Spring is done, and fall is right around the corner. That means it’s time to start thinking about next year’s classes and schedules. With a little bit of prep work and planning, you can easily build a schedule that works for you. These are the steps you need to follow if you want to make the perfect fall class schedule and rock your fall registration.
Step One: Check Your Registration Status
All schools do registration differently. Some prioritize seniors, while others do a random pick. You may be required to register in person if you’re a freshman or will be totally on your own if you’re an upperclassman. Most, however, separate students into some kind of group which designates the orders in which you will register.
In many cases, you may qualify for what is frequently called “priority registration.” This designation is to give students who need a leg up on other students a chance to register in the first few rounds. If you think you may qualify, check with your advisor as soon as possible.
Step Two: Learn the Rules on Add/Drops
Many schools provide you with the ability to register for a larger amount of classes than you actually need. This allows you to use the time before the drop period ends to see what courses work best for you. In other words, you’ve got a few days to a week to explore what’s out there!
Still, make sure you understand the rules about how to register for classes you may want to drop later. And, be sure to put a reminder in your calendar to drop the classes you decide against before the drop deadline!
Step Three: Knock Out Your Requirements First, Electives Last
Most advisors will recommend that you spend your first few semesters in college knocking out your pre-reqs first, especially if you’re not 100% sure about your major. These classes often fill up quickly, so be sure you have learned the schedules of those classes and monitor them if you’re registering near the end so you can snatch up the last seats quickly.
Electives, while important, should be the last thing on your mind. They should fill up the gaps in your schedule and be your most flexible in terms of timing in case you need to swap them out for a more important class.
Step Four: Find a Balance
It’s crucial that you know what your classes are like before you enroll. Use sites like ratemyprofessors.com to feel out if you’re in for a ton of work or if the class is one you can float by. You can also request a syllabus from last year’s class if the professor’s been around for a while.
Try to find a good mix of challenging and fun. If the class is too easy or dry, you’ll be bored and disinterested. If it’s overly difficult, you’ll likely drop out or burn out by midterms. Understand your comfort level, and don’t push too hard unless absolutely necessary.
Step Five: Double and Triple Check Your Schedule Plans
One of the easiest mistakes to make when it comes to registration is not understanding your required classes! Everyone from seniors to freshman do this, so you really do need to loop in your advisor in if you have any questions or concerns. Have them look over your plan A and plan B schedule and keep an ongoing list of your required courses on hand so that you can review with them if there are questions.
While you may have their help, it is on you to get your registration right. By coming prepared, having a plan, and doing your research, you can make a fall class schedule that’s perfect for you.