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Course Selection

It's that time of the year again: course selection period. Beginning on Feb. 10, students will be asked to elect 3 courses they're planning to take during their spring term. Therefore, with two course selection experiences under my belt, I want to share the tips and tricks I employ to have a well-balanced, successful academic term!

  1. High, intermediate, and low

I recommend that students select one course of high difficulty, one of intermediate difficulty, and one of low difficulty––or what Dartmouth students call a "layup." I define the word difficulty with the amount of time that needs to be invested in the class. For example, CHEM 5 was a "high difficulty" course for me where I was forced to spend around 2-3 hours completing practice problems and reviewing concepts on a daily basis. There could be quarters where taking more than one difficult course is needed (i.e. for major completion); however, even in those cases, one layup is nevertheless needed to create a balance. 

  1. Consider time investment outside of classes

A student's schedule doesn't solely revolve around classes; rather, many Dartmouth students are involved in extracurricular activities such as organizations, research, or part-time work. These things are important to consider as you need to be able to allocate enough time for academic and extracurricular work. Detailedly review your commitments for the following quarter and consider if your schedule will be manageable. 

  1. Employ on-campus resources

There are countless faculty and staff members who are willing to assist you in creating a healthy, balanced schedule. If you're on an engineering or pre-health track that contains significant prerequisites and core classes, speak to an advisor or even a peer mentor to receive guidance. Friends who have taken the respective course in previous terms are also a great resource––ask them questions! As for me, upperclassmen have been great in helping me understand the "realistic" level of work each class will push me to complete. 

  1. Prepare back-ups

Always prepare back-up courses, especially for non-major, layup courses, as they most probably will have more students signed up than the enrollment limit. So, if you don't get the courses you wanted, you always have a plan B or even C to follow.

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