How to know if you should drop a class

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Kimberly Fong/Staff

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With the start of the semester, everyone is eager to dive deep into their studies and explore new classes they’ve signed up for. However, sometimes sticking to your schedule is not the best option, whether it be for the reasons of GPA or mental health. So, how do I decide if the class is worth it or something you should drop? Read this guide and find out if you should really be taking that class.


Oh, yes: our favorite! Textbooks aren’t just extremely heavy but are also crazy expensive. If for some reason the textbook that is required for the class is sold out and you are already behind, dropping the course might be worth a thought. 

Falling behind in an important class may negatively impact your grade, so in this situation, it is essential to consider whether you’d be able to catch up by the time the textbook is back in stock. If, however, you are sure that you wouldn’t be able to do just that, it may be better to simply drop the course. 

The class is way too hard

We have all wanted to take a class that is upper division and sounds interesting, but it is an upper-division course for a reason. Before enrolling, it is necessary to look over the prerequisites for the specific classes to make sure you are up to date. 

Even if your advanced class sounds like a blast, consider taking a lower-level class instead. That way, you can enjoy the advanced class another semester once you’re finally prepared for it and won’t be so worried about keeping up.

The syllabus makes it look like torture 

Have you ever picked up a syllabus and realized it was multiple pages worth of assignments? 

Sometimes professors choose to make their course assignments heavy, and therefore, time-consuming. Depending on your current class workload and extracurricular involvement, you may need to consider dropping the class in order to not sacrifice your other commitments. Although it may be hard to focus your attention on one individual thing, it will surely pay off later. 

You already failed a test

This one is kind of self-explanatory but still holds extremely true. If the test material felt shaky to you and your score was nowhere near what you wanted it to be, for the sake of your GPA, it might be a good idea to get rid of the class. Of course, it is possible to bring your grade up, but this is a situation where you need to fairly assess yourself and whether or not you truly can change the situation. 

You do not like the professor

We all have different learning styles, just as every professor teaches differently. If you end up unhappy with the type of instruction a certain professor has, do not beat yourself up for it. If you don’t understand the way your professor is explaining certain concepts, dropping his or her class could be your best option. 

Of course, everyone is different — and situations may vary. Just make sure you aren’t too hard on yourself if the class ends up being the wrong fit. In any case, it is my hope that everyone has a wonderful semester with only the classes they truly want to take. 

Contact Irina Sakharova at [email protected].