by Amanda Yen, Student Writer

No 8 a.m. classes.  Let me be clear: Do not take any classes before 9:30 a.m. unless absolutely necessary.  You might have gone to high school every day at 8 a.m., but you should never do this in college.  You’re going to be on a later schedule, and it’s going to be much harder to wake up for an 8 a.m. class, let alone learn something from it.

No Friday classes.  Again, don’t do this unless it’s absolutely necessary.  Thursday nights are big going-out nights at most colleges.  You won’t do yourself any favors by signing up for Friday classes you’ll likely be too tired to show up for.

Use RateMyProfessors.com.  RateMyProfessors is a website that allows students to leave reviews of professors and the courses they teach at their colleges.  You can find most professors on it, usually with very specific feedback from other students.  Granted, these reviews can definitely show personal bias, overall RateMyProfessors is a pretty good gauge of how hard a class is and what the format is like.

Coursicle is your friend.  Coursicle is an organizational tool that allows you to select your institution, look up courses and visually map out your schedule.  It’s not really for browsing classes; it’s more useful once you’ve decided what to take and are planning the logistical balance of courses.  It shows times and locations, so you can make sure you give yourself enough time to move between classes and don’t overload yourself with too many on one day.

The more alternates, the better.  You might not get all the classes you want, so you should have a few backup classes for each first choice class.  Coursicle (see above) is a really great tool for building alternate schedules, because it allows you to see which classes are held in the same time slots.

Balance Core Requirements and Electives.  Try to balance your schedule with 60% Core Requirements, and 40% electives.  (You can adjust this based on your school’s policy toward AP credit and by looking at how much additional credit you came in with.) You’ll hate college if you’re stuck in classes you’re not really into.  Taking one or two courses just for fun can save your semester.

College Planning Source is keeping up with the sudden changes in education to provide the assistance you and your family need. Call us today at 858.676.0700 to learn more, or you can schedule your assessment online.

Michelle Mai

Michelle Mai

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