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The Quarter System


Replies to: The Quarter System

  • graduated31graduated31 Registered User Posts: 53 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.
  • DRabDRab Registered User Posts: 6,104 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.
  • collegeohmycollegeohmy Registered User Posts: 245 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
  • DRabDRab Registered User Posts: 6,104 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.
  • graduated31graduated31 Registered User Posts: 53 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.
  • CA2006CA2006 Registered User Posts: 863 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.
  • DRabDRab Registered User Posts: 6,104 Senior Member
    I think one has more time to study stuff on their own in the semester system.
  • dragon17dragon17 Registered User Posts: 438 Member
    So overall, which has more benefits?
  • graduated31graduated31 Registered User Posts: 53 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.
  • DRabDRab Registered User Posts: 6,104 Senior Member
    I think it depends on the person.
  • dragon17dragon17 Registered User Posts: 438 Member
    I hope I can adapt to the quarter system. I ancipate that it will be more strenuous than a semster system, with courses being completed in 10-weeks rather than similar courses spanning over 20-week periods.
  • DRabDRab Registered User Posts: 6,104 Senior Member
    16 (Fall) and 18 (Spring)
  • mzlauramzlaura Registered User Posts: 24 New Member
    I heard a lot of people say they take only 3 classes a quarter when I visited UCLA but since I want to do honors + history major + premed, I think I'll need closer to 4 classes most quarters. Is four hard to balance at a time?
  • IzzieIzzie Registered User Posts: 426 Member
    One thing to consider, which has nothing to do with your education, is what system your siblings in college are on. My brother and I went pretty far away from home for college and I was on semesters and he was on quarters so we didn't get to see a lot of each other during breaks. I guess this could be a pro or a con, but we missed each other.
  • ucapplicant05ucapplicant05 Registered User Posts: 1,415 Senior Member
    Not necessarily unless you chose a bad combination of classes. (I'm not sure how that works yet.)

    I believe most people fluctuate between 3 and 4, so having 4 classes isn't uncommon.

    Honors doesn't necessarily mean that you need to take a lot more classes. I think a common misconception is that people believe that it's another set of courses that don't fulfill other stuff.

    But doing a pre-med + north campus major is definitely going to mean more courses.
This discussion has been closed.