If you’re reading this, I presume you want to complete your college education requirements fast. Why? Perhaps you want to graduate a year early. Maybe you think college is expensive and you want get your money’s worth by taking only your classes related to your major. I don’t know you, nor do I know what you want, but regardless…
Today I am here to show you how you can complete your general ed requirements as efficiently as possible. Let’s get straight into it, shall we?
First, things first.
When should you take your GE’s? Short answer. It depends. I know it hurts to hear that, but truth is, I don’t you where you are at in your high school to college journey.
If you are high school, I would recommend you take as many AP tests as possible, that way you can skip out of those classes in college. However, there are some complications because some colleges won’t accept certain AP’s and others won’t accept any at all. Ahem* UC Berkeley* In general, be aware that the more related an AP is too your major, the more useless it will be and the higher the chance colleges won’t let you use it to skip out of classes.
Here’s an analogy. If you’re going to the U.S. Sniper Academy, the 1st best sniper academy in the world. They won’t care that you got a 5 on the AP Sniper Test. In fact, they’ll tell you to disregard everything you learned and to learn everything again, this time from the experts. Same goes for college. If you got a 5 on AP Physics 1 and you’re majoring in physics or engineering, it’s likely the college won’t accept your score. Because of this, strategically speaking, you should take AP classes that are far away from your major, meaning if you are an Computer Science major and taking AP Chemistry is a go, and but if you are a Chemical Engineering student, then AP Chemistry is a no.
There are certain AP tests that such as AP Calculus BC and AP English Literature that seem to be widely accepted and useful for skipping lower level Math and English classes, so I’d say definitely go for those.
As a high school student, you should also go for taking CLEP tests, which like AP Tests, also offered by CollegeBoard. CLEP tests specifically help you skip out of college courses, so I don’t know why more people don’t know about them.
If you’ve just graduated high school, and its early summer before college, I would recommend you take the few days you have before community college summer session starts to hustle and do the following:
- You know which college and major you got accepted to right? Take time search up that major.
- Ask the following questions.
- What are the General Ed requirements for your particular major?
- How many GE’s do you have to take? How many GE units do you have to take?
- If with your community college and university, one offers courses in semester units while the other offers quarter units courses, how do semester and quarter units convert between each other?
- Which courses and can be transferred between my community college and the university I will be attending in the fall?
- Then do due diligence to figure them out answers. They should all be on the college website. If not reach out to the your college’s support team.
If you are a college Freshman, you have two options. Either you postpone your GE’s and take them all senior year, or you take them all at community college during summer between Freshman and Sophomore year.
Wait, you may say, but the school says to sprinkle in my GE’s throughout my all four years. Don’t listen to them, and there is logic behind what I say. Hear me out.
General Ed requirements don’t matter much. But your major requirement courses do. They matter a lot. Miss one GE this quarter, that’s ok, but miss one major requirement course, you just wasted one quarter of your school year. That’s because major requirements serve as perquisites in a long chain of courses. If you don’t take the first one, you don’t take then second one, and if you don’t take the second one, you don’t take the third one, so on, so forth. The longer it takes to finish up your prerequisites, the longer you’ll be in college.
That’s why I say either take your GE’s in the summer at community college. Much cheaper. (Though the downside is you’ll miss the opportunity to do a summer internship.) Or you can save all your GE’s for senior year, when it’ll be easy to take GE’s anyway since seniors get first dibs on courses.
Hey if you do it right, maybe you’ll even be able to graduate in 3 years? What say you saving one years worth of them Green Benjamins (slang for $100 bills)?