Emory Work Load

<p>I'm headed to Emory this fall for freshman year, so I had a few things that I've been wanting to find out from current students there. </p>

<p>I know this is pretty much going to vary a lot depending on the person, but I'm super curious to know how long Emory College students generally spend on academics outside of classes (studying, papers, etc). It would also be helpful if you could also provide a bit of a background, such as the rigor of the high school you attended, your current and/or desired GPA and major, and any other pertinent info. Thanks!</p>

<p>I would like to know this too!!</p>

<p>For me, there was an inverse relationship between how much thought was required and work assigned. I'm a math major and my math classes typically had just a few problems a week (3-5) for homework, 2 midterms plus a final. Very simple outline that required not so much "work", but a lot of self-teaching and thought. The classes I took outside of my department for GERs were not usually very challenging intellectually, but the teachers made up for it with work. I had a class last year where we had a short paper due every Friday, 3 larger papers, a half hour presentation, a midterm, pop quizzes and around 30 pages of reading for every class. None of it was difficult, but it was time consuming even without studying or doing the readings. I complained about the workload, but people just told me how much worse they've had it. So those were kind of the two ends of the spectrum for me. The moral of the story is that you gotta pay your dues somewhere: either you're gonna think, think, and think or work your ass off with papers, readings and presentations.</p>

<p>^^^ I agree, most of the GER's are A LOT of work, but are not challenging if you do the work. I took this one writing intensive humanities class last semester for my GER, and I had 90 pages of reading a week, a short essay every week, a 9 page paper, and 2 tests, 1 final. But since I did ALL the work, it was an easy A.</p>

<p>For science class, you get A LOT of work. Not assignments that have to be turned in, but stuff you have to do on your own, to get a firm grasp of the material. For science classes, not only is there A LOT of work, but it is VERY Challenging. In other words, for science classes, SOMETIMES no matter how HARD you work, there is still a GOOD chance you will get screwed on a test. Science classes from what I have heard from my peers and from my own experiences are the worst classes to take, because there ARE SO MUCH work, and THEY ARE VERY DIFFICULT. Whereas for other departments(non-science classes), they may be A LOT OF WORK, but IF YOU DO ALL THE WORK, YOU WILL GET AN EASY A.</p>

<p>Just from my own experiences, and those of my friends.</p>

<p>I am an emory freshman, and I am currently doign Pre-Medicine, and I declared my Biology major last semester.
As a pre-medicine student, the work is EXTREMELY hard.
However, so far, I have a 3.7 GPA.
You just have to work you butt off, and especially if you major in science, know how to balance everything.
The tests/finals are extremley challenging, but if you do all the work, I guarantee you will be fine and make sure you STUDY.
I spend about 2-4 hours in my dorm/library each day, just for my science classes.
In terms of workload and preparing, I advise to get your GER work out the way, because they are usually easier, and then take the most time to study for the science classes.
Attend office hours, and make sure you REALLY understand the assigned material before you start something new.
I hope this helps, but trust me, contrary to popular belief, alot of Pre-Meds do have lifes!
Like me for example, the whole week, I focus on academics, homework, reading and sleep. But when Friday, Saturday comes, I usually go to Atlantic Station with friends, or explore Atlanta, or just go to campus parties (I'm not in Greek Life, but I still have fun). Theres plenty to do, and Atlanta is a great city, so even when Emory gives you alot of work, learn how to plan, study, but still have FUN. :)</p>

<p>Be careful when you speak of non-science courses. Political science and history for example, can be difficult if you are not as good a writer as you think. Not to mention, the extreme amount of reading assigned in some of the tougher courses. Then you must deal with subjective grading practices sometimes. I have known many fellow science major friends who have either earned a low score in a polysci/history course (often the toughest are the intros. like comparative and international politics for polysci. The trend is the same for science courses), or have had to withdraw after failing a paper or something miserably. Do not underestimate the humanities/social science courses. Some can be really hard and less straight forward than science courses in terms of grading/ exam expectations, etc.</p>

<p>Also, as far as writing goes, if you are like me and love both humanities and sciences, it can be tricky switching back and forth from different writing styles.<br>
Then again, my opinion is biased because I tend to take some of the more tedious GERs/humanities. I still don't recommend treating such courses (unless it is known to be easy, and that is why you chose it) as courses that you can basically cast aside or put little effort into. It is very important to keep up with long-term assignments/reading in the courses.</p>

<p>As for science courses, they are hard, but I think many people would perform better in bio 141/142 in particular, if they assigned a mandatory workload like chem. and physics. Perhaps some problem sets that are similar to the optional SIs, but shorter in length. It makes people keep up with the material if they know it's for a grade. Most of the teachers need to get rid of that multiple choice only format also. The tests would be far more fair and more challenging if they were multiple choice/short answer/matching etc. hybrids. In other words, I think that the tests should be more like the SI. That type of challenge may cause people to get more out of the course than the tricky multiple choice questions, that are sometimes rote memorization.
I also think that physics 141/142 should be phased out. The calculus in 151/152 is not that bad (trust me, I only had calc. 1 and it was hard, but doable). The math backgrounds of Emory students are just as solid as the peer institutions (and places like GT which do not bother having trig. based), and I have to wonder if they offer trig-based. Why provide a watered down physics class that basically targets pre-meds. Seems backwards. Besides many concepts in physics are best understood in context of calculus. It's shameful that Calc.-based physics at Emory is considered "advanced". One reason why the physics dept. kind of sucks, and why 151/152 generally get lame profs.</p>

<p>Point is, I think the intro. science courses at Emory are tough, but I think they could actually be a lot more challenging and stimulating (this is very important to me) than they are. I think we can be getting more out of these classes. Arguably, chem. is solid (I saw GT gen. chem tests and ours were harder and more application based, which should be relevant to pre-meds), but I worry about intro. bio and physics sometimes. The latter two seem to vary too much depending on the year and professor. Seems like there are some easy years for them, and some tough years.</p>

<p>Wow...I am surprised by the comments here. </p>

<p>In my opinion, the majority of college classes should not be classified by "amount of work per week." Sure, most classes assign a variable amount of weekly reading, but the key is to figure out how much of that work is actually required. In some cases you do need to do 100% of the work, but in others you can get an A just through paying attention in class. </p>

<p>Knowing what and how to study is more important to success than just throwing hours into studying. It's possible to have a 3.8+ with very little weekly work in almost any major (with pre-med being the most likely exclusion).</p>

<p>I think your right phaeth, at least for Emory and similar schools. Take orgo. for example. From observing many of my friends and my own performance, the amount of time you study for that class tends not to really translate into a certain grade. It's "how" you study orgo. In that case, practice makes perfect. At engineering schools like Tech on the other hand, most of the classes assign a heavy workload. This can work for or against them. It can either provide a chance to boost their grades (b/c the grade is no longer completely test/quiz/lab dependent) or hurt them if the work is very difficult or detracts time from trying to study the material (basically, they get to the point where they are just trying to get the problems done, and don't really understand the concepts emphasized in doing each problem). I don't think pre-med here is like that. The exams weight very heavily and can be extremely difficult though. Especially for chem. and physics.</p>

<p>I found it pretty heavy. Then again I was in a lot of liberal arts types classes.</p>

<p>Decided on a stupid freshman seminar..okay I loved it..but there was a TON of reading per class (like 60+ pages per class), and lots of papers. I wrote like 150 pages freshman year.</p>

<p>The workload is generally heavier than that of state universities but could be much worse if ure comparing to other schools of similar caliber. Of course that depends on the specific courseload you're taking. It seems like the pre-meds here (including myself) tend to spend more time studying yet end up with lower GPAs overall, but that's only a generalization and anyone can be an exception to the trend. Personally, I took a relatively more challenging courseload my freshmen year that included orgo, calc-based physics, general biology, multivariable calc, and intro microeconomics this spring semester, which basically forced me to be more efficient and cut down on work/studying i didnt really need. With the exception A-'s in orgo 1st sem and bio 2nd sem, i did fine in my other classes. In short, if you have strong background in the subject area of the classes ur taking, are willing to put a decent amount of work into each, and can work smart and efficiently when studying for and taking tests, then u should be able to do well, which in my opinion is a 3.9 or better.</p>

<p>I hate how getting an A- isn't doing fine. A- in those classes are awesome. Chill. To cite A- as an exception to doing well makes you come off as slightly pompous. Well for a freshmen or anyone is about 3.5-3.6 or better. 3.9 is rediculous. Seriously, will you grieve/drop pre-med if you dip below to 3.7-3.8? If you do, you must not really want to be a doctor. You're shooting for "only" (shoot for them by all means, but...) extremely prestigious institutions. Sorry to rant, but I really don't like a lot of the people who basically think perfection is the only thing that is in the "well" range. I don't know you, but many of those (trust me I know a lot) people tend to be more uptight and slightly cut-throat. Efficient studying will not guarantee a 3.9 for most people. A great GPA, but not a 3.9. Who'd you have for bio anyway. Difficulty of that varied so much from prof. to prof. </p>

<p>And as for similar caliber schools, I know many at those schools, and it's about the same and perhaps easier in some departments. The only significant difference is at schools primarily focused on engineering, small LACs and perhaps some of the higher ranked Ivies (Princeton, Yale, in particular). Those breed work-a-holics and grade tougher.</p>

<p>But honestly, I think Emory may be getting easier. There seems to be some unnecessary inflation going on that did not go on in the past (perhaps even more so than my year). For example, bio was normally never scaled just because the average was below 75 (also curving the classes with the lowest averages seems to be a development that began when Corces came). Morkin ended up scaling her final (73 average) even though she consistently had high averages on mid-terms. Weaver had those extra-credit problems and seemed to make the second exam easier after complaints about the first. Funny how none of the chem. professors cared if the averages were always in the 60s before (which was sometimes the case in Mulfords class). As for Soria's Class, it is difficult, but sometimes too many bonus points are allotted given that the scale is already adjusted in a manner to benefit most students. As for physics 2, that was apparently easy for any student with AP credit (apparently, with teachers in the past, physics 152 was difficult to nearly everyone, and require some sort of curve on each exam), and first semester, there was no calculus (defeats purpose of calc. based physics) on the exams and too much curving (Rasnik is up for tenure I think. He even admitted that his exams used to be very difficult). And again about calc. 3, I hear that many sections have too much curving and undeserved points thrown on the exams. This is probably not a good trend, but I guess it benefits those who only want good grades. I hope this is not some way of raising the number of med. school admits. This is a poor way of doing so. It seems like you and me took the right classes in the right years. I'm just glad I'm not pre-med.</p>

<p><<the only="" significant="" difference="" is="" at="" schools="" primarily="" focused="" on="" engineering,="" small="" lacs="" and="" perhaps="" some="" of="" the="" higher="" ranked="" ivies="" (princeton,="" yale,="" in="" particular).="" those="" breed="" work-a-holics="" grade="" tougher.="">></the></p>

<p>Oxford is a two year LAC. Based on what you said, Oxford students claiming that their work is harder could be true.</p>

<p>Also, the inflation you're talking about may be that the quality of the students coming into Emory has gotten progressively better over the years. Which means they produce better works, which in turn lead to professors agreeing to up the grade average so to speak. Just a hypothesis.</p>

<p>Also, why do you supect that it could be a way of raising med school admits? I'm not at Emory yet, but I think a lot of people who got rejected by med school in senior year could've gotten into med schools if they went to a state school and worked just as hard at Emory. More like Emory decreases med school admits with its rigor, and if they're (intentionally or untentionally) raising med school admits, good!</p>

<p>Trust me, Emory has become concerned about its med-school admit rate, so some offices have done some shady things. However, I was just being facetious based upon such things. I may decide to give an example PM (it was from the word of my favorite prof.). Also the proposal you made, if true is problematic. They shouldn't inflate what is considered a "better class" (I imagine based upon incoming stats such as SAT scores/GPA) if they are doing worse than previous classes with lower stats (in fact, I think 2013 was lower than my class). If anything, the difficulty should increase to attempt to challenge students more (We shouldn't do as Harvard did and make sure the GPAs keep up with the increasing stats of incoming students. That is just weird how apparently that is almost a linear fit. That should indicate that the coursework is no longer challenging to this generation of students) Also you must remember the subjectivity factor I mentioned of some teachers being hard one year, but not another. Trust me, I've compared the tests of the "big 3" gen. chem profs. (Weaver, Morkin, and Mulford) from my freshmen and this year and there was a difference. Bio 141 was harder this year than last because of the profs. lined up. The bio 142 midterms were somewhat standardized, which is not really normal anymore. As for my orgo. anecdote; Jose doesn't really care about the pre-meds that much, and honestly thinks that are catered to a bit too much. Anyway, I actually don't think he realizes he inflates that much. Then again, the amount of bonus points allotted per year seems somewhat random. This year had a lot.<br>
Also, to go back to what I said about it possibly being easier. In bio 141/142 you basically get to see Spell's old exam questions. They were tougher than the current ones being used now. They were trickier and required more synthesis, and were not all multiple choice. TAs/SI leaders/students that took it 2-3 years ago admit it being harder when they took it. And their assessment can be said to be accurate because they get to see the new test too, and compare it with their own.
Grade inflation won't necessarily work if it gives a student a false sense that they mastered the pre-med coursework. That will probably result in a low MCAT score, which apparently is already common at Emory (high GPA, low MCAT amongst those not admitted) and doesn't need to be perpetuated further by grade inflation. And again, if it's happening in physics and math to even larger extent, then those interested in the 3/2 program with Tech won't be that prepared once they get over there. Sometimes it isn't all about the pre-meds.</p>

<p>Beretta9mm: Now the only question is will you have a hard or easy year next year? Bio 142 may change some because Corces is no longer bio dept. chair. My bio 142 prof. is and he is tough, and actually got into a serious argument with Corces about the difficulty of the course. Needless to say my prof. doesn't agree with making bio a freshmen GPA booster like Corces or most other bio profs. Chem.....you never know. </p>

<p>Are you even going to be a science major? If so, good luck in the Fall.</p>

<p>Bernie, you were nice by throwing in the "slightly"</p>

<p>Beretta....</p>

<ol>
<li><p>I really hope you aren't comparing Oxford to schools like Williams or Amherst AND beating the dead horse of Oxford vs Emory in the same sentence....</p></li>
<li><p>Your grade inflation hypothesis is very self-serving because you are an incoming freshman. Giving better grades to students because they are smarter does not help anyone. In fact, it just devalues a strong gpa since more people have them. Grade inflation is happening more often at all schools, especially private schools (there was an article on this posted a few weeks ago on CC).</p></li>
<li><p>"I'm not at Emory yet, but I think a lot of people who got rejected by med school in senior year could've gotten into med schools if they went to a state school and worked just as hard at Emory." - you have a lot to learn. Yes, their GPA would be higher if they went to a state school the same way that the GPA of HS student who does not take APs/IBs will be higher than one who does. Bottom line? The tougher school/curriculum is looked on favorably by the admissions staff, and it is much more difficult to get into quality schools without them (if they were available). I won't even go into course difficulty vs MCAT scores....</p></li>
</ol>

<p>Yeah, I threw in "slightly" to be fair/nice, but I really think that such students are normally the ones to drop courses when they foresee themselves getting a B-range grade in the course. I've seen that one over and over again. It's quite sad.</p>

<p><bernie2012> Thank you. I might do science. I will try to get 4.0 in premed like everyone else going there in the fall but hopefully everything will work out and end up with a 3.3+ freshman year so I can average that up to 3.5+ by senior year and get into med school. That is, if I don't change my mind about premed and quit to pursue something else of interest. 'Cause I'm one of those students whose parents pretty much molded our minds into thinking that becoming a doctor is the best and BLAH BLAH.</bernie2012></p>

<p><phaeph> Yeah, I've quit beating the dead horse since this morning. Yesterday I tore the horse and burned it to crisp last night in this forum <a href="http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/university-wisconsin-madison/931810-help-uw-madison-oxford-college-emory-university.html#post1064923423%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/university-wisconsin-madison/931810-help-uw-madison-oxford-college-emory-university.html#post1064923423&lt;/a>. (Yes, it's the other one posted in UW-Madison forum, not the one posted in the Emory forum) Heh I read it over this morning and I never knew I could write those things with such passion and anger LOL WTH. Lots of regrets.</phaeph></p>

<p>Basic idea is that I will defend anyone against criticizing part of Emory. If they think Oxford is "bogus" then it damages the whole outlook and reputation of Emory University. Don't comment on this I'm done with this whole thing. </p>

<p>Your #3. So there are students with high premed GPA and low MCAT score. Maybe it's not 100% their fault. Maybe the teachers aren't doing there part of teaching the best way? Whatever, I'm not there so I can't say anything on this. The intense workload and lots of info to learn probably makes some students cram the crap out of exams, which leads to them forgetting most of it later, and getting a low MCAT score. NOOOOOO! It's another hypothesis to be shot down!</p>

<p>Actually, the last point you made is partially correct. A lot of students still cram for exams instead of trying to really grasp the material for self-empowerment. It's the regurgitation method of high school, and it does indeed work for some when it comes to exams in a certain course, but it may not work well once they get to the MCAT. My understanding is that, in high school, we tended to learn stuff for exams and then forget it. Often I retain more than people with better grades than me in some courses here. Then again, part of the reason is because I tend to review my weaknesses over summer when I have some downtime (I typically do not sell my science course books, I like to hold on to most so that I can loan them out to students or use it as reference when explaining material to students taking the course. I love to help people when I am capable of doing so. Unfortunately, can't do it in physics and math lol.). This happens amongst a lot of students here too, which can make prepping for the MCAT harder.</p>

<p>As for my earlier comment about helping students. Who knows, you may run into me. I can help with biology (mainly bio 2, I hate bio 1, too much memorization stuff, but I can still do that I suppose because I'm not that bad at it either), orgo., and possibly gen. chem (slightly rusty, but I'm not bad. I've helped people this past semester)</p>

<p><bernie2012> Will keep that in mind!</bernie2012></p>

<p>Bernie, I have a question. For MCAT, we need to know Physics... I don't have a physics background because of scheduling problems in high school. For MCAT, do we only need to know Intro physics? or Intro + 1st year? or are they the same? Do I need high school physics for Intro? Thanks.</p>

<p><alam1> You need General Physics one and two OR Intro Physics I and II. That's 151/152 and 141/142, respectively. For physics, you need to have taken Calculus I, which is Math 110A or 111. Math 110A is Precalc followed by Calc I. 111 is Calc I and II. For General Physics I and II you need Calculusl II, which is Math 112.</alam1></p>