I often hear university students speak about their “tuts” or “pracs.” How are these different to lectures?
In school all of the work you do is in class, whereas in university the working times are divided into lectures, tutorials (tuts) and then sometimes practicals (pracs) depending on what courses you are taking. Note that “courses” are the equivalents of your school subjects, except you will generally take fewer courses (approximately 4 courses per semester) .
Lectures are the basically the main lesson where the lecturer will teach the course material.
Some courses have Tuts, which are more similar to your school classes in that they consist of a smaller group of people working on the questions that have been prescribed. The work for tuts may be compulsory or optional depending on the course. Although this may seem confusing now and you may be wondering how you are supposed to know what work to do, it is kind of something you figure out as you go along. Furthermore, you’ll likely find that while university times are more flexible, you do generally develop a set pattern for how your week runs.
The last thing that was mentioned was the practicals (pracs). These are sessions where the non-theory material is learned and certain skills developed. For instance bio pracs may involve using microscopes and carrying out dissections, whilst during chemistry prac you may have to do an acid-base experiment. It is usually the science and engineering courses which have practical components.
Pracs may count for marks and you may be asked to write up a practical report, but these skills are taught to you so don’t stress!