How to pick an ‘easy’ college professor when registering for courses

Scheduling college classes can be a challenge at times. You’re asking yourself questions such as which classes to take and what size course load you want to carry. Or you may feel this term is going to entail having a tough schedule and subsequently look for ways to reduce stress.

Often one of the first ideas which pop into a student’s head may be to take an easy class or an easy professor, although that’s easier said than done. When trying to make your schedule, you saw there were hundreds of courses and almost as many professors in the course schedule list. How do you accurately pinpoint which of the professors may be a bit more lenient, has some flexibility or simply teaches a low-stress class?

There are a few ways to try and determine which professors are “easy”, but none are foolproof because opinions are subjective and people have different strength areas. What’s easy to one student may be hard for another, but in poking around and looking for information, you might discover a general consensus to help you make your selections. There are a few approaches you can take in your quest to find a less demanding professor.

Talk to other students

Usually registration starts long before the current semester’s classes are over. If you want to try and learn about specific professors, during the course of the semester talk to other people in your classes. Everyone needs general education courses for most degrees and, if the classes you need are degree specific, chances are people may have taken some of the other classes you need and are familiar with professors. A word of caution, don’t put too much weight into one person’s opinion since definitions of “easy” may vary, but by asking around and talking to people, you might get a better idea of which professors fit the bill.

Visit with faculty members

Sometimes having an honest conversation with faculty may provide you with some insight. You don’t have to outwardly ask them “Are you easy? If I take your class, is it an easy A?”  Most professors don’t want to consider their class as “easy”, but many of them will give an affirmative outline of how you can succeed in their class. By “interviewing” professors, you can get a great idea of what’s expected and whether or not it falls into your idea of “easy”. If you think their expectations are too “hard”, move onto the next faculty member on your list.

Make an appointment with your academic advisor

Academic advisors are great people when you sit down with them to discuss your options. The good ones are interested in your work and school load and concerned with a good balance so you aren’t overloaded. They want you to succeed! A good academic advisor will take into consideration not only the above, but also your learning style. He or she will try and match you with a professor who can effectively help you to meet your needs and objectives.

Ask the person doing registration

Many colleges these days push students online to register. However, for the colleges that do provide on-campus registration, you can try asking the person running your registration. From personal experience through working in this capacity, students just love to share tidbits about professors with registration staff. Additionally, an experienced staff member will likely know the “ins and outs” of how professors are “rated” by other students. As a former registrar clerk, I knew all about professors I’d never even met, all from students who came in either praising faculty or griping about their experiences with a specific professor’s class. When you’re registering it can’t hurt to ask the staff member questions about specific instructors (if it’s not during a time where there is a line out the door). You never know what kind of answer you’ll get or information you’ll learn.

Surf the Internet

Websites such as ‘Rate My Professors’ may give some insight to finding an easy professor. If you pull up your favorite search engine and plug in a few key words, there is a good possibility someone else has taken the class you’re interested with the same professor. Does your college have a forum where people go online and interact? If so, this is a great place to “meet” others and discuss academic issues.

Choosing professors is often a gamble, you never know what to expect. However, by doing a bit of homework prior to registration may provide a little bit of insight into what kind of workload and demands will be expected for your classes during the semester.