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SarahS

Taking easy courses for the highest possible GPA

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The OP has no idea what is actually going to be easy or hard for her. She is literally taking a poll from random people she knows of what they found "easy" and compiling a list.

As far as planning out your entire future it's certainly a unique approach, at least. 

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14 hours ago, SarahS said:

i  know all about work ethic and what not, but I have been reading many threads of people complaining that they have low GPAs which are not good enough for law school because they chose to go into very hard programs.

First of all, let me get this straight, you're taking advice about how to get into law school from.... people who couldn't get into law school?  Really?

Second, it's not about work ethic, or at least, not only about work ethic, it's about learning to think.  Thinking is a skill like running or swimming, you only get better by challenging yourself and pushing yourself further.  That isn't going to happen taking first year or easy courses.  

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58 minutes ago, Hegdis said:

The OP has no idea what is actually going to be easy or hard for her. She is literally taking a poll from random people she knows of what they found "easy" and compiling a list.

As far as planning out your entire future it's certainly a unique approach, at least. 

I read it more as should easy (for her, i.e. subjectively) courses be taken, not that she was looking for specific suggestions (from us; asking fellow students about courses makes more sense, though knowing that a 400 series course is probably harder than a 100 series course shouldn't require doing so - though to be a contrarian, it's possible that a 400 series course with few students might not be subject to a curve and the professor might give higher marks than in a 100 course?).

And why no idea what is going to be easy or hard for her? I knew based on high school that I'd find history courses in university easier (for me) and I'd do better in them than in French or mathematics courses, even before I went to university.

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13 hours ago, SarahS said:

Everyone talks as though I am going to end up finishing my undergrad with a nothing degree. My undergrad will be in business and I hope to get co-op.... I don't think I am putting my future at risk by taking a bunch of easy electives. There are people who do their undergrads in history, political sciences, and sociology - all of which are arguably useless degrees.

 

I know a lot of people who did business degrees specifically to avoid the rigors of sciences and engineering, and to avoid writing highly critical, theoretical 20+ page papers in social science and humanities courses. While your degree may certainly be more employable right out of undergrad in the job market, this does not equate to you being more intelligent than all the poor suckers completing degrees in history, political science, sociology, and gender studies for that matter. Believe me, this forum is filled with law students and lawyers who have BA degrees, and we've all heard comments such as yours from high schoolers and undergrad students. It comes from a place of ignorance and "ego high" that is not shared by actual law students or lawyers. 

To add another point, first and second-year classes usually have class averages in the C to C+ range as they have hundreds of students. Third-year classes are usually smaller at 50 and fewer students and have class averages in the B to B+ range. 4th-year seminar classes have 25 students and less, and class averages can range from the A to B+ range. Your argument that first-year courses are easier than upper year courses falls apart right there. 

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I think essentially what we're all sating is don't take course because others say they're easy, because (a) what one person finds easy might not come as naturally to you and (b) taking the easy way out isn't a good strategy for law prep. Also, as people have pointed out, while 100 level courses may have the advantage of simpler material (although I don't 100% accept this premise), they may be taught en mass and on a stricter curve than upper year seminars, putting you at an overall disadvantage

However, by no means do the opposite and try and do the hardest courses possible. As others have noted, you still need a high GPA. And you're doing a good thing by going in thinking you need to be careful. But maybe rather than taking a poll on easy courses, use 1st year to test your strengths, and focus on areas where you perform well. I took CHEM and Communications theory as 1st year electives. Got at 65 in chem, and a 92 in Communications. Guess which one I specialized in ;) 

Edited by 3rdGenLawStudent

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3 minutes ago, epeeist said:

I read it more as should easy (for her, i.e. subjectively) courses be taken, not that she was looking for specific suggestions (from us; asking fellow students about courses makes more sense, though knowing that a 400 series course is probably harder than a 100 series course shouldn't require doing so - though to be a contrarian, it's possible that a 400 series course with few students might not be subject to a curve and the professor might give higher marks than in a 100 course?).

And why no idea what is going to be easy or hard for her? I knew based on high school that I'd find history courses in university easier (for me) and I'd do better in them than in French or mathematics courses, even before I went to university.

Exactly. I have a talent for foreign languages - because I speak a few and learned multiple languages at a young age. So for me, first year language courses are ridiculously easy. So Intro to Dutch or Icelandic or Cree? Sign me up! For someone else who only speaks English and struggles with learning a language, that could be a really difficult option. Furthermore, getting A plusses in a whole bunch of different languages at the intro level might give me a great transcript, but it would be pretty useless in, as maximumbob said, learning to think and preparing myself for law school. 

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6 minutes ago, Deadpool said:

I know a lot of people who did business degrees specifically to avoid the rigors of sciences and engineering, and to avoid writing highly critical, theoretical 20+ page papers in social science and humanities courses. While your degree may certainly be more employable right out of undergrad in the job market, this does not equate to you being more intelligent than all the poor suckers completing degrees in history, political science, sociology, and gender studies for that matter. Believe me, this forum is filled with law students and lawyers who have BA degrees, and we've all heard comments such as yours from high schoolers and undergrad students. It comes from a place of ignorance and "ego high" that is not shared by actual law students or lawyers. 

To add another point, first and second-year classes usually have class averages in the C to C+ range as they have hundreds of students. Third-year classes are usually smaller at 50 and fewer students and have class averages in the B to B+ range. 4th-year seminar classes have 25 students and less, and class averages can range from the A to B+ range. Your argument that first-year courses are easier than upper year courses falls apart right there. 

[emphasis added]

The bolded is what I was getting at, a higher-year course with fewer students, the professor may be free to give marks with a higher class average than in a first-year course. So regardless of whether the course is easier in the sense of difficulty of concepts or hours of work and study or whatever, it may be easier to get a higher mark than in a course requiring less work. Or one of my favourite examples, one first-year history course the prof said the highest mark they gave was an 85, and even low 80s were unusual; whereas a second-year history course with a different professor they were willing to give A+ marks (90s).

And more generally, some courses and subjects are easier (whether in work required or expected marks) for some people than others, subjectively. I love visiting museums and galleries, on my last business trip when I had some spare time I went to an art gallery instead of the casino (which I also like!). But when I enrolled in an art history class I dropped it after the first class, because the professor explained that a significant part of the marks involved being able to identify (artist and title) works of art by seeing them, which required rote memorization, which is not something I'm particularly good at. Not saying that the history course I took instead was easier or better objectively, just that it was easier for me subjectively and I expected to get a better mark.

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9 minutes ago, providence said:

Exactly. I have a talent for foreign languages - because I speak a few and learned multiple languages at a young age. So for me, first year language courses are ridiculously easy. So Intro to Dutch or Icelandic or Cree? Sign me up! For someone else who only speaks English and struggles with learning a language, that could be a really difficult option. Furthermore, getting A plusses in a whole bunch of different languages at the intro level might give me a great transcript, but it would be pretty useless in, as maximumbob said, learning to think and preparing myself for law school. 

Actually, it might be valuable training in looking for loopholes and how to get away with things... (oh wait, getting away with things is what some of your clients allegedly do... :rolleyes: ).

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Just now, epeeist said:

Actually, it might be valuable training in looking for loopholes and how to get away with things... (oh wait, getting away with things is what some of your clients allegedly do...  ).

No more than what the cops are getting away with!

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I absolutely love the knocks on political studies degrees being useless and easy. I'd tell OP to go read the Queen's Arts and Science Grades report from a few years back. Ya'know, the one that showed that Queen's Political Studies was the hardest graded faculty in Arts and Sciences, and awarded the lowest percentage of As. Alas, that report can't be reduced to a 10 photo slideshow. Further still, I'll be sure to tell all my friends working either in politics or in private sector PR/Consulting just how useless their degree is.

Edited by whoknows
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15 hours ago, SarahS said:

And in terms of electives, I have been asking older students what courses are easy and the 100 level tend to be easier than 400 level courses. I have been compiling a list of the 100, 200, 300, and 400 level courses that are easy and most tend to be in the 100 levels (+if i take a 400 I will make sure I have the pre reqs).

@epeeist this is what I was referring to. 

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14 hours ago, SarahS said:

Everyone talks as though I am going to end up finishing my undergrad with a nothing degree. My undergrad will be in business and I hope to get co-op.... I don't think I am putting my future at risk by taking a bunch of easy electives. There are people who do their undergrads in history, political sciences, and sociology - all of which are arguably useless degrees.

No, you'll finish your undergrad without the skills you will need to succeed in law school.  What good does getting A's in undegrad do you if you get C's in first year of law school.  

A degree is just a fancy piece of paper with some writing on it - it's the skills that you acquire in getting it that makes it valuable.  Your success in law school (or in the business world or in anything, really) won't depend on the fancy words on the expensive piece of paper, it'll depend on your ability to think and write critically.  You only learn those skills by practicing them.  First year courses are not good for that.  

And I always get a kick out of people who rag on other programs as "useless".  Word of advice, don't go running around telling people that.  Apart from the fact that, even if true, it would make you a jerk, it's not really true.  I've known a lot of hard-assed corporate lawyers with undergrad degrees in history, political science - god, poli-sci majors are like cockroaches in the legal profession - sociology, english, woman's studies, philosophy, hard-assed corporate lawyers that are probably a lot smarter than you (don't take that the wrong way, they're a lot smarter than most people).   

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12 minutes ago, Hegdis said:

@epeeist this is what I was referring to. 

Which I addressed but also disagree it makes no sense.

If someone is having a discussion with older students in the same program at the same university as to which courses they found easier, that's a discussion in which the reasons the older students found it easier can be investigated and compared with the person's own abilities. For instance, maybe the person says e.g. "Oh, econ 327 is easy and the prof gives high marks as long as you are good at [whatever] and remember to [whatever] on exams. But if you're not good at [whatever] you might prefer not to take the course."

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Man. Sarah is not going to be happy when she joins back in to this conversation.

A part of me feels bad about piling on to a high school kid. But that's the internet. Volenti, I guess.

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Thank you for everyones opinions. I see that many people do not agree with my idea and I will take that into consideration. There is no longer any need to post on this forum - it is getting a bit repetitive now.

Most people seem to agree that:

1) 100 level courses are not necessarily easy courses

2) Just because other people say a course is easy does not mean I will find it easy

3) I will not develop a good work ethic by taking the easier route

4) Im dumb af lol

Edited by SarahS
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4 minutes ago, SarahS said:

There is no longer any need to post on this forum - it is getting a bit repetitive now.

I've been saying this since 2014

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20 hours ago, Dosko said:

I chose the easiest classes I could for electives in my last year. I could have taken really difficult ones like auditing but I chose occupational health & safety instead. I do not regret it.

Don't do it for four years or you'll end up with nothing to fall back on when a few years down the road you decide law is not for you. 

Also, do a co-op. Best decision ever.

+1. I "gamed" my courses quite a bit, especially in upper years, because I was in a very small program where most of the classes were small enough that they did not have to be curved. Some profs took this to mean, "you can give everyone C-range grades!" But that's not to say that I took "easy" courses - I just didn't intentionally throw myself into the jaws of the lion.

Basically, do challenge yourself, but I would say it's not lazy to keep in mind that your GPA will be subject to scrutiny down the road. It's strategic. 

Also, our avatars look like they're about to challenge each other to a duel.

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1 hour ago, whoknows said:

I absolutely love the knocks on political studies degrees being useless and easy. I'd tell OP to go read the Queen's Arts and Science Grades report from a few years back. Ya'know, the one that showed that Queen's Political Studies was the hardest graded faculty in Arts and Sciences, and awarded the lowest percentage of As. Alas, that report can't be reduced to a 10 photo slideshow. Further still, I'll be sure to tell all my friends working either in politics or in private sector PR/Consulting just how useless their degree is.

Wait, seriously? I was so excited for POLS110 and now I'm terrified.. :unsure:

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45 minutes ago, unsospiro said:

 

Also, our avatars look like they're about to challenge each other to a duel.

Beau Brummell vs Mr. Darcy? That's a fanfic just waiting to be written.

 

More to the point, Sarah, you're right. Very few people are willing to say it but its true. An easy programme (more on that in a second) that leads to a high GPA is a huge advantage when it comes to law school admissions. After all, there are many schools that simply plug in your GPA & LSAT into a calculator and that's it. What an easy programme is depends on the student, of course. For some, its maths or others, its something more writing based. To say that one major is more challenging than another is rubbish. Just because it's 'easy' doesn't mean you should slack off. Its very easy to blow off classes in university and it almost always bites you in the ass in the end. The alleged difficulty of the course has little to no effect on your work ethic, thats all on you.

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1 hour ago, SarahS said:

Thank you for everyones opinions. I see that many people do not agree with my idea and I will take that into consideration. There is no longer any need to post on this forum - it is getting a bit repetitive now.

Most people seem to agree that:

1) 100 level courses are not necessarily easy courses

2) Just because other people say a course is easy does not mean I will find it easy

3) I will not develop a good work ethic by taking the easier route

4) Im dumb af lol

Most of us agree with #s 1,2, and 3. Speaking for myself, I don't think you're dumb as fuck, I think you're 18 years old and inexperienced, as we all were at your age, and there is nothing wrong with that. 

Also the above response (save the bit about not posting) is commendable after being subjected to a pile on from the wolves who populate law schools and the legal industry, good for you, and good luck with university in the fall! 

Edited by DenningsSkiTrip
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