Ya know what’d be really nice? Knowing what work is expected of me for a class prior to committing to it during scheduling season. Unfortunately, students have to do some serious forensic work to decide what classes are best for them. That’s lame.

Here are two tips to make the best schedule possible with out having to drop any classes after the semester starts. Because who needs that grief?

Obtain A Syllabus

Looking on sites like CourseHero, Koofers, or StudyBlue where students gain access to the site by the amount of content they post. Syllabi are easiest for students to post, so it’s likely that there will be some there.

After receiving said syllabi, look over them to see what kind of work they entail. Is it a lot of reading, or just a ton of high school busywork? Is the teacher a hard ass about attendance? These are all questions that can be answer by having this packet.

You might be saying to yourself, “That Mike doesn’t know what he’s talking about, I’m just going to go on to Rate My Professor to find out how easy this class is.” Okay, let me explain this a little more.

While a site rating professors sounds like a good idea in theory, you don’t know the people who are rating that poor shlub. The students who go on to this site might have been the only person to have a bad experience with said professor. The students who enjoyed his/her class might not have wrote a review because they were content with the experience they had.

Plus, going by what the syllabus say about the professor will hold up more than John “No Work Ethic” Shmoe on Rate My Professor because it is a binding document. The professor has to do what they say in the syllabus.

Use Friends Experiences as Case Studies

Now, you’re thinking, “Mike, what the hell do I do! I can’t find a syllabus for this class anywhere.” In this case I would like to refer you back to another post, one that shows how friendliness be the best thing for you at college.

If you build a network of people, especially within your major, you’ll be able to find out much more concrete information about what happened to your classmates when they ventured into your prospective classroom before you did. So, while this is similar to a site I’ve mentioned beforehand, it’s possible you will find more detailed accounts of experiences with professors by actually having a conversation with someone about them.

These people you talk to, maybe the ones you study with, will have a better grasp on how similar your learning style is to theirs. This will help them make the judgement call on whether a certain class is good for you or not.

Hopefully you find classes that work well for you next semester. Good luck scheduling!

Has what you read on Rate My Professor not been the case when you walk into class? Comment below to share!