Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

Students choose the `easy A’ over a hard course

As spring semester registration approaches many students are busy planning the perfect schedule. Students register for particular courses for a variety of reasons. Some courses are taken to fill general-curriculum or major requirements, for personal interests or because the time a course is offered fits well in a student’s schedule. But those are not the only reasons. Some GW students are scheduling courses based on how easy the course is or because of a reputation of a professor for being a lenient grader.

According to several students, GW offers some classes with professors that allow you party all week and still make the Dean’s List. Some students said they are scheduling the easy way out.

Sophomore Patty Thornton explains the process of using various resources to select a class.

Before I take a class that is not required for my major, I need a lot of research to make sure I am getting the best deal, she said. I ask my friends who have taken the class before so I know what I am getting into. Why would I chance it and take a class with a hard professor when I can wait for an easy one and get an A?

Similarly, many other GW students said they would take an easy class with a lenient professor from whom they would learn nothing rather than take that same class with a demanding professor from whom they would learn more. Many students even admitted to have chosen classes based solely on the reputation the professor had for giving easy A’s.

I get more satisfaction from an A on my transcript than I do from knowing that I can recite all the geological periods; that is knowledge I will never use, Thornton said.

Other students cited the pressures of graduate school and job searching as incentives to boost one’s GPA, even if it means sacrificing knowledge.

College has gotten so competitive that the difference between an A and a B is so dramatic, sophomore Neil Seecharan said. It becomes almost necessary to enhance your GPA with easy classes, and thus your chances at getting into a good graduate school or getting a good job. College is no longer education for one’s own benefit; it is a stepping-stone in the job-search process. I don’t remember anything about astronomy and I don’t care. All I know is I got an A and fulfilled my science requirement.

Similarly, sophomore Tova Mannis said future employers in her field are not going to care that she dissected a pig correctly. She said they are only going to care about her GPA and her knowledge of her major.

Although students have no problem taking easier professors and classes for general curricular requirements, when it comes to classes for their major student philosophies change.

If I took economics with the easy professor now, the advanced economics courses that I have to take later would be disastrous, sophomore Katy Gore said.

While most students credit their knowledge of easy courses and professors to word of mouth from upperclassmen friends, they said the Student Association Academic Update course survey posted on the SA Web site also proved to be a valuable resource. The Academic Update profiles student opinion of different courses, the quality of the professor and whether students would take a course with a professor again, according to the Web site.

Students said it is tempting to take the easy way out by take an easier class or a course with a more lenient professor. Some said the best method is scheduling easy classes for prerequisites, being careful not to miss out on more challenging courses in their major.

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