Scheduling College Classes

It’s almost the end of one college semester, but what about your next semester? Making a mistake scheduling your college classes can cost you money. If you don’t have all the classes you need, you might not graduate on time, meaning more tuition, more room, and more board.

Think about these things to schedule your classes well.

Requisites – Every college has required courses or general courses. These are classes every student must take. They can usually be completed before the junior year, but they can also be completed after that. Still, for the junior and senior years, students have to declare a major, and there will be more requirements for your major. There can also be pre-requisites, that is, classes that must be taken before you can take another.
Rules of Thumb:
• Make sure you know the requirements for your college as well as for your major.
• Try to get your general requirements out of the way before your junior year.
• Take a few of the requirements for your major before your junior year to make it easier and to make sure you like the classes in your major.
• Check to see if any courses you need have pre-requisites.
• Make sure the classes you need are offered during the semester you plan to take them.

Timing – One factor in timing your classes is when you are most alert. Some students are awake early and others have to sleep in. There are also students who prefer afternoon classes and others who don’t. Another aspect of class timing is what you can plan for in one day. It may be nice to get the longer classes and/or labs out of the way in one day, but that one day could wear you out for the rest of the week. If you cluster classes, assignments can also be due all at once. That’s poor planning. Finally, you may have other commitments like a job, practice, or other activities when scheduled classes could interfere.
Rules of Thumb:
• Check first to see when the classes you need are offered.
• Schedule your must-have classes first for the time of day you are at your best. Then schedule your other classes.
• Consider spreading your classes out to avoid burn out and to have enough time to study and complete assignments.
• Classes and study come first but don’t forget to think about the time you need for other commitments.

Balance and meeting requirements are the two most important things to consider for college class scheduling. Make sure to talk with your college advisor about requirements and double check your handbook or the college website for classes you must have. Check ahead a couple semesters to make sure classes you need are offered when you plan to take them. And, always plan ahead.

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