We’re halfway through the academic year. Hooray! 34 days until reading week!!
Some of you may have completed 2.5 credits in first semester but if you’re a year-long credit-taker like me, you’re only halfway through some of your courses! I’ve taken my fair share of half-year fall and winter courses, full-year fall and winter courses and half as well as full year summer courses (I’ll talk about summer courses in another post). Here my opinions about the two types of course lengths.
Half year courses are short, sweet and simple
Okay, they may not be sweet and CHM222H was NOT simple… but they sure are short! Four months is approximately 17 weeks. Factoring in reading week, weekends, term tests and finals, you’re looking at about 12 weeks of class. It’s important to stay on your game in those short 12 weeks to ensure that you won’t have to cram come final time.
Full year courses are long but have perks
In first year, I had the option of taking CHM135H and CHM136H or CHM151Y. Both choices are designed to provide you with the basics needed for upper courses but since I was planning to have a substantial amount of chemistry in my degree, I opted for CHM151. This course had Course Communities that CHM135/6 didn’t. Having this tight-knit community helped me determine my POSt. Another upside was being in the same class with the same professors, TAs and students which allowed me to form stronger bonds (get it, bonds? chemical bonds).
Dropping a full year course halfway feels like a waste
In first year, I enrolled in MAT137Y late. Once January hit, I was way behind in the course. Although I had already invested half a semester in the course, I had to be honest with myself. Instead of trying to play catch up in a course I wasn’t enjoying, I decided to play it safe and drop the course for MAT135H (which ended up being my highest grade at U of T to date) and then taking MAT136Y in the summer.
Drop dates for half year vs full year courses
February 18th is the last day for you to drop a full year course without having a LWD on your transcript in the Faculty of Arts & Science. POOF! It completely disappears from your transcript no matter how good or bad you were doing. This may come as an advantage to your GPA but it may also set you back, because remember – a full year course is equivalent to 0.5 credit in the fall and 0.5 credit in the winter; when you drop a full year course, you lose both halves. If you took five courses in the fall and for example one of them was the full year that you dropped, it’s now as if you only took four courses in the fall.
You don’t know what you don’t know until April in full year courses
With half-year courses, four months go by quick. If you’re lucky, you’ll have a few days or even weeks before your final to revise for the course. With full-year courses, recalling a topic you vaguely mastered in October is going to be a lot harder come April.
In first year, I had two year long courses; In second year now, I have three year long courses. Will I have four in third year? (I hope not) Stay tuned to find out!