4 Tips for Successfully Registering for Classes

It's no doubt that class registration season brings an added stress to college campuses. Worries about choosing the right classes and class availability flood the minds of students, and Rate My Professors is constantly open in computer tabs. It’s easy to get extremely stressed about registration, but with some assurance and advice to help you get over this hill, you can prepare ahead of time and make the process smoother.

1. Plan out your schedule

It is always necessary to plan before your registration period begins. I usually dedicate one day during the week prior to my registration date to research the classes offered and decide what I need to sign up for. UF releases their course offerings list for the next semester a couple of weeks before registration starts, so it makes it easier to plan. I always look over my degree audit and critical tracking requirements first, so I can fill those requirements before deciding on what elective courses to register for. Also, make sure you have about five alternative choices for classes if you are not able to get your first few choices.

2. Use Rate My Professors

It may not be recommended by faculty, but Rate My Professors is essential for finding the best professor for the class you’re taking. It’s a website that allows you to look up most professors to see any negative or positive reviews they have received from former students. The feature I find most helpful with that website is that you can see if the professor uses the textbook or not, and it has helped me avoid spending a lot of money in the past. When I’m planning out my schedule, I like to have another window open for Rate My Professors, so I can read the feedback on the teachers while searching through the course list. At the end of the day, the professor is the deciding factor on whether you will retain vital information from the class or not, and I like to have the best options to succeed in my courses. If you want to do more research on professors, UF has a list of faculty and staff on each department website with biographies and any accomplishments or research they have completed. Having some background on the professor makes it easier to develop a connection that may help your future career.

3. Visit your adviser

Scheduling a meeting with an advisor during the registration period can be a battle, but if you visit earlier in the semester, there is a better chance of a shorter wait time. Make sure to have a semester plan prepared to reference during your meeting, so they can have a basis to work from. I have encountered instances where my advisor rescheduled my appointment and urged me to make a rough draft of a schedule before I visited the next time. If you have not planned the courses you’re going to take before you meet with an advisor, it will make your appointment less efficient and beneficial on your behalf. If you are having trouble finding one or two more courses, make sure to visit them with other class ideas and mention the issue you’re having, and they can offer you a list of ideal classes to sign up for. Another tip for advising is to schedule an appointment with a specific advisor if you can. Some college advising offices may only offer walk-ins during the registration period and drop/add week, but if you visit before those dates, meet with a specific advisor whom you prefer or is appropriate for your major. A list of advisors and their specific classification can be found on the department or college website.

4. Be persistent with registration

When the time comes for you to register for classes next semester, be on time, so you don’t miss the chance to sign up for classes you need. If you are unaware of your registration start time, check your ONE.UF schedule dashboard and it will remind you of your time slot. It's important to check this date in advance because it will also warn you of any holds on your account or direct you to complete the registration preparation form.

Once you can register, sign up for the most important classes first and then save some alternative courses to your schedule. By adding a few more class options than needed to your schedule, you can decide during the drop/add if you want to remain in the course, while still meeting the minimum semester credit requirement and having classes you can take. I typically sign up for 18 credits and then drop the class(es) that I least prefer during the drop/add period.

Registration is a never-ending battle in college. When you believe you have the perfect schedule, you begin to doubt your choices. At all costs, try to avoid getting sucked into second-guessing your class decisions because it will only add more stress to your semester. Although there is no crystal-clear way of getting the best classes, as long as you have a determined and confident mindset, you will be more successful with registration and college in general.