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The Quarter System

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Replies to: The Quarter System

  • Neo YoyoNeo Yoyo 573 replies24 threads Member
    I'm a bit confused...are all courses 4 units each? It sounds to me like that isn't the case.
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  • flopsyflopsy 8239 replies129 threads Senior Member
    Most courses are four units each.
    Some special courses are also 5, 2 or 1 unit each.
    Research courses (199s) can be 1-6 units depending on your quality of work. :rolleyes:
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  • DRabDRab 6047 replies57 threads Senior Member
    Flopsy,

    at Berkeley, the finals for the fall semester are before Winter Break.

    Number of classes doesn't mean much when comparing Berkeley to UCLA because of the different systems, or unit count, but hours of class and hours of work per class do.

    :rolleyes:
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  • flopsyflopsy 8239 replies129 threads Senior Member
    Really? I must have confused UCB with another school on the semester system... :rolleyes:
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  • DRabDRab 6047 replies57 threads Senior Member
    Harvard has fall semester finals after the break, and then a short break before spring semester. Perhaps it was them? *shrug* :rolleyes:
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  • Brandnew2Brandnew2 293 replies6 threads Junior Member
    I LOVE the quarter system, because I get bored with all my classes by seventh week and it's only a few more weeks until it's all over and there's a fresh start. If it were a semester system, I'd get bored halfway through. That's something to consider for people with short attention spans like me, heh. Also, handling 4 classes at a time (even at the quarter's accelerated pace) is much easier IMO than handling 6 at a time under the semester system.
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  • DRabDRab 6047 replies57 threads Senior Member
    I'm glad that you love the quarter system, but you aren't portraying Berkeley's semester system in an accurate light, much less any other symester system school that I am aware of. Here, few people (if any) take six full four unit classes. Very few people at Berkeley take more than 19 units in one semester, which is still considered a very heavy load. That would break down to about 5 4-unit classes (a 4 unit class being the most common around here) But here again we run into the problem of comparing units in two different systems. Basically, 14-17 units, or about 3-5 classes, is fairly standard, although this is no solid rule- some people take many one-unit classes and some take three five unit classes, for instance. Few take six classes unless the classes have much smaller unit counts, or there's a lab attactched to a class, or something like that.
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  • Brandnew2Brandnew2 293 replies6 threads Junior Member
    Yea, I know. I was just making the point that 4 classes 3x a year = 12 diff courses, which is a very doable courseload. If you wanted to take 12 different courses a year under the semester system, you'd need to take 6 a semester, which as you've pointed out isn't really practical. This helps people like me, who get bored after staying in any particular course for too long.
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  • DRabDRab 6047 replies57 threads Senior Member
    Well, that's fine, but it was somewhat inaccurate.

    Post edit- I have a friend in 8 classes, and at the peak it was 19 units (not all classes lasted the whole semester). There are many non-four unit classes. The seminars tend to be 1 unit, for instance. There are some two and many three unit classes as well. It is possible to take a broad array of courses all at once, or more intense courses with fewer overall units, but I do bet that this might be easier on the quarter system.
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  • Brandnew2Brandnew2 293 replies6 threads Junior Member
    Sorry for the confusion.
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  • graduated31graduated31 52 replies1 threads Junior Member
    The quarter system sucks in my opinion. My friends at UCLA and all the other UCs always complained about the fact that they had midterms or finals coming up. Listen...studying is great and blah, blah, blah. But don't kid yourself. College is also about having fun, enjoying your newfound independence, and basically goofing around. If you're constantly stressed about your midterm that's coming up about 3 weeks after the start of each quarter, it'll make things very miserable. And this is for each class! While we Cal students were planning road trips during the semester, my UCLA friends were *****ing about how mid-terms and/or finals were coming up. That is not a happy existence.
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  • DRabDRab 6047 replies57 threads Senior Member
    It does have its advantages, such as more dabbling ability, but on the whole, one reason I'm here and not at UCLA is the lovely semester system.
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  • collegeohmycollegeohmy 199 replies46 threads Junior Member
    quarter system.......
    doesn't it also mean that you can retain certain information for only 9 weeks until final exams and then you can forget it all? as opposed to having to review EVERYTHING in a semester course
    to me, that's a good thing, especially if i don't care for the course
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  • DRabDRab 6047 replies57 threads Senior Member
    Well, sort of. If it's cumulative and in a series, as many things are, you can't forget it in either system. And you don't always have to review everything for many classes, only a certain chunk of stuff.
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  • graduated31graduated31 52 replies1 threads Junior Member
    Its not only that you're taking tests all the time, but its also because your constantly shifting gears. Almost nobody studies on a day-to-day basis to the degree he studies approaching midterms and finals. Its much easier to maintain a certain level of studiousness then to always be cranking up and down your level of study intensity. In addition, I would argue that the latter approach is inferior to the former with respect to encouraging learning. If you're always forced to cram and committ things to short-term memory just to get by on a test, you're not going to retain too much of the actual material. However, if you're forced to maintain a steady schedule of study for a few months leading up to a test, you're more likely to really understand the subject matter being taught. The whole "dabbling" advantage that a quarter system supposedly promotes is a big red herring in my book. Aside from the unnecessary pressure a quarter system puts on students, I really do feel that it hinders deep learning.
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  • CA2006CA2006 843 replies20 threads Member
    I have been weighing out the pro's and con's about quarters and semesters in the UCLA vs CAL thing too. Quarters and always studying for tests and semesters that may drag out and get boring (like high school) and I lose interest.
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  • DRabDRab 6047 replies57 threads Senior Member
    I think one has more time to study stuff on their own in the semester system.
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  • dragon17dragon17 412 replies26 threads Member
    So overall, which has more benefits?
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  • graduated31graduated31 52 replies1 threads Junior Member
    Well, I personally think a semester system is better. But I guess it ultimately comes down to what type of person you are. If you are the type of person that needs alot of structure and constant pressure, you may like the quarter system. A semester system gives a student alot of freedom and hoists more responsibility of keeping up with studies on the student. In my mind, it treats students like adults. You're not constantly bombed with papers and tests. If you want to keep up with studies, fine. But if you're the type that studies best in the last month before exams, that's fine too. A semester class allows for the flexibility. A quarter system is much more paternalistic in my view.
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  • DRabDRab 6047 replies57 threads Senior Member
    I think it depends on the person.
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