Have you ever wanted to go back to school, but the task of actually deciding what classes to take seems daunting? Or maybe you are already in college, and you don’t know how or where to start. How do students decide which courses they need to take next semester? Luckily for all of us who sometimes feel overwhelmed by the number of options available, there is an answer!
One option is that you can create a course plan using a course catalog. This method is good if you have an idea about your major and the type of subjects that interest you. If not, then another option is needed. A study plan spreadsheet may be just the tool for you!
A study plan spreadsheet gives users flexibility because it requires almost no thought or effort.
Just follow a few simple steps and the spreadsheet will do all of the work for you.
Step 1: Start with a course catalog from your school or university. [If you don’t have access to this, then head over to your college’s website and search for one.] If there isn’t a specific catalog you can find what classes are required for your major instead.
Step 2: Convert each class into a column in an Excel file [or open up Google Sheets if that’s more comfortable]. You can put them in alphabetical order, but it would be easier to look at them in their entry number format instead.
Step 3: For each class, make a list of prerequisites, which should match up with any prerequisite classes you’ve already taken.
Step 4: Enter the class into your study plan spreadsheet. That’s it! The spreadsheet will take care of the rest for you and create a schedule of what classes to take next semester.
Warning: If you skip this step, then your schedule won’t be perfect and may include mistakes. Although, if you find yourself making many false assumptions or leaving things out on accident, then maybe the course catalog is more helpful instead (you’ll know ahead of time what classes need to be taken).
There are 5 advantages of using a study plan:
1. Saves Time – Because the spreadsheet does all of the work for you, you don’t have to sift through a course catalog line by line.
2. Keeps it Organized – Keeping track of prerequisites and other requirements for classes can be very confusing and never-ending if done manually. A study plan makes your life easier because it puts everything in one place.
3. Flexibility – You’ll know exactly what courses are needed for next semester’s schedule, but you still have time to change things before they become official (if necessary).
4. No More Stress! – This does not mean that a study plan will make your school workload or other responsibilities disappear, but it is a great backup plan when you need to focus on other things. It’s also beneficial for those students who like last-minute changes, but don’t want to miss out on courses they were planning on taking (ex: class availability is no longer an issue).
5. Identifies Problem Areas – Maybe you are already aware that some of your classes overlap or you missed something important along the way (or skipped a prerequisite out). A study plan will point out any mistakes so that you can fix them before it’s too late.
Although creating a study plan may seem time-consuming at first, it only takes a few minutes and everything is done automatically afterwards! No more worrying about deadlines, which class to take next semester, or missing out on opportunities because you didn’t know about them.
Now you don’t have to stress about choosing courses or creating a schedule! Follow the steps above and put your study plan spreadsheet to good use.