Reality: It may seem counter-productive, but the best thing to do if you wake at night and you can’t get back to sleep is get out of bed. This means your brain won’t associate your bed with wakefulness, and you’ll get tired more easily. So if you’re not asleep in 20 minutes, it’s important to get out of bed until you feel sleepy. Try reading or listening to some relaxing music.

💤 Listen to our Sleep Music playlists while you’re waiting to feel sleepy again.

Myth #2: I can catch up on sleep at the weekend

Reality: When you haven’t been sleeping well during the week, sleeping in at the weekend feels like an easy solution. But it can actually make things worse. Your body functions best with a consistent sleep pattern so try going to bed and getting up at the same times every day (even at weekends). It’s one of the best ways to regulate our circadian rhythm and maximize sleep.

💤 If you have trouble drifting off at the same time each night, try playing a Sleep Story when you hop into bed to help you fall asleep.

Myth #3: If I nap during the day, I won’t sleep at night

Reality: Napping at the right time and for the right duration won’t affect your ability to sleep at night. In fact, it may actually improve your chances of drifting off to dreamland. That’s because being over-tired can make it harder to fall asleep. To get started, try a short, 30-minute nap in the early afternoon.

💤 Doze off with one of our Nap Stories. They’re designed to be just the right length and will wake you gently with birdsong at the end.

Myth #4: I must get 8 hours sleep per night

Reality: The amount of sleep we each need is unique. Most of us feel best with somewhere between 7-9 hours of sleep a night. Some of us can get by with 3-4 hours while others require 10-12 hours of sleep. Find out how much sleep you require by checking in with your energy levels — if you wake up tired or you need caffeine to feel alert, you’re likely not getting the sleep your body needs.

💤 Gauge where your body’s at with some mindful movement. We recommend Morning Wake Up on Calm Body.

Myth #5: I’m just a bad sleeper

Reality: While some of us may be blessed with stronger sleep systems, we all have the ability to sleep well — we simply need to learn how to let our body do what it’s naturally built for. This means committing to helpful habits both during the day and in the evenings. That takes awareness and consistency but you’ll be rewarded with deep rest.

💤 Cultivate the essential tools for sound sleep with the 7 Days of Sleep series.

Myth #6: If I can’t sleep, I must try harder

Reality: The paradox of sleep is that it comes when you’re not trying. Instead of getting frustrated, focus on becoming less reactive and concentrate on relaxing instead. Meditation can turn down the volume on busy thoughts and worries, and induces a state of relaxation, which helps you slip into slumber.

💤 Try a guided meditation for sleep like Deep Sleep or Drifting off with Gratitude.

Myth #7: Setting up for sleep starts in the evening

Reality: While a soothing bedtime routine is important, the pathway to better sleep begins during the day. Try drinking water instead of coffee when you wake up and get 15 minutes of sunlight (preferably while exercising) to support your body’s sleep rhythms. A regular meditation practice during the day also primes our minds for non-reactivity, which helps us sleep.

💤 Listen to our Sleep Better Masterclass for practical tools that’ll help optimize your sleep.

Calm Blog – March 21, 2021: https://www.calm.com/blog/7-sleep-myths-busted?utm_medium=email&utm_source=lifecycle&utm_campaign=newreleases_10242021&utm_content=blog

Student Success Workshops - WINTER 2022

Helpful Links