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semester or quarter?

Discussion in 'Optometry' started by JHawk623, Nov 19, 2002.

  1. JHawk623

    JHawk623 Junior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Aug 31, 2001
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    what are the advantages/disadvantages for both the semester and quarterly system of classes?
  2. Rorschach

    Rorschach Junior Member

    May 22, 2002
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    Quarter system : 5 years at UCLA has impressed upon me these experiences...

    - Very fast paced... it is imperative that you keep up with reading, homework, etc. Usually, midterms came in the 3-4th weeks and 6-7th weeks of class and quizzes throughout the 10 short weeks of instruction. If you fall behind (and you will), there is a good possibility you'll be cramming for each and every test dazed and confused afterwards with the queer feeling of having learned absolutely nothing during the whole quarter. There really isn't too much room for procrastinating.

    - With the quarter system, a full load of classes is usually considered to be 3-4 per quarter instead of 5-6 in the semester system. Albeit you have less time, you don't have to worry about so many different types of material to learn. Also, the quarter system affords you 3 full quarters (4 if you include summer) during a regular school year. This is good if you like the variety of classes. I know I did....variety is the spice of life : ). I don't really know if this turns out to be an advantage perse in optometry school where the schedule is already laid out for you...

    Semester: I've never experienced this system before so I guess I am kinda biased...someone else's opinion may be more helpful...here are my opinions nonetheless....

    - I would think 15 weeks in school at a given time would get boring to some degree. There is also more time to procrastinate and forget material, not to mention more time for tests, quizzes, orals, etc. I am not too keen on having more than 3 classes at a time either....

    - More time to procrastinate is the main thing that comes to mind. Also, more time to absorb material with more leeway for unexpectedly missing lectures or tests. The professor would be able to spend more time on a given subject without having to cram everything into a shorter, 10 week course schedule. AND, I have found that most (if not all) optometry school apps require you to convert EVERYTHING into semester system units....so coming from a semester system school would definitely help during app. time.

    I am sure that there are other ads and disads for each...I admit to being sort of biased due to my own experiences. Hope this helps.

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