Making a class schedule is like a digital jigsaw puzzle.
One class lets you sleep till 11 p.m.—another follows that class directly after and at the same spot on campus—but another has a better teacher and ends earlier while another is being taken by your suitemate. As far as puzzles go this one’s pretty fun. It’s a power trip in which you’re constantly treating yourself with better classes at more flexible times. But for a first timer, it can be troubling putting so much trust into yourself and the machine.
To make sure you don’t start your registration day with some Red X’s that signify a failed sign up, follow these tips to create a dream schedule that’ll be accepted.
1. Check prerequisites- While Stellar Astronomy sounds like a dope class, the school’s not going to let you take it before you’ve taken some more basic science classes. Unfortunately you can still put the class in your shopping cart and you won’t find out it doesn’t work until you click to register. Our advice is that you double check each class in your cart to make sure it doesn’t require a prerequisite that you don’t have.
2. Have a deep bench- Sometimes you won’t get into a class because it fills up days, hours or minutes before you try to sign up. A good plan is to have back up classes in the same time slots that you can quickly plug in. If you don’t and you spend a bunch of time searching, you may lose yet another class. We call this the quicksand effect.
3. Check in daily- Most schools have a bit of a totem pole system when it comes to picking classes. As a freshman you go last and depending on your major or credit amount you may go dead last. By checking in daily you can follow classes as more fortunate students snatch them up, so that when the day comes to register you won’t be wondering where Intro to Criminal Justice and European Anthropology went (they were taken Liam Neeson style).
4. Be on time- First you need to know your time slot. Not everyone registers on the same day or even at the same time so don’t rely on what you heard from friends. When you’re certain of your time don’t waste a minute getting to your computer. If you’ve followed these steps and have a fortified class cart together then the only thing that will stop you is a weak wifi or a late start.
5. Have the course catalogue out- When all goes wrong, when you see two of those devilish red X’s next to green a “registered”, don’t freak out. Calmly find out why you chose those classes (whether they filled a time slot or a mandatory category) and then refer to the course catalogue to pick a substitute that works.
6. Know the system- It’s very easy to add, drop, and submit classes but when you don’t know the sign up system well it can get scary if you get into a tough situation. Play around with the add and drop system so if things go wrong and you need to drop a chosen class to put in another you’ll know just how to do it.
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