Academics 27

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

Should I take FNCE 100 or FNCE 101 first?

It doesn't make too much of a difference, in my opinion. I took them concurrently for example, but I know friends who have done both orders. They're very different classes - FNCE 100 focuses more on a corporate finance level that will be more in line with banking and accounting, while FNCE 101 is macroeconomics and more of a theoretical side.

Bovine Bear, April 23 2019, 10:00AM

What is the easiest foreign language to fulfill the requirement?

It's said that football players take Swahili for the easy A. I can't say whether it's true or not, but there's your option.

Perky Puffin, 4/22/19 7:51 PM

If you have any experience with Spanish, you can take a placement exam (just like you would take with any foreign language) and be put in the correct level for you. The Spanish department is really great and the course load is pretty manageable in my experience. You might want to follow in the football player foot steps though and take Swahili. Live your life.

Trusty Turtle, April 22, 2019, 11:35 PM

Can you take a placement exam more than once (if you fail the first)? What score do you usually need to pass them, and how often are they offered?

Typically you cannot take a placement exam more than once, although you might want to check the specific department's policies. For chemistry, you can only take the placement exams once, and the passing score is usually about 70%. Chem placement exams are offered at the beginning of each semester. Language placement exams also usually happen at the beginning of each semester, but again you should check with the department in question!

Extroverted Eel, April 19, 2019, 8:33 AM

Will my lifestyle as a premed be a lot better at a place like Brown or are there better resources at Penn that are worth it?

I cannot speak to being a pre-med at Brown, but I can talk about Penn.

There are a lot of resources for pre-med students at Penn such as dedicated advising and online resources. With a science major, a pre-med schedule is certainly easier given that some of the requirements (if not most) will be covered by the major itself. However, with a non-science major, that becomes more difficult. There are also plenty of research and medical volunteering opportunities, you just have to look around and take advantage of them.

tl;dr Yes, Penn has a lot of opportunities for a pre-med. Effort required.

Obnoxious Otter, April 14 2019 23:20