Preparing for Second Semester Classes

Congratulations on surviving Berkeley thus far! We have just entered into the middle of the semester, and now it’s time to start thinking about your classes for next semester. If you haven’t seen already, check out Berkeley Online Schedule of Classes for class offerings for Spring 2015! Telebears start on Monday, so here are some steps I suggest you follow to ensure you can get into all of your classes by January.

1. Check out Online Schedule of Classes – this is the place where every Berkeley class related website gets their information from, and provides real-time enrollment information, waitlists, pre-requisites, year level, etc. The websites I’m referring to have a one day lag, so when you’re in pinch, check the source.

2. Plan, plan, plan – getting into all the classes you want is hard. Before your Phase 1 period, find out all of the classes you could possibly take! I typically like to check Online Schedule for interesting departments and just record all the classes I like. Then, for requirements or other classes, I like to check BerkeleyTime. Plan your ideal and other possible schedules and back-ups using various planning tools like ninjaCourses or ScheduleBuilder, which checks for various timings, class conflicts, and final exam conflicts. Check this out for more resources.

3. Beating Telebears – now that you have a sense of the classes you want to take, check Telebears Oracle or BerkeleyTime to choose which you should Phase 1, which you should Phase 2, and which (if applicable) you can afford to save for the Adjustment Period. Here are some Telebears tips!

  • Phase 1 classes that are most important to you and popular. Sometimes you’re going to have to sacrifice one or the other in order to make sure the classes you choose for Phase 1 is less than 10.5 units.
  • Discussion sections are more important than lectures. If you get into discussion, you will be guaranteed to get into the class itself.
  • Choose unpopular sections for very popular classes. For instance, if you’re number 1 on the waitlist for an 8am section for a class you really want to get into, you will be more likely to get in the class than if you’re number 5 or 6 for a super popular section.
  • Some classes have a “C” in front of it, which means the course is cross-listed. This means that there are different course numbers in different departments for the same class. The class may be bigger than you think.
  • There are some classes that should be Phase’d 1, and there are some other classes that should and can be Phase’d 2. Some examples are below.
  • If you end up wanting to choose a class that you’d automatically on the waitlist for, be sure to Phase 1 this class. Most likely it’s popular and your current major (or being undeclared) will not help you. There’s a big chance that you’ll be taken off the waitlist nearer the adjustment period, or when you attend the class a couple times when class starts.
  • Check up with the classes you’re interested every so often. If at any point the class is going to fill up and it’s still a long time before you Phase 1, try to replace it with another class.
  • Remember that you can always switch classes even after Phase 1! Make sure to change them before Phase 2 begins, or else you’re going to have to wait until your Phase 2 to start changing classes again.

Phase 1 Classes

Remember that your Haas pre-requisites are going to be your highest priority (as it will be others’ as well), so you should Phase 1 all these classes. Statistics and math are some of those classes in which it won’t be the end of the world if you don’t Phase 1, so if you have other classes that fill up more quickly, you can save stats/math for one or the other and it should be fine. Here are some examples of classes you should Phase 1:

  • UGBA 10
  • Econ 1
  • All Haas Upper Division courses – it is possible to enroll in these classes as a non-Haas major / underclassmen (it’s pretty hard if you’re a freshman though), so the key is to Phase 1 and get on the waitlist as soon as possible.
  • Big department upper division classes (such as economics or psychology)
  • R&C courses
  • Beginning language classes (if they are popular or have popular time periods like 10am, 11am, or 12am)
  • Classes that have few small discussion sections
  • Classes with a popular professor (compared to the same class, different lecture period with a not as popular professor)
  • Classes with a popular time (compared to the same class, different lecture period with a not as popular time)
  • There are other classes too that you should also Phase 1. Check BerkeleyTime or TelebearsOracle, or consult with a peer.

If you need any advice about your classes; don’t hesitate to ask me! May the odds be with you.

2 thoughts on “Preparing for Second Semester Classes

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