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College Difficulty


Flamarlins3
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In my senior sem today we had an interesting debate. We were trying to figure out if Elon has been 'too easy'. I feel that it's definitely been far too easy for what I was expecting coming in. Teachers grade far too easily. Work load isn't that intense. I'm not saying its been a bad education because its been the exact opposite and its leading me to get the exact job I want out of college, but I was wondering from everyone else in or who's graduated from college.

 

What is your course load like for a 300/3000/3rd year level class. If not that far, how much work do you have to do for any given class. If you haven't gotten that far what about your intro/freshman level courses. How much reading/papers/tests?

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Guest Juanky

I generally have had one term paper and two essay tests per class as long as I've been in school. As a Poli Sci major, this doesn't surprise me. The difference comes in the length of the tests/paper and how deep we get into the material.

 

Four example, my midterm in Public Voting Rights (4000 level) was totally dedicated to the ins and outs of eight black civil rights cases.

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I'm taking 2000 and 3000 level Engineering classes, they're difficult enough, but nothing overwhelming. Despite the difficulty being lower than it should be, it seems like people do non science and engineering majors have it really, really easy compared to science and engineering majors.

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At FSU, Finance and Accounting 3000 courses require a 'lot' of studying. It's mostly just tests, but you really have to attend every lecture or you'll miss something vital. I would say Business courses in Tally are probably harder than other departments, but regardless I think it's 'just right' for the level of difficulty.

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this is a good question.

 

i think college seemed a bit easy, probably because of my skills and i didn't need to study as much to pass classes as my peers, but i think it was challenging for most of my classes, and was about the level it needed to be. there were some classes that were too hard or too easy, but i was a biology major, supposedly one of the hardest majors out there. i thought it was easier that advertised though, but i thought the program was challenging and made me think hard about my life as well as my studies.

 

i think it's partly a scare tactic used by high schools to make it college seem like the hardest thing ever, partly a glamour image fed to the american public by hollywood and tv is what making college seem like it's supposed to be super hard. i think also, since college is now a normal thing instead of an elite haven, it's somewhat easier than it was probably for someone 20 years ago. the internet and computer age were a part of this too, as a college student in 1987 probably didn't have a computer unless they were rich and didn't have the internet. typing papers is easier now due to this, and save hours on research time. but we now have the problem of disseminating information, where you have to find out the legit sources from the others. and also, students have more jobs than they used to, so keeping up with studies is a challenge.

 

so i think it's easier now than it was long time ago, but that doesn't mean it's less of an experience. i think all of you starting college need to think about what you want out of it, and think about how hard you think college is, and then afterward, reflect on what you say now and see if college is what you expected. i got more out of my college experience than i thought, and it wasn't because of difficult work per-say.

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Engineering is much harder than humanities.

5 year program, boo

Not when you come in with 30 credits. I could realistically get my degree in Aerospace Engineering in 3 years, but I can get a double Major in Mechanical Engineering or a couple minors instead. :happydance

 

There is an enourmous in disparity in the intelligence/nerdiness of Engineers at UF so curves don't really happen, but the class average in grades aren't that high. The one constant though is that everyone in all my classes is male, and the small amount of females in engineering are meh.

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Engineering is much harder than humanities.

5 year program, boo

Not when you come in with 30 credits. I could realistically get my degree in Aerospace Engineering in 3 years, but I can get a double Major in Mechanical Engineering or a couple minors instead. :happydance

 

There is an enourmous in disparity in the intelligence/nerdiness of Engineers at UF so curves don't really happen, but the class average in grades aren't that high. The one constant though is that everyone in all my classes is male, and the small amount of females in engineering are meh.

I know a girl in the engineering program and she says she's usually the only girl in her classes.

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If your engineering tests aren't curved, they are too easy.

Possibly, but I'm just a wee freshman.

From my experience, it gets easier as you go along, but sophomore year is the hardest. The courses are more to the point, class sizes drop, professors from your department want to see you do well. We weren't allowed to use many high school credits though so we had to start from scratch.

 

Nah, Freshman and Junior years are the toughest.

 

Freshman you get the introductory major classes that are intentionally ramped up to weed out the slackers early, and in junior year you start getting into seminar when you're no longer able to disappear in a lecture and are actually personally responsible on a weekly basis for material.

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My freshman year kicked my butt so bad I joined the Army. After getting out I knocked out an associates at the local JC, then went back to the same school I started at, figuring I was more prepared after breezing through my AA with a 4.0 and growing up a lot. Turns out I'm getting my ass handed to me yet again.

I'm a junior Economics major at the University of Redlands, it's tough IMO, but I can't really say I have much perspective relative to other programs.

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My experience has been that non-math, science classes have been fairly easy with about 60% of the class getting B+ or higher. One 10 page paper, a midterm and final is standard. The reading is pretty heavy, but you don't need to do all of it because the tests are fairly general.

 

Math classes range from average to a huge amount of work. Weekly problem sets can take anywhere from 3 or 4 hours to 15-20 hours. Then a midterm (sometimes 2) and a final. Difficulty can run the gamut with great variation in curves. I have classes where almost everyone gets an A and a couple where no one gets an A.

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Guest CrimsonCane

My experience at Harvard has varied significantly from class to class. I'm getting my concentration (that's what we call majors) in Government so I definitely can't speak all that much about science courses. All I know is that all my friends who are pre-med or physics have insanely hectic schedules. As for my experience, government courses at my college normally require about 2-3 papers, midterm, and final. There's normally about 150-250 pages of reading each week. Seminar courses also tend to have longer writing requirements. My fall seminar was a class of about 12 and had 300+ pages of reading a week and 5 papers. Grading is pretty straightforward unless your section leader is an a**hole grad student who gets his entertainment from giving your section's papers drastically lower grades than the rest of the class. We also have some pretty insane professors who believe the best way to fight supposed "grade inflation" is to only give A's to 5% of the class in a required course for all government students. I'm getting my minor in economics, and the more math heavy courses have all had ridiculously high curves. Those courses are normally based on problem sets, a midterm, and a final, with over 50% of your grade determined by the final. All in all, I'd say that most of the courses (regardless of their department) require you to put in the time if you want to get an A or A-.

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Well it seems Elon is about the norm I guess.

 

In my history classes there is usually about 100-150 pages of reading a week, but not all of it really needs to be done. A skimming works just fine. Paperwise. Usually about two 8-10 page papers mid term and a final or in some I've had three 4-6 page papers a mid term and a 15+ page paper for the final.

 

Communications is kind of a joke when it comes to work unless its a class involved with heavy filming/editing then its a ton of work, but that stuff is fun for me so it doesn't seem hard.

 

I do think college has become a lot easier though. Particularly when it comes to grading. But then again technology has helped this a ton with making college 'easier'. With computers can type up papers really quick or find basically any journal article online or anything else so that's helped as well.

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Depends on the teacher. You could take Psych 101 with one teacher, get an 'A' without doing much, but put the same effort in with someone else, and get a 'C'. Overall though, I'd have to agree with most of you and say undergrad is very easy. I did pretty well without putting in any effort.

 

Grad school, now that is a lot different. If you don't try, you definitely won't cut it.

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I'm graduating in less than two months, and honestly I haven't put in that much effort. There have been times when I've needed to buckle down and get serious, but overall I've been able to slack off and still will graduate with a 3.4. For my first two years I was an English major, and in those classes all I had to do was write a few papers for each class, so except for when I was writing a paper I'd never have any work. I rarely kept up with my reading but it didn't matter because I could just read what I needed to when it was time to write (actually most of my English classes were film-based, so I had to write about film). The past two years I've been a telecommunications major, which incorporated tests instead of papers. I'm way worse at studying and test-taking than I am at writing papers, so in the intro classes I got C's (but with virtually no effort). Now in my last semester I am soooooo sick of school and have the most extreme case of senioritis ever and don't ever want to do any work. I just want my degree.

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Depends on the teacher. You could take Psych 101 with one teacher, get an 'A' without doing much, but put the same effort in with someone else, and get a 'C'. Overall though, I'd have to agree with most of you and say undergrad is very easy. I did pretty well without putting in any effort.

 

Grad school, now that is a lot different. If you don't try, you definitely won't cut it.

 

100% true.

 

Especially about grad school.

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The 3000 level business classes at UF -- accounting and business finance most notably -- take some work. You have to really pay attention during the lectures, take notes and read your textbooks. If you miss out on doing any of these things you will run into a little trouble. It's the same in Management, Marketing and Economics classes as well.

 

Those classes were the most difficult work load for me, as I was a sport management major. SM is not exactly the hardest undergrad degree, but it fit what I wanted to do for a career so I took it.

 

From what I've seen UF has some classes that take quite a bit of work, especially engineering ones. But for everyone of those classes there is one that doesn't take a lot of effort.

 

Grad school takes work, no matter what the class. Lots of reading and typing papers.

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