Monday, October 13, 2008


One area that I spent a lot of time to figure out was how to schedule my classes to benefit me. In college, some people always seem to end up with the best class schedule. That was me. The time you spend ahead of time figuring out the best schedule for you, will benefit you all quarter/semester long.

Begin your search for the perfect schedule by getting the catalog listing the classes offered by your college for the upcoming quarter/semester as soon as it is available. Some colleges make this catalog available before listing the classes in their online registration program. You want to have this information as early as possible so you can begin to sort out what will be your most favorable schedule. Think of your class scheduling process as working a giant jigsaw puzzle where you need to pull all the pieces together.

What makes for a favorable schedule? One that more or less balances your work load. Don't overload your schedule with classes that all require you to write papers or have all classes that require heavy reading. You also don't want to take all your hardest classes at the same time, mix in at least one of the "easy A" classes. Review the requirements of your major and determine what mix of classes will give you the best schedule.

Next, find out how many sections each class has that you want to register for. If there is a class that you must get into that only has one section available, begin planning your schedule around that particular class. Then add the classes with more sections to chose from to your schedule.

The key here is to find a schedule that will benefit YOU and works for your strengths. If you absolutely cannot get up in the morning, don't schedule a class for 8:00 AM, likewise, skip on late afternoon or evening classes if your energy level dips at that time of day. Figure out what time of day you are best able to consistently show up for class, pay attention, take notes, and retain what is taught. Know how many classes you can manage successfully without negatively impacting your grades. It doesn't make sense to register for 22 credit hours and then fail several of those classes when you can't keep up with such a large workload.

Decide if it is better for you to bunch your classes to get large blocks of free time or scatter your classes to have small slices of time throughout your day. Also, would you rather be free Tuesday and Thursday, but be heavily scheduled on Monday, Wednesday, Friday? If you need to hold a job, that schedule may be best for you.

On registration day be at your computer, logged in, and ready to hit the keys at the moment you are first allowed to register. By the way, most colleges allow students who have verifiable learning disabilities or special needs to have priority registration. If this is you, make sure you have turned in the paperwork to entitle you to register first.

If any of your classes are full by the time you are allowed to register, consider "pink slipping" into those classes. I recommend registering for a less desired schedule for safety, but go to those full classes you can't get into and make a direct appeal to the professor on the first day of classes. Some colleges are real good about letting students into a class this way because they know a fair percentage of students will drop the class within a few weeks.

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