Choose Your Classes Wisely

20 Mar

Prepping for registration can stop you from having too much stress in the future! Put time into searching for next semester’s classes and put them in your shopping cart. This part of registration might seem very self-explanatory  and easy, but some student don’t put time into researching. Look at professors as the specific classes in detail because it could prevent you from being a class that you despise. To try to prevent this, make sure that you implement these steps!

1. Read the course description on UAccess.

Sometimes the names of the courses that are on UAccess seem really cool, but those names can sometimes trick you. I have heard many stories and I have been fooled myself. I thought that a class would be super cool to take but the name of the course did not even match what the course description said. Before you select a course, read its learning outcomes and goals. Also on this note, do not take the course description too seriously and get discouraged about what the course is going to be like. For example, I took a  geology last semester and the course description was a very sophisticated paragraph that said “Critical perspectives on complex environmental problems.” This was very daunting to me because I did not have any background knowledge of any environmental problems whatsoever. When I went to the first day of class, I was pleasantly surprised. She went over what the class was going to look like and it seemed like it was very manageable. You can always email the professor and ask questions before enrolling in a course to make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into.

2. Utilize course evaluation tools.

Do you ever wonder what happens with the information you provide in your teacher-course evaluations at the end of each semester? The results are compiled and you can actually look at them! The teacher-course evaluation website lists responses by instructor or by course. It’s a little difficult to get the hang of finding the right courses that you’re looking for, but it’s worth the time. There are some instructions on the FAQ page that will help you get started. 

For those who do not know what this is, ratemyprofessor.com is an open website where people can post reviews about professors. Take note: some of the information is extremely biased, so take the ratings with a grain of salt. However if there are a lot of similar reviews about a particular instructor, you can get a sense of how that instructor works. You can sometimes also learn about the structure of the course and required readings before you enroll.

3. Ask people around you.

There are so many students who go to the University of Arizona and one of the best things that I can suggest is to talk to the people around you about classes. Talk to your friends, peer advisors, academic advisors, or even the random student who sits next to you. All of the students and faculty  have a good knowledge of classes and great professors to look out for. I have taken many courses just because someone I know suggested it and they turned out to be some of my favorite courses. Even if you get comments from people that are negative about courses, that helps too.

Sometimes the best thing to do is simply choose a class and if for some reason on you do not think you are going to like the course, just change it. There is a nice grace period for the first week of classes that you can change your courses without any problems or permission. Take advantage of this because the worst thing is to take a course that you hate for a full semester and end up not doing the best in it.

Keep these things in mind when you put classes in your shopping cart! Also, make sure that you meet with your advisor before going into a new semester because you want to make sure that all of your requirements for your major are satisfied!

-Courtney

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