Registering for classes can seem overwhelming, but not if you are prepared. Sure, you might be worried that the class you need will fill up or that the teacher you wanted won’t have a class time that fits your schedule—but being prepared helps lessen anxiety and get you into the classes you need.
Know Your Registration Date
College courses fill up quickly, so it’s important to know your registration date. If you are late in registering, you might not be able to make it into a class you need. Most colleges and universities have a method for registering, be sure to learn what method your university uses early, so you aren’t confused on registration day. For example, some universities use a credit method. Seniors or students with high credits will typically register first, then down to freshmen with lower credits. By the time it gets to the freshman, many classes are filled up. Knowing your registration date helps you have a higher chance of getting into your classes, or at least you’ll be higher up on the waiting list.
Make a Graduation Plan
Some schools require that their students make a graduation plan, but others don’t. Having a graduation plan helps you visualize what classes you need to take in your course catalog, what extracurricular credits you have, and the layout of each semester. Having a graduation plan helps you understand your credit and course load. Plus, if you aren’t able to take a certain class during a semester, you can easily visualize where you can move it for later. Graduation plans make registration easier because you know exactly what classes you want to take.
Make a Tentative Schedule
As you peruse your graduation calendar, look up each class and the times they are offered. This will help you make a tentative schedule that can help you if you need to plan work hours or if you need to find a different class later. Making a schedule will make registration day easier because you will know exactly what class you are looking for and what time you want to take it.
If you are on a larger campus, chances are there are a ton of teachers. Some classes offer multiple time slots taught by different teachers. If your schedule is flexible, research your options for teachers. Websites like Rate My Professor will allow you to see reviews for each teacher and class. Knowing what other students said about a professor can help you decide which class you want to take...especially when you see some of the negative reviews.
Have a Backup Plan
On registration day, things don’t always go as planned. You might find that every class you wanted is full or that a teacher you wanted doesn’t fit with your schedule. In any situation, it’s important to have a backup plan. If it’s a class that’s full, what other classes can you take that will help you progress in your degree? If it’s a teacher that you wanted, what other teachers would you not mind taking a class from? If you have to be on a waitlist, it doesn’t mean all hope is lost. Some teachers will accept a few more students, or, more likely, a few students will drop the class before the semester starts. If you are lower than five on a list though, try finding something else.
Whether it’s your first semester or last, being prepared for registration day will help you get a schedule you’re comfortable with.