If you’re a university student, you’re probably already well acquainted with the chaos and mayhem that is associated with subject registration day.
Find yourself struggling to manoeuvre a frequently failing online registration system, battling infuriatingly slow internet and scrambling to apply for the easiest best classes every semester? Subject registration is truly a race against the odds and it is vital that you prepare beforehand.
To help you be fully prepared, we’ve compiled some useful tips and tricks for a stress-free subject registration experience.
#1. Carefully curate your subject combination
Start off by identifying your core and elective requirements for the semester. Once you’ve got a clear picture of what is compulsory and what is optional, you can begin to choose your winning mix of subjects for the semester.
Don’t take subjects just for the sake of it! Choosing electives is an incredible opportunity to diversify your knowledge within your field and give you insight into possible fields of specialisation in the future. When choosing your electives, it’s also important to consider your interests, select subjects that are likely to boost you CGPA and pick classes taught by lecturers you look forward to working with.
Meet your academic advisor and pick their brain to find out which classes they think will best supplement your degree and give you an added edge in your industry in the future. You might also want to get the scoop about your class choices from reliable seniors — but be mindful to take these opinions with a pinch of salt as each student’s experience is subjective.
#2. Choose your optimum study time
In order to get the most out of your classes, it’s essential that you build a schedule around the time of the day when you’re most productive. For some of us, that might mean avoiding those nasty 8am classes like the plague or taking the road less travelled and opting for classes in the earlier parts of the day.
No matter how dead set you are against classes after 6pm or (God forbid) on a weekend, don’t cram all your lectures and tutorials back to back in a day. It’s imperative that you give yourself enough time to rest and relax throughout your week, with plenty of opportunities to ditch your books and engage in extracurricular activities.
The human mind is wondrous but easily overworked and there’s no point attending lectures while your brain is a pile of mush.
#3. Consider your workload
While it’s likely that there are a number of classes you are recommended to take each semester to ensure that you graduate on time, not everyone is made out of the same mould.
When scheduling your classes for a new semester, make sure to consider the potential workload you’ll have to deal with during the semester to see if you’ll be able to cope with the suggested number of subjects before registering. If you’re unclear as to your next move, speak with your academic advisor who will be able to help you gauge your ability to handle the onslaught of new tasks in the coming term, based on your past performance.
It may seem discouraging to have to lag behind your peers but there’s no harm in moving at your own pace. It’s far more critical that you grasp the subject matter and perform in your exams, rather than rush to the finish line. As they say, slow and steady wins the race.
#4. Prep for the day ahead of time
Most universities allocate specific date and time slots for students from different faculties and years to register, giving you plenty of time to prepare the ultimate game plan.
Firstly, ensure that you have access to your portal a few days before your allocated date and time slot as some institutions prevent students from registering for classes if they’ve neglected to pay their fees or fulfilled other requirements. You don’t want to be caught in a tiff with the finance department on registration day while the best lecture slots are being coveted.
Once you’ve decided on your subjects, prepare a list of the classes you are planning to apply for and their requisite class codes so you aren’t scrambling to decipher the 15 different tutorial sections just as you should be clicking ‘submit’. And no matter how bullet-proof your strategy, you should always list a few alternative choices in case your desired slots are filled up.
#5. Check your wifi connection
On subject registration day, ensure you have a strong internet connection so that there aren’t any technological hiccups along the way. If you’re grappling with shoddy hostel wifi, opt to go to campus or even to a cyber cafe for a smooth sailing process. It’s also important to identify beforehand who to contact if you face difficulties accessing the portal for online registration — so your queries can be dealt with as fast as possible.
#6. Be ready early
Make sure you’re stationed at your laptop about half an hour earlier than your designated time slot to ensure that you’re logged in to your student portal and ready to register for your classes as soon as your slot opens. Your faculty might afford you a generous window of time to apply, but rest assured your kiasu classmates will be in position hours ahead of time to select the best spots.
We know what you’re thinking — “all this hullabaloo just to register subjects?” But it is important as your study timetable will set the tone for the rest of the semester and will have lasting consequences on your final grade. So plan ahead and you’ll be well on your way to the most productive semester of your university life!