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Sharpen your academic edge or just
get some advice with our tips and tools.


If you’re heading off to college, you have enough on your mind. Let us help you take the stress out of selecting college courses. 
When you’re looking at the college course load catalog, it can be overwhelming — How many courses should I take? Does this class count towards my major? Will this elective help me boost my GPA? We’ll give you a few helpful hints for picking the college courses that will help you succeed.

Follow these 7 tips:

1. Broaden Your Horizons
Visit several classes that interest you during the first week of the semester, but remember to lock in your schedule before the add/drop period ends. Or,  if you’re an incoming freshman, ask about spending a few days on campus to sample the lectures and get a feel for college life. Observing classes is a great way to help you determine which subjects interest you. 

2. Give Yourself Credit
If you’ve earned college credits in high school — for example, through AP classes — find out if these can be applied toward your core requirements. Also, some colleges waive required courses based on how well you score on your placement exam, so study up!

3. Balance Fun With Serious
College allows you freedom when it comes to signing up for the classes. While you know you have to take certain required courses, you can also pick classes in subjects you’ve always wanted to learn about, such as women writers, weightlifting and abnormal psychology. Just be sure to have a healthy balance between fun and serious classes.

4. Enhance Your Skills
Are you required to take general education courses, like math, science and history? Try completing these courses in the first two years of your college career. This will allow you to experience a variety of subjects as you choose a major. Plus, you’ll be able to concentrate on your major in the last two years.  

5. Ask Questions
Talk to your college advisor — they’re the experts and are there to help you. Come prepared with a list of questions and classes that you are interested in taking. He or she will be able to guide you in the right direction when it comes to getting the most out of your education. 

6. Do Your Research
Read faculty evaluations. Many campuses publish end-of-year evaluations, so if you have the opportunity to read through them, they can help you decide which class is best for you. Having a professor that you like and respect helps guarantee your best performance in class.

7. Be Realistic

Now that you’re in college, you don’t have to stick to a strict schedule of starting school at 7:45 a.m. and finishing at 2 p.m. You’re in control of when you go to class. If you perform best in the mornings, schedule your classes then. If you’re a night owl, choose classes that are after 6 pm.

Always remember: The journey toward graduation is not a race. Begin your college career with no more than 4 to 5 classes in your first semester. You want to be careful not to take on too much, ensuring that you have enough time to dedicate to all of your classes.

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