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Courses Handling 6 courses

  1. Oct 23, 2007 #1
    Handling 6 courses....

    I am just looking for tips on how I should best manage my time. I am currently juggling 6 courses : Calculus I, Linear Algebra, Engineering mechanics : Statics, properties of fluids and solids, History of Europe, and Engineering Design...

    I just don't seem to have enough time to fully understand everything right now... I can solve the problems but lack a deep understand in a one or two courses. I mean I am doing very well in my courses but I have a lab report and a design report due the week which I have 3 midterms. I am a bit behind in my statics course, and just up to par in everything else. I really feel like the lectures are a waste of time, particularly in Calculus. I don't learn the way most other people seem to... I can't just sit in front of a prof and watch him do problems... I would rather do them myself! I learn by proving the theorems for myself and playing with them. The problem is that one of my lectures gives bonus marks for attendance, and I don't want to fall behind or anything. I have good friends that would let me know what the prof went over in lectures and stuff.

    Is it safe to stop going to my calc lectures? Are there any tips for squeezing out more free time?? Argggg

    Make no mistake, I am enjoying it.. But it's really getting tough to keep up and try to fully understand everything.
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 23, 2007 #2
    No matter how boring and pointless showing up to lecture seems...it informs you as to the material the prof is prioritizing and expects you to have been exposed to, thus it informs you what will be on exams. You can quite possibly still master the material if you skip...but it's rarely a good idea.

    Going by the ever-popular "3 hours out of class for each hour in"...colleges expect you to pull an 80 hour week. I've seen classes that fully expect you to spend 20+ hours per week outside of class...this is just unrealistic across a full course load if you want to actually master everything instead of just pass exams.
  4. Oct 23, 2007 #3
    You're not supposed to take 6 courses. You'll die before you finish them all.

    4 is a good number.

    Anyways, looking at your list "History of Europe" seems out of place cause it looks like you're taking engineering. Should probably drop that.

    History may seem interesting to learn but it's not gonna make you any money. What does an engineer need to know about the History of Europe anyways?

    However, if you're taking it cause of course and credit requirements... drop it anyways.
  5. Oct 23, 2007 #4
    im taking 6 courses now and two labs. I've lucked out on a couple that turned out to have little work (dynamics, PDE's, behavior of materials) but otherwise I've kept it in check by putting in time on the weekends. Setting homework or study goals for each day. I.e. friday night I aim to finish thermo homework, saturday I do electrical, and sunday I write lab reports. Also, try getting the proper amount of sleep; youll be much more efficient.
  6. Oct 23, 2007 #5
    You can't just drop courses Cyborg, he's going to have to take that History of Europe sometime, if he takes it next semester he'll have more challenging classes and still have to take it with them.

    The point of those Humanity/socials Science/Art classes are to lighten your load.

    6 courses freshman year isn't bad at all, 6 courses jr./sr. year would be tough.

    I'll be taking 5 next semester:
    3, 400 level CSE courses
    Stat 318
    and Spanish 2 (which takes a huge amount of time)

    I also learn by doing the problems myself, but not going to lectures is a bad habit. Going to lectures lets you know what problems you should do for his exam, rather than just doing random problems that he might not even care about.
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2007
  7. Oct 23, 2007 #6
    Nah, many engineering programs put a lower limit on the hours you can take. At my university it's 14 hours. So the 4 course thing isn't going to work in most cases (unless one lucks into having two 4 hour courses in one semester).

    The worth of your statements is devalued by the fact that you think engineers should in effect be engineering machines and shouldn't take liberal arts courses or in any way broaden their horizons by taking courses that don't directly contribute to increasing their income.

    I agree with the gentleman who said that this is totally doable at the freshman level. Better to have a 6 course load in year 1 than in year 3.
  8. Oct 23, 2007 #7
    handling 6 courses is a pain i am also experiencing right now:

    Quantum mechanics I
    E&M II
    Microelectronics II
    Analytic Mechanics
    Digital signal Processing and linear systems
    Modern Algebra I

    every friday i thank the good lord the week is finally over, and midterm season(which just ended) was hell. Some times theres just no way to manage yourself so that you don't stress too much. Exactly one year ago, i took 7 classes; they were slightly easier classes, but it did prepare me for my current workload. I also never mix liberal arts with major (phys/math/EE) classes; the last thing i would wanna do is be stuck writing a paper when i have E&M test the next day.
  9. Oct 23, 2007 #8

    So you take 1 whole semester of just Liberal Arts (History/Art/Music/Etc) ?
  10. Oct 23, 2007 #9


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    Why would you take 6 courses anyway?

    If it weren't for the liberal arts requirements, you wouldn't see me taking more than 4.
  11. Oct 23, 2007 #10
    Believe me, sticking to lectures will be your saving grace. You may learn new material that would know on your own. If you stop attending lectures, you'll find yourself falling behind even more. Only miss them if the situation really calls for it.
  12. Oct 23, 2007 #11
    Instead of taking a whole semester of liberal arts, i just take two liberal arts every winter, thus taking care of my core. The same can be done with summers, though i prefer those be save for internships or REU's
  13. Oct 27, 2007 #12
    I undertook a heavier load than usual this semester myself. Usually I go by the tried and true 4 math/physics classes and maybe a lab. This semester I added a couple of more classes and a lab and 1 of those extra is a liberal arts class. Its been a while since I've had non-science/math classes and I'm still getting used to it. I'm having a more difficult time getting the most out of my more important (major-related) classes and it is more stressful overall.

    I chose to do this to catch up on some credits, but now I regret it. I think I understand the whole "take your time" advice thrown around a lot.
  14. Jan 12, 2008 #13
    Last semester I took 7 classes all level 200 and 300 courses including Diff equations, linear algebra, data structures and discrete math. I found myself working 70-80 hours a week. This is what I learned:

    1. organization and time management. This is the most important issue. To tackle my organization I bought a PDA. In the PDA I would schedule the time to do my homework and study for tests. It worked wonders.

    2.For the math course always look over your assignments right after class and try to keep them in mind as much as you can so you familiarize yourself with the problems and don't waste time when it's time to sit down and solve it.

    3. Start your homework immediately after it is given to you, but don't finish it. This way you'll have an idea of how long it should take you to finish the homework and schedule it accordingly.

    4. Always go to the lectures, if they are boring to you pull out the text book and learn the subject deeper than the professor is teaching. this ought to save you studying time later on while earning you good will from the professor. Professionalism is an important part of any good professor criteria and you mind end up needing the help of your professor.

    5. Rest. I cannot stress enough the importance of sleep and recreation. This is one of the thing that you should schedule in your PDA or calendar. Schedule it and do it, it will pay off.

    This is my conclusion of the best way to do it after three semesters with six courses and one with seven (I'm in a hurry :)) I ended last semester with all A's so this worked for me. Next semester I'm taking only 12 courses, and using all the spare time to prepare for grad school and GRE's (hopefully some form of research too). Because of all the intensive work I haven't had time to do the very important extra-curricular work. Make sure you don't fall back on this. Good luck to you.
  15. Jan 12, 2008 #14
    This is an old post. I ended up going to all my lectures for the most part except history as a few of you suggested. I basically gave up on reading the assigned history readings and instead just went to the lecture and gathered as much as I could. Thankfully my prof for history was really good.

    Anyways in the end I did quite well, A-'s and A's except for history in which I netted a B+, which is fine by me :-).

    Anyways thanks and just beware that this is an old thread, don't know why Gablar responded to it. (Thankyou though)
  16. Jan 12, 2008 #15
    Why would you do that to yourself?
  17. Jan 12, 2008 #16
    I wholeheartedly disagree. The time it takes to prepare for a humanities lecture is far more than the time it takes to prepare for an engineering lecture. The reading, note taking, writing papers, etcs that make up a humanities class is no joke. I would say the humanities courses are as hard if not harder than the engineering courses sometimes.
  18. Jan 12, 2008 #17
    i do it because im a triple major
  19. Jan 12, 2008 #18


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    What are you trying to accomplish, really?

    A figure of speech comes to mind. Jack of all trades, master of none.
    But good luck with that finals on E&M and DSP :yuck:
  20. Jan 12, 2008 #19


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    I'm taking on 6 this semester:

    EM Waves, Class Mech, Thermal/Stat Mech, Measurements Lab, Complex Variables and a Java Programming course. Should be fun...
  21. Jan 12, 2008 #20
    E&M was indeed the hardest final last term. I am a triple major in computer engineering, pure math, and physics. I do robotics with my professor, so its not like i don't have time to do other things. I just intensely love all of it, every last bit. Whats wrong with a little work ethic? Im a math tutor as well.
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2008
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