Don’t Get Sucker-Punched By Gut Courses

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Maybe your GPA is sliding and you need an easy A, maybe you need more time to focus on other classes, or maybe you just need to fulfill a non-major requirement. Whatever your academic problem , the solution seems simple: sign up for a class that’s easy to pass, otherwise known as a gut course. Great strategy – unless your would-be gut course is a gut punch in disguise.

Here are 5 courses to beware of:

1. Life in the Universe.

What you think you’ll be doing: discussing the search for ET. What you’ll really be doing: Math. Astronomy is closely tied to physics. If the course description includes words like “quantitative analysis,” and you’re not skilled in math – keep looking.

2. Human Sexuality.

Anything with “sex” in the title has to be a fun course, right? Maybe not. At some schools, sexuality courses fall under the anthropology or biology departments. These courses can be based much more in hard science than in theory.

3. Introduction to Geology.

It’s called “rocks for jocks,” how hard could it be? If you’re an English major the answer could be: “very.” Geology exams can rely heavily on rote memorization. If you’re used to writing essays, memorizing the differences between igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks may be very challenging for you. If you’ve already enrolled and realized your mistake too late, flashcards are a great way to study. Sites like Cram.com make the flashcard experience digital.

4. Fairy Tales.

Don’t be fooled by the candy coated gingerbread house. This seemingly easy course can be devilishly hard. Often these courses are upper level seminars housed within the English, Folklore or even German departments. Read the course description carefully. Knowing the difference between Ariel and Aurora might not be enough to get an A here.

5. Ethics.

We all know right from wrong. But these philosophy courses aren’t as simple as that. You’ll probably be expected to dive deep into theory and will likely study Aristotle, Kant, and Mill. TC mark

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