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What is the workload actually like?

KenzooKenzoo Registered User Posts: 45 Junior Member
To be brief, I am one of those students that takes the most rigorous classes, but never has homework. I do it during free time, before sports practices, etc. What is the workload at Cornell and how would it compare to classes like AP Bio, AP Calc, APUSH (basically any of the high school AP / IB courses). I am used to rigor and I have good time management skills, but I also don't want to be in over my head. So if someone could give me a synopsis of what the Pre-Med or Poly Sci program is like. I intend on going to Cornell for one of those two and a dual major with Mandarin. Thanks.

Replies to: What is the workload actually like?

  • Ranza123Ranza123 Registered User Posts: 1,345 Senior Member
    I'm a government major (Cornell's version of "poli sci"); the workload will depend on the number of credits you take per semester, the courses themselves, and the student. If you don't overwhelm yourself with credits and manage your time well, it's very manageable.

    The government program is very flexible in terms of what courses you take, so you can cater it towards your own interests and not worry about prerequisites. Being pre-med is difficult and rigorous, and people often drop that aspect of their coursework at some point (although of course plenty of people complete their pre-med courses and go to med school), so that will add a lot more work to your plate. It's not a major in itself; you take pre-med requirements on top of whatever your actual major is (so you could be government and pre-med, for example).

    Cornell doesn't have a Mandarin major, so I'm not sure exactly what you're referring to (Asian Studies? China and Asian-Pacific Studies?) but language courses in general are a lot of work, so I would recommend taking fewer other courses the semesters you're taking languages.

    Let me know if you have other questions!
  • grahamcracker123grahamcracker123 Registered User Posts: 39 Junior Member
    I've been wondering about the workload re: ILR classes as well, if there are any ILR students on this forum. How are grades determined -- is there a combination of homework, quizzes, and exams, or just mostly exams? Are the exams essays or multiple choice? (I am at a community college, so I have no idea what to expect.)
  • Ranza123Ranza123 Registered User Posts: 1,345 Senior Member
    @grahamcrack123 I'm not in ILR, but I don't know if there are any ILR students on this forum so I'll do my best to answer. My best guess is it'll depend on the class itself. ILR is stereotypically known for having a ton of reading but not much else; my guess is it's a lot of reading and essays and that exams are often essay-based. That's generally how it is for government classes. There isn't really "homework" in most classes; there are things you'll need to work on at home obviously (essays, assignments, presentations, studying, etc.) but very little homework in the sense of busywork, especially in courses that don't have problem sets.
  • grahamcracker123grahamcracker123 Registered User Posts: 39 Junior Member
    Thank you for your response! Do you know if the essays are time-limited/closed-book and in-class, or do they tend to be take-home essays/open book?
  • Ranza123Ranza123 Registered User Posts: 1,345 Senior Member
    @grahamcracker123 Typically you write essays at home on your own time. Exams are either done in class or on Tuesday/Thursday evenings (aside from final exams, which are scheduled by the university); these are almost always closed-book and timed. The structure of exams will depend on the course and the professor, but many of mine as a government major involve essays.
  • KenzooKenzoo Registered User Posts: 45 Junior Member
    Thanks for the response, I don't know if Cornell is right for me though due to the location and lack of my intended majors.
  • Ranza123Ranza123 Registered User Posts: 1,345 Senior Member
    Ithaca isn't for everyone, although I've lived here my whole life and love it.

    As for majors, Cornell does have political science (it's just called "government" here), and you can be pre-med. While Cornell doesn't have a Mandarin major, you may want to look into their China and Asian-Pacific Studies major, which actually has a lot of course that are cross-listed with government courses, so that may be a fairly easy double major to complete (and I know people who have done it).

    Here's more info on the government major: http://courses.cornell.edu/preview_program.php?catoid=31&poid=15223

    Here's more info on the CAPS major: http://courses.cornell.edu/preview_program.php?catoid=31&poid=15143
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