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Is astronomy an easy A?

  1. Nov 17, 2009 #1
    whats up everyone, i am a science major, and since science courses are prerequisites, next semester i am only able to take 9 credits (gen chem 2 with lab, and precalculus) i plan on overloading with 14 credits during the summer, in order to graduate with my associates in a 2 year time period from when i started. i also already am done with electives.

    anyway, for insurance i want to take a 3 credit course, thats an easy A

    ive narrowed it down to astronomy, or intro to psych. i noticed they do iq testing in intro to psych, does that mean that the student takes an iq test for anybody who has taken this course?

    heres the syllabus to both
    l PSYC-101 Introduction to Psychology I (Cr3) (3:0) Students will demonstrate an understanding of psychology as a science. They will complete exercises covering
    fundamental areas of the discipline: history of psychology, scientific method, sensation and perception, learning and memory, IQ and personality testing. Students will gain the ability to examine these subjects from a critical as well as diverse point of view; the roles of gender, cultural and individual differences are systematically explored. Service-learning is an option.

    PHYS-102 (SC) Astronomy (Cr3) (3:0)
    This introductory astronomy course is for college students who are curious about the universe. Topics covered include the historical foundations of astronomy, the tools and techniques used by modern astronomers, the sun, planets, moons, and minor bodies of our solar system, and the processes by which it formed. (Prerequisites: MATH 015 or satisfactory completion of the College’s basic skills requirement in computation, and READ 095 or satisfactory completion of the College’s basic skills requirement in reading)

    astronomy sounds REALLY easy, since the prerequisites are prealgebra, and remedial reading.
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 17, 2009 #2


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    Don't assume a class is easy just because the prerequisites are. The prereqs are just to make sure you don't join the class without being able to start day 1. It says nothing about how hard the class will be on the last day of the semester
  4. Nov 17, 2009 #3
    It starts with an A. But watch out, it ends with a Y
  5. Nov 17, 2009 #4

    George Jones

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    No individual topic in the astronomy course will be difficult, but there could be many topics covered and many facts to assimilate. If you feel comfortable with this in a summer course, you should be fine.
  6. Nov 17, 2009 #5
    I read an astronomy book once and during the history of astronomy part, it talked a lot about astrology. I think astrology is pointless, but I guess it's important in the history part.
  7. Nov 17, 2009 #6
    sounds like your intro astronomy is a first part of full intro.
    In my undergrad college, there were two intros. The first one is about celestial sphere and solar system. The second one is mostly about everything else (stars, galaxies, evolution of the universe etc).

    Obviously I cannot know how your classes will be like, but I will tell you my experience.
    The intro1 astronomy is pretty easy. A lot easier than the second intro.
    Intro Psych was also relatively easy. There were a lot of material to learn and a lot more exercise for Psych. I enjoyed it a lot though. So I guess both of them should not be so hard to get an A.
  8. Nov 17, 2009 #7


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    There could be lots of homework that might make the other 11 credits more difficult to spent enough time on.
  9. Nov 17, 2009 #8
    what? im taking the astronomy in the spring semester, only for insurance. in the summer, im taking orgo chem 1, orgo chem 2 and calc 1, and then i graduate. the astronomy or psych is just a bird class for insurance. i already have enough credits, and am on course, but sciences and maths are sequential.
  10. Nov 17, 2009 #9


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    No one can tell you if *you* will find a course easy.

    Most kids now days enter college with most of their freshman courses already credited because they took AP classes in high school, both of my daughters did, so if you are taking a full load year round, 2 years is reasonable. I'm not sure why you need *insurance*.
  11. Nov 17, 2009 #10
    most kids dont take ap courses what are you talking about? if most kids took ap coursess they wouldnt be called advanced placements. in fact most kids take well over 4 years to graduate with a bachelor, and well over 2 years for the associates. 2 years is actually better than average according to my advisors. why do i need insurance? im not really sure what to respond to that with?
    why dont i need insurance?
    well anyway, i think if i decided to take a course ill take one of those, but forn nnow i think i might not take either, and focus on getting an A in both of my registered classes.
  12. Nov 17, 2009 #11


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    It was common place in my girl's school. They and all of their friends already had most of their first year credits done when they started college.
  13. Nov 17, 2009 #12
    Astronomy can utilize most other branches of physics.

    It is easy for me in that its history is the most ancient of physics, and that its beauty is most readily accessible.
  14. Nov 18, 2009 #13
    Most people who have even the slightest interest in science will (or should I say can?) get an A in astronomy. It's by far one of the most interesting scientific fields in my opinion. The basics (gravitation, orbits, etc.) may bore you, but they should be pretty easy. If you get into the more interesting things like nuclear reactions in stars, relativity, black holes, and things like that, you'll probably be interested enough to want to do the work to understand the material enough to get an A.

    In my opinion (this is debatable of course, but I think most people would agree), anyone who plans on going into a science related field should have a basis in basic astronomy. It's one of the oldest fields of science and if nothing else, the use of reason in the discovery of its basic concepts is well worth studying. For example, Erastothenes' ingenious method of measuring the circumference of the earth is (again, in my opinion) one of the greatest applications of intuitive thought in scientific history.

    Ultimately it comes down to how much work you put into the class, just like any other, but you mentioned that you were a science major so I feel like this would be worth your time to take. It might not be an "easy" A, but I can guarantee you'll learn a lot from taking astronomy.
  15. Nov 18, 2009 #14
    It's an easy A if you like it...

    Come on people.
  16. Nov 18, 2009 #15


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    Pretty much. Since he's telling us it's an intro course at a 2-year college, my inclination is that it's of course an easy A. Then again, so is an intro psych course...in fact, intro psych is also an easy A at a 4-yr university too. So, it leaves me baffled as to why so many students still don't get As in those courses. :wink:

    Seriously, without knowing someone else's level of interest or ability, it's impossible for us to tell someone if a course is an easy A. It might be for some people, but not all. Just to put it into perspective, I always thought chem lab was an easy A too. Our OP does not agree on that. And, in reality, the only thing that usually makes a course an easy A is just what drankin mentioned, that you like it enough that you don't notice doing all the work for it and enjoy studying for it. If you walk into a course taking it because you expect it to be an easy A and that you're not going to need to do any work for it, not because you're looking forward to taking the course, it might not turn out to be a very easy A afterall.

    So, which course interests you more? Since you can choose either one, I would strongly recommend NOT taking one just because you think it will be easy, but taking one you think is going to be interesting. If your problem is that both seem equally interesting, well, then that's a much better dilemma to face.

    You could look at it two ways. Since you've mentioned many times that your long-term goal is dental school, do you think one of those courses might help you more toward that goal? I do. Afterall, any health profession requires dealing with people, and all their myriad behaviors and quirks and issues and mental illnesses. Psychology will give you more insight into the reasons behind why they act as they do so you can respond appropriately.
  17. Nov 18, 2009 #16

    there's nothing easy about my two year college. i dont know if youve ever heard of rutgers university, but the classes at mine follow the exact same curriculum as theirs. only difference is theirs 30 students as opposed to 500 in a class.

    should i take a gen physics class? im gonna need it for med/den school right? and my bachelors? is algebra based physics good enough, or do i need calc based?

    What stopped you from getting an A in your intro to psych ;)
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2009
  18. Nov 18, 2009 #17


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    Don't you have a school counselor that you work with that will tell you what you need?
  19. Nov 18, 2009 #18


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    Yes, I have heard of Rutgers, LOL! And I guarantee from what you've described here that your courses are NOT as difficult as they are at RU. There is a difference between "curriculum" and "difficulty." In fact, I can even guess now what 2 year school you are attending, because it's the one where RU students would take summer classes to get a super-easy version of some elective course that would cover their non-major core requirements just to boost their GPA.

    And what on earth gives you some idea I did not get an A in intro psych? I did. Want to guess where?
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2009
  20. Nov 18, 2009 #19
    the classes are the exact same, ive actually sat in on classes, when i had to miss a lcture at my school. ive also had friends wo have gone to my school and transferred.
    i thought the wink face meant you didnt get an A. i guess i was wrong, it's hard to read people on the internet. i wasnt refferring to skin color, i was refferring to accents. white people generally have more understandable speech then most foreighners.

    you didnt answer my question on wether calc based physics is required for med school, or if algebra based is enough.

    and what exactly have i described?
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2009
  21. Nov 18, 2009 #20
    If you want to do anything science related (dental school included), you should probably be taking calculus based physics courses.
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