How Do I Design My Class Schedule?
The following tips, originally posted at the Studentawards Forum, were contributed by students in our membership.
Q. What are some tips on which day/time to choose your classes/tutorials? (posted by: skywalker)
- If you are a morning person you wouldn't mind 8am classes, but I am not and try to avoid them whenever possible. I also try to make Mondays and Fridays easier, just the way I like it. (posted by: ktel)
- Know yourself. Are you a morning person or are you more of a night owl? Plan your classes around the time of the day when you function the best. Don't make it easy for yourself to skip classes, especially classes where participation and attendance count. The same applies to the age-old question of whether it's better to have your classes evenly spread out over a week or crammed together in three or four weekdays. Both have their pros and cons, but ultimately, you need to take into account how you work best in order to make an informed decision about your timetable. (posted by: Spengler)
- After my first year, I've realized that morning classes are awful (I am not a morning person) and I would rather have two days off and three days of class after class after class, because I don't work well if I just have an hour or three between or after classes. (posted by: littleroom)
- Try to have classes that start around the same time everyday. This year, my days started at 8.30, 9.30, 10.30, 11.30, 12.30 and 1.30. Because it was so irregular, my sleep schedule got screwed up because I didn't have a typical time to wake up everyday. Thus I ended up skipping morning classes. My friend always had 9:30 or 10:30 starts, and it was no problem for her since she got into a rhythm with her sleep. I wouldn't advise having mad blocks of lecture together. I'd stick a break or lab/tutorial/seminar in between them just to give your brain a bit of a break. (posted by: treecows)
- Don't do early classes unless you are REALLY a morning person. You may think you're fine with mornings now, but in universities mornings are unbearable. Then again, some people can't do evenings (I don't personally like evenings or mornings). Ideal schedule for me: classes in the middle of the day, blocked together, for 4 days. FRIDAYS OFF! (posted by: waitaminute)
- With my schedule, I try to fit all of my classes between 8am-5pm, preferably finishing as early as possible. I hated night classes, and I like to be available at night incase anything is going on. Most university students are not morning people, so I try to take classes that have me finishing at 2-3 in the afternoon, making myself very available for the rest of the day. I book my classes during "business hours", because school is my full-time job . ... Sleep patterns are very important. Try to make your classes start at the same time every day, and only have a maximum of one day to sleep in. It will make your mornings much easier. Eating breakfast as well will give you energy and help you stay awake. (posted by: kiddinaround)
- As a student with a 1 and a half hour commute every day, I usually end up waking up around 5:30 every day and going to bed early. Since I am stuck at school from 8:30 until 4:30 (due to the train schedule) I try to make my classes as close together as possible. This year, I made my schedule so that I only have school two days a week. And yes, I took classes that I wanted to take. It takes some work, but it is definitely possible. And it is amazing, because it means I have less breaks between classes (short breaks suckkkkkkk) and am home 5 days of the week!!!!! So take some time, write down all the times and course codes for every class you are interested in, and then just cross-reference and make it fit! (posted by: Andi)
Q. It seems that ... everyone has chosen to take their first year classes in the morning as opposed to the afternoon or night ... Is there a good reason for this? Do first-year students anticipate better learning in early as opposed to later classes? Does taking a class during the morning, from hours 8AM-12PM, make it easier to work from 12PM to 5PM? (posted by: KeileTheFriendlyMuuMuu)
- It totally depends on the type of person you are. If you are a morning person, you will learn better in the morning. If you are a night owl, you might prefer night classes. Some people like to have classes in the morning to get them out of the way, and to force them to get up. It can become very easy, when you have only afternoon classes, to sleep in, and lose out on a whole bunch of productive time during the day, because you were sleeping in. Also, a lot of on-campus clubs and activities take place either late in the afternoon or in the evenings. If you are heavily involved in clubs, intramurals, or other activities, then evening classes can quickly get in the way. Personally, I prefer to have classes in the morning and labs in the afternoon. I hate evening classes, but have a couple of them because there are some required classes for my program that are only offering in the evenings. I also find I don't do well in morning or evening labs (not awake enough in the morning, and too tired at night). Morning classes and afternoon labs works out perfectly for me, when I have the luxury to choose when to take certain classes ... To summarize, everyone is different. But morning classes (unless you skip them) typically force you to get up so you don't waste half the day sleeping in. (posted by: CatRunner)
- If you have different classes/timetables for two semesters, make sure that you keep the time when you need to wake up for class somewhat consistent. Last year I made the mistake of having my rounds of classes (and my day) start at 2:00pm first semester, and then moving to 2nd semester where I had 8:30am class every day of the week. It was absolutely horrible trying to switch between the two schedules, and forcing myself to wake up at 8:00 when I was used to waking up at 12:00. Serious lack of foresight there ... caused a lot of class to be missed. (posted by: skittlesmeister)
Q. Is it good to have classes back to back or a break in between? (posted by: skywalker)
- You want to limit breaks as much as possible, they're just wasted time. Especially 1 hour breaks, you will get nothing done during them. If breaks are unavoidable try to make them a meaningful length of time. And if you have a long day of classes you will want at least one break for lunch and to relax a little bit. (posted by: ktel)
- Squash your classes up against each other. Don't leave room for walking time, you'll make it in the time they give you. You'll hate life if you have hour breaks between all your classes. (posted by: beyondsection17)
- Walking time is typically built into most schedules, i.e. there will be a 10 minute break between all classes. (posted by: ktel)
- I seem to be the minority here, but I like having long breaks in between classes because it kind of forces me to do work while I'm out of rez (but one hour breaks are not very useful because I can't really get into study mode). If I have a bunch of classes in a row and then nothing for the rest of the day, then I'm just burnt out and can't focus on anything or I don't want to do any work. And I'm really unproductive after dinner, so I have to get my work done during the day. (posted by: freebird)
- I like 3-4 hour breaks, because I'd end up going to the library and get more stuff done there than having all my classes bunched together and then end up going home and loafing. (posted by: treecows)
- Personally, I prefer classes close together. Small breaks are TIME WASTERS. Especially 1 hour breaks (useless!!) I hated having 1-3 hour breaks because I would walk back to residence and back again (I was going back and forth 4+ times a day. This is because I don't like being in the library and prefer to nap or do work in residence. Plan your classes so you minimize your walking! (posted by: waitaminute)
- I quite enjoyed 1 hour breaks between classes. I really like to read the newspaper and keep up to date with current events, and this was always a great time to do that. In the morning for example, I would go to the cafeteria and get breakfast and just relax before my next class. Same in the afternoon. It was a good time to check my email, socialize with friends etc. Just don't have like four 1 hour breaks in a day and you'll be fine (posted by: kiddinaround)
- One hour gaps are to be avoided - it really isn't a lot of time to get anything done. Two hour gaps or more are fine - you can go to the gym (I teach fitness classes ...) or go to the library and study. If you live in rez you have time to go to your room and study there, or do stuff there as well. (posted by: CatRunner)
Q. What's better? A class that is 1 hr 3 times a week or 3hrs 1 time a week? (posted by: esin)
A. 3 hour lectures at U of T, particularly the ones held during evenings, are generally reduced to 2.5 hours by the prof. Personally, I preferred the "3 hour" lecture, but I found that I retained more information if I went class 3 times a week than if I went only once a week. (posted by: Spengler)
Q. Any thoughts of having 8hrs of class in one day? Just first semester? Last year, I had a fair balance each day, but this year it's 8hrs in the middle of the week if I choose the electives I really want. (posted by: BusterBaxter)
A. I'd avoid this at all costs, but that's just me... In first semester of this past year, I had 3 classes and 2 labs in one day = 9 hours (I had no choice in scheduling my courses here), and that was bad enough. I couldn't imagine having 8 hours worth of lectures where I actually had to listen and retain information. At least with labs you're not just sitting and listening to the prof. (posted by: Gorges26)
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Any tips on designing your own Schedule?
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Definitely something to take into consideration! |
Posted on Aug 11, 2012 at 08:44
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