Apr   2016



Quarters vs. Semesters in College: Which is Best for You?

Student, California State University of Los Angeles

Deciding to go to college is a major decision for those who wish to continue their academic journey after high school. However, it is worth the trouble to invest in a higher education. Once you decide to continue, there are other decisions to keep in mind. One question out of the many is: what kind of academic term would you like to study in? Although situations vary from person to person, researching colleges is universally important because you are planning to spend the next four years of your life at that institution.

Most public high schools study under the semester system, so students already have a feel of what it is like under a system that runs from August to December and January to June. However, there are students who may not do well under the semester system because the classes seem to be going at a slow pace. To those who would like to learn in a fast-paced environment, choosing a college under the quarter system may be more appealing.

A quarter system consists of four terms in an academic year. This means it is usually divided as fall, winter, spring, and summer as opposed to fall and spring. A benefit of a quarter system is that difficult classes will end in 10 weeks as opposed to 15 weeks, which means they will be over sooner. In order to stay on top of classes, students are less likely to procrastinate and more likely to find some way to motivate themselves to be punctual and get things done.

On the flip side, the quarter system could be overwhelming to those who may fall behind in their classes during the first few weeks of school, as it is difficult to make up for lost work. There will also be more classes to handle in the course of 10 weeks, which means more midterms and finals to study for.

For some students, the quarter system works to their advantage because there is no time for procrastination. For others, it works as a disadvantage because there is much more bulky workload to handle. Regardless, when it comes to deciding which college to attend, it is important to factor in how they run their academic year and whether it is a good fit for you.

Have you chosen a college that runs on a quarter system? Check back in next week when Tiffany shares some tips on how to stay on top of your assignments in this fast-paced academic environment!

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About Tiffany Wong

From Cal State L.A., Tiffany is a student writer for CollegeXpress and supports the idea that education should be for everyone.



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