Academics 31

Why is it that GPA doesn't matter for jobs and engineering recruiting? Doesn't that represent mastery of material? Funnily enough I'm not doing too well in CIS 120 and CIS 160 because I have such a tough schedule but I really like programming and the problems we do in 160. I just wish I had more time to practice and actually do the work.

I think this is more of a CIS phenomenon more than a general engineering trend. Most of the stuff that we do in the classroom isn't really indicative of what industry is looking for from you, so even if you don't find that you're excelling with classroom material, that doesn't truly represent your potential on the job, and recruiters know that. I was in a similar boat as you, with CIS 160 especially, and if you find yourself enjoying the material then I think you're doing just fine.  

CIS Intro Track first semester is definitely a grind, and you'll have plenty more semesters to continue mastering software engineering. I personally found CIS 121 way more enjoyable than 120 and 160 because the application of the material was built into the core of the course. It gets easier as you go through the system :)

Zesty Zebra, 2:55 PM, November 25th 2019

I'm a senior interested in taking courses outside of my engineering major (DMD)! I was wondering if you have taken any interesting/perspective-widening classes that stuck out out to you? Thanks in advance :*)

Here's a list of courses my friends and I have compiled:

OIDD 245

OIDD 291 (Negotiations)

BEPP 284 (Game theory)

Any creative writing course

URBS 178 (ABCS course that culminates in an implementation project in West Philly)

And any ABCS course!

Kindred Koala, 11/8/19, 10:45AM

Any advice with course registration? (ex. should I make my preferred math class my first choice?)

This is the general order I tend to follow:

-small, popular classes (ex. major electives, classes w limited spots, classes that you need to take a certain section of)

-larger, required classes in the time sections I prefer

-required classes (this depends on your major - if major students have trouble getting into these classes, you should list higher)

-gen eds that are flexible (usually don't care too much about taking these during this specific semester, or there are alternates that I could take instead)

I'd also say I'll put A as my first choice, then B as my alternate, then B as my second choice, then C as my alternate, then C as my third choice, and so on...

This has worked fairly well for me, but it's definitely not perfect

Kindred Koala, 11/7/19, 9:36PM

I generally don't register for my required courses during advanced registration (since I know I'll get into them during regular registration) and instead rank fun/harder-to-get-into classes first! I wouldn't stress too much about it though, during the first couple weeks of school there's plenty of time to drop and add classes.

Funky Flamingo, 2019 November 07, 10:15 PM

I'm really struggling in Accounting 101 and Finance 101. I just took my first Acct quiz and did below average. I feel like I'm not grasping the material well and am just falling more and more behind. Does anyone have any advice at all on how to study for these two subjects? Is the textbook helpful? A particular YouTube channel that helped explain concepts? I applied for a private tutor but haven't heard back. Any tips at all would be so much appreciated, thanks!

Don't worry, accounting and finance never came naturally to me (and I'm saying this as a senior in Wharton haha...). I'd say one of the biggest steps I took with getting better in these two classes was emailing the TAs and going to the office hours of the TAs or professors. I would go there prepared with all the questions I was confused about and walk them through what I was thinking and what I didn't get (or if it was through email, I'd be very clear about what I didn't get). I also emailed the professors sometimes; lucky for us, we go to an "elite" enough institution where the professors often do answer us! Don't be afraid to follow-up with an email or two if you don't get an answer from the TAs/professors. Also don't be afraid to ask all your questions, whether that's virtually or in-person. They're there for a reason...

So I'm guessing you requested a tutor through here. If there's a delay in response, you could try reaching out to Weingarten to expedite the process. I also think study groups can be helpful after you reviewed all the material and still have these questions/concepts that you just can't wrap your head around - talking it through might help. I just took my ACCT 102 exam, and during the day while studying, I messaged a group of people who were taking the class with me with questions I didn't get. I openly admitted, "I don't have intuition here, so would be super grateful if someone could explain..."

Last, it's definitely best to practice problems that will show up on the exam, so for me that usually means I try to really go through and understand the practice exams professors put up. On cheat sheets, I include how to do each kind of problem in a way I can understand; definitely include examples and note down tricky parts.

Hope that helps, and good luck! You got this.

Wallowing Whale, 11/11/19, 1:03 AM

Anyone know the class recommendations per score range for the online Math diagnostic exam? (Got a 12/25)

As of 2018-2019:

Absent Aardvark, April 8th 6:02 PM

Can anyone share/recommend great sample schedules for an incoming freshman? (not only major-entry courses)

If it's relevant, I plan to take either Economics/Psychology as a major & Chinese as a foreign language.

Can't find any solid sample schedules & the one on the Economics department page only includes major-entry courses.

Tips would also be appreciated!

Although this isn't directly major-specific tips, here are some of the things I keep in mind when picking classes and scheduling each semester:

  1. Be realistic - are you really going to wake up Mondays at 9? If there's a later section, it might be better to pick that one.
  2. Don't jam every day full - leave yourself a less busy day (most people to Fridays) so you can either spend time with friends, explore the city, or just catch up on work!
  3. How long of a day? - this is actually an important question! If you have 3 classes on TR, do you want them 9-6 with breaks, or 10:30-3 straight through? Some people prefer having space to catch a breath between classes, whereas on the other hand I prefer being done earlier and in a shorter amount of time!
  4. Course ratings - of course, ratings aren't everything (ex: a hard professor is definitely worth it if they're really well-rated! Professor quality makes such a difference in the experience), but if you're struggling to decide between different scheduling options maybe ratings can help influence your decisions (and hopefully get a better schedule).
  5. Don't forget to eat - this is actually stupidly easy to do when you have classes especially getting accustomed to Penn and full of excitement. Make sure you plan times to grab breakfast/lunch or have schedules where you can dip by Wawa, a food truck, or Pret in the middle!
Bovine Bear, May 26 2019, 5:58PM

I keep getting a lot more Bs than I want to -- should I be worried, or is this normal?

***Freshman perspective, so take it with a grain of salt lol***  I think not performing at our expected level is a normal thing, and I don't think you should be worried so long as you are taking steps to improve your performance in the future. If you're intent on improving your performance, set aside some time to assess your habits throughout the school year and develop a plan to improve with concrete and actionable steps towards progress. It's not enough to just say "study more";  you should say something more like "I'm going to study five hours more per week." These academic decisions we make don't occur in a time vacuum, so it's also important to tell yourself what you're going to sacrifice to reach your goal. Going back to the above example, you could add: "I'm going to take time away from social media usage each week to study..." or something like that. At least for me, when I perform below my expectations it's reassuring to find areas that I faltered since that means I haven't maxed out all my options for success.

Zesty Zebra, May 18th 2019, 2:44 PM

Generally agree that it's good to be honest with yourself about whether you're investing enough time for each class.  But it's also important to strategize not necessarily for studying longer but smarter.  I think one thing that trips people up once they get to college is that their high school study habits aren't as applicable.  For example, does it make sense to spend time making flashcards if a class tests more for understanding than memorization?  Should you spend more time reading the textbook or practicing problems?  Should you try to grind alone or find a study group?  Should you go to office hours or seek one-on-one tutoring?  Each major/class has a different answer to these questions and it's helpful to gauge the best study strategy earlier on by looking at previous exams ahead of time.  For some pre-professional paths (like law and medicine), GPA matters more than others, but other skills like interviewing/networking/leadership may compensate.  

(By the way, there is nothing wrong with getting Bs, especially if you've just started Penn.  It may seem like everyone else is getting As all the time but this is not true – believe in your ability to improve and at least take comfort in the fact that you're being challenged at a prestigious institution, and other employers/schools know that, too.)  

Friendly Fox, May 22 2019, 1:00 PM

What the difference between LGST 100 and LGST 101? How much harder is the latter, and is there any advantage to taking one over the other?

LGST 101 gives you a great overview of all kinds of law - criminal law, tort law, constitutional law. My professor (Laufer) would discuss cases each lecture, which were pretty interesting! I haven't taken LGST 100, but I believe it's an interesting class on business ethics. Discussions are around relevant topics in the social and ethical dilemmas we might encounter in our careers. Here's a syllabus for LGST 101, and here's one for LGST 100. It wasn't hard to get an A in LGST 101 (and heard the same for LGST 100), but some professors might be a bit harder than others.

Wallowing Whale, April 28, 2019, 8:45pm

How hard is it to get into the uncoordinated dual degree program for Wharton? Is the workload hard to keep up if I want to pursue a major (or two minors) at the College (currently interested in Spanish, history, and compsci as possibilities) as well?

Also, are a lot of the recruiting opportunities for IBs and consulting firms limited to the students at Wharton or are they generally accessible by people across the different schools at Penn?


Chill dude — I know people at Penn have a tendency to do so, but why work yourself to death? Try taking at least the intro class for each of the major/minor you're interested in before making a decision. The workload is definitely very hard for uncoordinated dual (check question adee47), and you'll never know whether it's worth it until you get through a semester with 7 classes.

For recruiting, the opportunities (on campus) are there for everyone, but it might help to have that Wharton name on your resume.

Rumbling Raccoon, April 25th 2019 1:27 am

What are placement exams and how do they work?

You take placement exams to determine what level class to start with, or to try and get credit for classes in stuff like math, language, etc. They're usually around the beginning of the semester, but for more info you'd need to look online or ask and advisor.

ex. here's the math placement from last sem:

Chunky Chipmunk, April 24th 2019 2:10AM