Insider Tips on Choosing College Courses
I know everyone says that they want a top-quality education with well qualified professors, etc., but let’s face it…none of us want a class that’s just ridiculously hard.
After all, we all have lives outside of the classroom right? In this article, we’re going to discuss 3 ways to find out if a class is hard before you sign up for it!
1. Visit RateMyProfessor.com- Rate My Professor or RMP is a website that is specifically designed for students to write reviews about their professors and assign ratings. I found this particularly useful during my undergraduate career and I have continued to utilize it as I pursue my graduate degree.
RMP offers the largest listing of college professor ratings, with over 11 million student reviews for over 1 million professors! Millions of college students each year use this service to help them plan out their class schedules. And, the best part about this website is that it is absolutely FREE.
Currently, the website offers ratings for approximately 6,000 schools around the world…in the United States, Canada, England and Scotland and Wales. Also, if you have an iPhone, you can download the RMP application right to your cell phone!
Are you still a little skeptical? That’s understandable…which is why I’ve included a sample of the reviews below so that you can see the in-depth quality reviews that are left by students every day:
Example #1: “She is great. If you really have an appreciation for math and are willing to put in some effort, her class is fairly easy. She is more than willing to help her students out and her tests are simple if you come to class. Overall, I really enjoyed having her and wish I could take her again.“
Example #2: “Not a good instructor. Does provide power points and outlines for the chapters, but his tests are very difficult. Listen carefully and take notes in class even though his ramblings seem unrelated to the topic. Extra credit map packet of approximately 30 maps is ridiculous for only 2 extra credit points.”
Example #3: “I am a senior writing major, who has been getting A’s in writing since elementary school. He is a nightmare! No matter how many times I took his assignments to the LARC tutoring center, he still accused me of plagiarism. Just because we aren’t all newspaper editors, doesn’t mean we all have the natural talent to write. DO NOT take him!”
Are you starting to understand why this site is so popular? I thought you would.
2. Reviewum.com- Well, nothing can really compare to RateMyProfessor.com, but Reviewum is your next best option.
Similar to RMP, Reviewum is a website designed to allow students to provide feedback on their professors. You can search for your school and then locate the professor’s name that you are considering taking.
However, one of the drawbacks of Reviewum is that it currently only has 178 schools. But, it’s FREE, so you can’t really complain about getting free information, even if it is limited.
If you don’t see your school listed on the site, don’t be afraid to be the first to add it! If you’ve taken some really awful professors in the past, why not share that with other students so that they don’t make the same mistake?
Here are some samples reviews from Reviewum.com:
Example 1: “Great teacher! She’s an awesome lecturer, is extremely nice, and very helpful.”
Example 2: “Not to crush her too hard, but she’s absolutely horrible. Never had a teacher like that ever since I started college. [She has] horrible student-teacher communication. Gives put downs when you ask her questions in class. Does not stick to what she says. [She] is not precise on instructions. I would not recommend. It’s not even about her being a hard teacher, but she’s just not a good teacher.”
Example 3: “Occasionally dull, and a bit tough with his grading, but very knowledgeable in his subject and a solid professor. A well structured class, with no surprises.”
3. Ask Your Friends - If you can’t find the professor on RMP or Reviewum, ask around. It’s common during registration time to hear students chattering in the hallways saying things like:
“Have you heard of this professor? Did you like the way he or she taught?”
“Is the class hard? Did you have a lot of writing assignments and exams?”
“What grade did you get in Professor X or Y’s class?”
If you ask around campus, you’re likely to come across someone who’s either taken the class with the particular professor that you’re considering taking or at the very least, have heard of him or her.
Good Luck! I’m sure this advice will help you as you put together next semester’s class schedule.