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How to Use Webreg

September 30, 2011

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This will be the tip you should be looking at on or before September 1st. I’m gonna break down how exactly to use webreg when you need to add/drop classes. In case you didn’t see, Webreg is Rutgers’s registration site where you add or drop classes.

TO ADD CLASSES:

1. Go to https://sims.rutgers.edu/webreg/refresh.htm and log in.

2. So you’ll get to a page that looks like this:


You wanna click on “Fall 2011” and continue.

3. Once you do that, you’ll come to a page where it lists all your classes for the semester like this:

All of your current classes will be under “registered courses”. What you wanna do is click on the top left gray bar on this screen that says “course lookup”.

5. Once you click course lookup, it brings you here:

On this page, you can look up your classes. So say I were to look up General Biology as an example. I would click on the dropdown that says “010 – accounting”, and look for “biological sciences”. Once you find what you’re looking for, click on it, and click the red and gray button “show courses”.

6. This is what comes up once you click that:

Now if you see the 2nd gray bar there, it says general biology. You wanna click on that arrow, and from there you’ll see this:

These are just a few of the MANY sections of General Bio. Now during add/drop period, there might be sections that say “OPEN” instead of “CLOSED”. These are the ones you wanna add. TO DO THAT:
1. SEE WHICH SECTION FITS IN YOUR SCHEDULE (next to where it says closed are the days, times, campuses, and buildings those sections are in. You need to read them)

2. See any notes (some sections will say they’re for “discovery housing only” or “honor students only”. Again, you need to read them.

7. Once you know which section you want, you need to click on the left check box, scroll up and you’ll see a button on the left that says register. Click that.

TO DROP CLASSES:

It’s much easier. You wanna go back to this page:
 On the right side of your screen, you’ll see a gray bar that says “drop”. If you click that, it drops the class.

Also as a sidenote, on this same page is where you add special permission numbers. Whatever the number is, you type it in on the left side where it says “index” and click ‘add courses’.

**A VERY IMPORTANT WORD OF ADVICE: Always try to ADD before you DROP, just in case a class closes quickly, then you’re out of luck. There will be instances where you might be picking a class that happens at the same time as another that you wanna drop and you won’t be able to add it first. In that case, work very quickly and hopefully it doesn’t close on you.

To sum it up: Read this over carefully before add/drop period so you have an idea of how it works.

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Reading Days and Why They’re Important

September 30, 2011

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Rutgers is generous around finals time. After classes end, there will be 2 days where, well, there aren’t classes or any meetings or anything like that, and they’re meant for students to have 2 solid days studying for finals. It’s really helpful and you’ll be grateful you have these days to do nothing but study and prepare for your exams. Especially for all my people out there who won’t study until last minute, this is your chance to totally procrastinate until reading days start. You might have review sessions for classes during these days that are meant to help you out, too which is also pretty good. So yeah, if anyone brings it up to you or you hear “reading days” anywhere, now you know what they are!

Also, take advantage of the midnight breakfast every dining hall has the night before finals start. Literally at like 11, the dining hall opens up and it’s all breakfast food. It’s great.

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Learning How to Use Degree Navigator

September 30, 2011

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This is something pretty important for once you get into classes and stuff, and I wanted to explain it now so you have an idea of what to expect when you get the email and are confused as hell about it. You don’t have to worry about it now, you can probably log into it now to check it out, but remember and make note of this tip for the future.

There’s this website. It’s called degree navigator. It’s something students can go on to check their progress toward their degree. In other words, you log in, you type in the major you want, you can see what your liberal arts requirements are, and what your major requirements are. A lot of people who are sophomores/juniors don’t even know wtf it is, and that’s why I’m here!You don’t need to know this until school starts like I said, but at least now you’re familiar with it and can pass on the info.

Here’s how it works:
1. Go to the degree navigator (DN) website (http://nbdn.rutgers.edu/for NB students)

2. On the left side you’ll see where it says “student login”. Click that.

3.  You log in with your net ID and it brings you to this page and on the left hand side it’ll have this bar:

The “2 programs” or whatever programs you’re listed under will be the school you’re in and their liberal arts requirements. The other program will be your “matriculating” or undeclared major. In other words, if you’re in SAS, when you click on the 2 programs, it’ll look like this:

The part under that where it says “my planned courses” is where you wanna go in and pick the classes you’re taking this semester, and if you know any other classes you’ll be taking in the future. If you were to pick courses for them, you click that, click add courses, and in the keyword, type in the class you wanna look for. Once you find it, you click the course number, and clikc “add to planned courses”.

4. To actually USE this site, you’re gonna wanna make use of the search bar. When you search, you can search for majors, courses, or school core requirements. On the top right, you’re gonna see this bar:

Click search, then whatever you wanna look up.

5. **EX= Say for instance, I wanna research SEBS’s core requirements. I would click on “programs of study” after hovering over the search bar, and type in “SEBS”. It’ll come up looking like this:

6. You wanna click on the general education requirements, and then it’ll bring you to this page:

7. Basically, if you wanna navigate this page, you have to read it. It’ll tell you what classes you’ve completed, how many more you still need, and how many you WILL complete based on your planned courses.

To sum it up: This website is really good for you to keep track of how you’re progressing with your major. It’s good to be familiar with it your freshmen year, but it’s gonna be important toward the end of freshmen year when you start really getting into your major. No, I don’t think any of you will look at it now, and yeah, I expect you to be confused as hell, but just read all of my steps and it’ll make a little sense when the time comes.

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Know What Special Permission Numbers Are

September 30, 2011

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So there might be a class that you really wanted to get or need to take and it’s closed. This happens to a lot of people, where you’ll need to get into a class and there will be no more openings. This is where what’s called a special permission number comes in. A special permission number is this specific 6-digit number that you can put into webreg in order to reserve you a spot in the class. Everyone gets a different one, and there are only so many that a professor can give out. There are 2 main ways that you can go about obtaining a special permission number:

1. Email the department of the class you wanna get into and they might give you one.

2. Go to the class on the first day it’s held, and talk to the professor AFTER class is over. That’s probably the most common way. You have to go the first day of class and ask in person though; that way, they’re more likely to give it to you.

Now be forwarned. Not all classes will have special permission numbers, or sometimes they’ll have been given out by the time you ask. I got lucky twice last semester because my quantitative methods and sociology lectures were both filled. Quant didn’t give out special permission #’s and my sociology professor gave out all of them the first lecture. The reason I got lucky is because I woke up early one morning, logged onto webreg and both classes were open, so I easily joined them without a number. If you can’t get a number, make sure you check webreg every day, multiple times a day. A class CAN open up when you least expect it, so make sure you check for it.

To sum it up: Know what a special permission number is before classes start so that if there’s a class you wanted/needed, you know another way of getting it.

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What is Sakai?

September 30, 2011

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So Rutgers has this website called Sakai. It’s basically an online resource where all of your classes will be. In other words, you log in and you’ll have all of these tabs for your classes:

Each tab is for one of your classes. It’ll have your course number and “F11” which means Fall 2011. Once you get your schedule, you’ll have access to this website if you don’t already and your class tabs will start going up.
Once you click on a tab, it brings you to the “homepage” for that certain class. On the side will be a section for class announcements, your syllabus, tests and quizzes, possibly a gradebook if you’re in SAS, a chat room, and other things. This website is something you should be on multiple times a day.  That’s because you can usually ask your professor questions in the chat room, you’ll have online quizzes to take on this website, if class is cancelled or if the professor has any announcement or change to the syllabus, they’ll put it up on Sakai. It sounds simple, but I know people who never check it and didn’t even know there WAS a chat room on there. So when you get access to it, make sure you check it out.

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Keep Track of Your Absences

September 30, 2011

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Not all classes are optional. In fact none of them really ARE, but for a lot of lectures, there’s no way of tracking attendance. For smaller classes and even for lectures, physically keep track of how many times you miss class. For many classes you’re only allotted 3 or 4 absences, and they can go by very quickly if you use them all at once. So if you miss a class, make note of it. Write it on a calendar or something. Trust me, it might sound stupid now, but it’ll save your ass when you realize you might have missed all of your classes but you can’t remember if you did. For my dance classes my freshman year, I was allotted 3 absences. I used all of them 2nd semester; my one teacher told me that I missed all 3 and just gave me fair warning, my other one didn’t say anything, so I was stressing a little until I got my grades for the class. I ended up being fine, but it was two weeks work of stressing over nothing. That’s exactly why you should do what I DIDN’T do. Sometimes your professor won’t tell you how many you miss and it might screw you in the end because you can’t remember, yourself.

Also as a side note, try not to miss too many classes where you have clicker quizzes or in-class assignments, especially if they’re lectures. It affects your grade and you’ll be mad that you missed them in the end.

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Don’t Expect to Get All The Classes You Chose on APA Day

September 30, 2011

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On APA day, you chose certain classes that you wanted to take. Just know that you might not end up with those classes. There are certain classes that are very popular and are only offered until they’re closed, so some people might get the classes, others may not. Don’t freak out if you don’t get the classes you want and you get ones that you really didn’t because come add/drop period, you can always try to add what you want. After being totally discouraged and scribbling classes I had no idea about, I didn’t get a class or two that I put on my paper at APA day. So don’t worry about it if you don’t, because even if you can’t get it online once classes start, you can always take it 2nd semester.

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How to Study

September 30, 2011

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Well, if you’re NOT like me, you never had a problem studying and could skate your way through high school getting A’s. Well, there’s a chance that you might have a rude awakening in college. It’s always possible that you’ll get through your first year without any HUGE problems, but then again, you might have a really hard class first semester and you won’t do well because you just didn’t know how to study. Here are some tips for those people on how to actually START yourself on studying:

1. Memorization
Let’s be honest. Most people just don’t study for the love of learning. It takes a very special kind of person to do that and be able to pick it up simply. So a lot of studying is really about memorization. You might be so lucky as to get a list of key terms from your professor that you need to know for an exam. To me, that’s like gold, so I’d put together a study guide or something and just memorize it. I’d read it over a bunch of times, one page at a time, go back when I read half the page and just repeat it until it was burned in my brain. That’s all it takes. Repetition = memorization. You keep repeating the same stuff, adding a little more in, repeating all of that, and so on. It’s doable.

2. Paraphrasing/giving yourself simple examples
Sometimes you won’t understand wtf your book is talking about, so to understand it more, you might wanna think of it a little more simply or refer to it in the form of an example from your life. Now obviously that’s hard to do with a subject like chemistry, so you might not be able to use this for a harder math or science, but if it’s a relatable subject or even a biology, it might be a little easier to think of personal examples.

3. Doing a little bit over a long period of time
This is the best general way or studying instead of cramming. There are people who swear by cramming, and hey, that’s all good. It’s just overall the better way of studying for things and you can fluently remember things better if you DON’T cram. You need to study a little bit every day before your quizzes/exams. That comes in the form of reading every chapter, if you’re making a study guide, taking a few days to make it instead of doing it all in one day, and just reviewing things before the night before your exam. You’ve probably heard this a million times from people who tell you it’s a proven way of studying. They’re right though, and the reason that is is because (psych lesson for everyone) distributed practice enhances your memory. By spacing out what you learn, it allows your brain to absorb more. So technically, this is the best way to study.

To sum it up: There are a bunch of different ways you can study like making study guides, flash cards, quizzing yourself, etc. And if you find that cramming and being under pressure like that works for you, do what works. Just if you’re new to studying, try whatever you think you might be comfortable with and see if it works. You might learn to study better than you think you will.

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Find Quiet Places to Study

September 30, 2011

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I’ve found that the best way to study and really focus on learning stuff is to do it in a place that’s quiet (semi-common sense, I know). It really does work though. There’s a big, BIG difference between studying in a semi-quiet dorm room with 4 other people in it, versus studying in a library and campus center where it’s completely quiet. When I study, I can’t do it with my friends or anything; I need to be by myself. I’ll go to my campus center, sit down with my books and my chill playlist on my iPod, and it’ll help a lot. Obviously, everyone’s got a different way of studying, and that’s cool, but if you find that you’re not getting the grades you want when studying with other people around, try it a different way. Studying in quiet or quiet with an iPod isn’t so bad.

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Don’t Schedule Consecutive Classes on Different Campuses

September 30, 2011

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It sucks being a 1st semester freshmen because you don’t get much choice as to when your classes are scheduled. I will say this though, if you have a class that ends at… 5:15 on Douglass and another that starts at 5:40 on Livingston, I’d see how it is getting to that class, and if you can’t handle it, try to switch your section during add/drop period. Take it from me, it SUCKS rushing to class. My quant class ended at 6:20 on Busch and I’d have to rush back, catch a second bus, go to my dorm, get changed for my dance class, and walk to my 7:15 dance class. Now it seems like a good amount of time, but I used all my absences at dance the first month because it sucked rushing to class. Of course I had to stick it out the rest of the semester, but it was awful sometimes. So 2nd semester especially when you’re picking your classes, try not to make your classes too close together. Spread them out and give yourself some time to get yourself together before going to your next class. It helps if you have the ability to do so.

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