Knowing when to drop a class is a tough call, particularly if the course is necessary for your major. Your reasons should never be superficial ones such as:
- I don’t like the professor.
- It’s too hard.
- I can’t get into this subject.
- I’m just not feeling it.
Those are all emotional reasons, and by the time you’re a university student you should understand the importance of keeping your emotions in check. That “bad feeling” you have about the professor or the course itself could lead to other problems later.
If you’re going to drop a class, make sure that you do it for a valid and tangible reason.
You Tried As Hard As You Can But It Still Isn’t WorkingYou should never drop a class unless you have made every effort to make a go of it. That means that you have seriously studied, you have worked closely with the professor and other students in the class, and you’ve even gotten extra help from a tutor.
If you have gone through all of those steps, and the class still isn’t working for you, only then should you consider dropping it.
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There is no doubt that there are subjects we find especially difficult, and even professors we can’t work with. But many more times the problem is us – we really don’t want to deal with a particular course or its professor. But maybe doing so would not be impossible if you fully apply yourself. Consider that possibility before dropping a class.
When You Can Drop It In Time For The Drop Date
If you are not finding success in a class, even after applying yourself, it is far better to drop it if you can do so within the cutoff date that will allow you to withdraw without failing. Yes, that may cause you to accelerate dropping unnecessarily, but it will generally be better to avoid an F, than to finish out the course and have the failure factored into your GPA.
Even better, is if you can withdraw early enough in the course to get a refund on the tuition paid for it. That is not always sufficient time to properly judge a course, and sometimes you will only get a percentage of the tuition back. But that could be an additional factor in making your determination.
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When It Looks As If Failure Is Certain
If failure is certain, it may be better to drop the class, either to avoid getting an F, or to free up your schedule so that you can concentrate on passing other classes.
That last point is extremely important. The stress and anxiety that you go through in dealing with a class that is overwhelming you, could spill over to your other classes. By spending extra time on a difficult class, you’re taking valuable study time away from other courses that you could pass more easily.
If It Won’t Cause Financial Problems
Beyond the fact that you could lose the tuition paid for a course, it’s possible that you may cause other financial problems by dropping a class. For example, if you are on a scholarship or grant the requires you to a take certain minimum number of credits, dropping a class could result in your losing that subsidy.
Make certain that you have considered all of the financial implications of dropping a class before you do so. If there any benefits that you have as a student that may be compromised as a result of dropping the class, make sure that you get information that is as specific as possible.
When You Are Facing Personal Issues That Require You To Lighten Your Load
Despite all of our plans and best intentions, life can still get in the way of what we’re doing – even at university. If you are going through a particularly difficult time, even if the reasons are not specifically related to school, you may need to lighten your load some in order to deal with the issue.
Dropping a class is certainly one way to do this. And by dropping a class that is causing you the greatest amount of distress, you can often find the time and energy that you need to deal with more pressing problems.
Never take dropping a class lightly, and certainly never do it simply as a matter of preference. Make sure that you have made your best effort, that you’ve considered the bigger picture implications, and that you’re certain that dropping the class will improve your circumstances overall.