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The Right Professors Could Make or Break Your Semester

By ROBERTO ABEDRABBO

Once again, you find yourself at that time of the semester where you’re looking for your new classes and can’t figure out which professor you should take, debating if you will like the class, or convincing yourself that you will actually attend all your Monday-Wednesday-Friday classes at 8:30 a.m. We’ve all been there, and trust me, the more you progress in your career, the easier it will get. However, the most important part about choosing your classes for the following semester is knowing which professor will be teaching them. Here are some tips on how to go through the process pain free, without making the mistake of choosing a professor who won’t suit your needs or preferred learning style.

I’m sure by now you’ve heard of a magical tool from heaven called RateMyProfessors.com, which will probably be your best friend for the remainder of your career at school. This website does not only have a nearly-complete list of professors at UT, but it can also provide you with detailed feedback about them, including important factors like overall rating, level of difficulty, feedback from students who’ve taken their classes, and even a “hotness” meter, in case that interests you. RateMyProfessors.com will easily give you an edge on choosing the right professor for your class, even if you don’t know them or know anyone who has taken one of their classes previously.

Another technique you could use to choose the right professor is simply by talking to your friends and classmates, and asking them for their feedback about professors. This is a better way to understand more detailed aspects about a class, as well as know how the professor usually approaches students and the class material, so you can determine if its something that will work for you. If you choose this method, try to get as much feedback as possible from different friends and classmates, which will help you recognize any patterns and understand professors from different perspectives.

Finally, the least-used technique is to meet with professors directly and ask them any questions you have in regards to a specific class. This is not typically used, since class selection times are very competitive with other students, as well as available office hours for these professors may sometimes be limited. However, do consider this technique as your last resort, which will be better than simply going to a class and hoping for the best.

One of UT’s competitive advantages is the ability to offer students small classes, which immediately gives students a better connection with their professors, therefore enhancing their learning experience. Keep in mind that you will not always be compatible with them, even though other students may say that they had a great learning experience. Therefore, do your best at making these decisions and learn as much as you can during class. At the end of the day, “C’s earn degrees,” but what will ultimately help you in your professional careers is how much you learned in school.

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