First-year science course reviews

Term 1

Term 2

19 responses to “Academics

  1. Hey Cam! I’m going to be going to UBC this year in the fall for science as well and was wondering if you have any tips for creating a survivable course schedule. I feel so overwhelmed with actually having to chose when to take my classes and what not so any tips you may have would be greatly appreciated šŸ™‚

    • Hi Maja, I have two big tips for you. The first is, figure out for yourself what time of day is optimal for your learning. If you’re not a morning person and it takes you three hours to get out of bed, don’t give yourself all 8 am classes in the hope that it will force you to change your ways. Plan your classes at times that work for you. Second, I would avoid large breaks in the day if possible, but if you do have breaks make sure that you use them productively (i.e. go to the library instead of heading back to residence/home for those hours). Good luck!

      • Hey again,
        So I’ll definitely try to get classes later in the day since I am NOT a morning person at all. I was just wondering if you had difficulty getting from class to class on time since the UBC campus seems to be absolutely giant! And also, when I try and ass BIOL140 to my worklists it always says something about me needing to at the primary section first… am I being a little slow here if I have absolutely no idea what that means? Hopefully you can help me out a little here šŸ˜›
        Thanks so much šŸ™‚

  2. Hi! I’ll be taking similar courses to yours starting this September…just wanted to ask you how you felt about taking a 6 course workload in Term 2? I basically have to take the same courses for Term 2 (Phys 101 ==) and I was wondering if you recommend it or not. As well, do you recommend me taking Phys 101 sometime later instead of cramming it into my first year? Because I have no intention to major in that area but I did check the Pharmacy entrance requirements and it is required. It’d be great if you could reply soon!
    Thanks! ^_^

    • Honestly, taking six courses at once was the worst thing ever. I was stressed out literally all the time. I would avoid it at all costs, especially if you want to do extracurriculars or have any semblance of a social life. Remember that you can push 3 credits of English and 3 credits of physics to second year if the need should arise, and if you have AP or IB credits that can free up some space in your schedule. As for Phys 101, it’s about the same workload as any other course, so as long as you’re willing to put in the work, you can manage. Also, in second year classes are just going to get harder, so I’d get it out of the way as early as you can. Hope this helps!

  3. Hi! I am entering first-year science this September! Your posts are awesome! They really helped a lot šŸ˜€ By the way, I have one question. Do you think it is okay to take BIOL121&140 in term 1 and take BIOL 112 in term 2? Or is it possible to take BIOL121 in term 1 and take BIOL112 and BIOL140 in term 2? BIOL112 is getting in my way of my ever first university wanting-to-make-it-a-good-looking schedule… Thanks in advance! šŸ˜€

    • Hi Leah, that shouldn’t be a problem at all! BIOL 112 and BIOL 121 are totally separate courses. Their content doesn’t really overlap and neither is a prerequisite for the other. Tons of people take 121 before 112, and I even had one friend who took all three bio classes during term 2. Good luck making your schedule!

      • Thanks!
        By the way, does it make sense if I take BIOL140 in first sem and take BIOL121 in second sem? Or do they always have to go together?

  4. Thanks for your posts! I’m heading into first year science in September! I’m interested in doing environmental sciences later on and it says that they recommend Bio 121 and 140 in first year, but I haven’t taken Bio 12 so I need to take Bio 111, OR I could cram Bio 12 online in the summer. Do you think that it’s worth it to quickly do Bio 12 so I don’t have to take Bio 111 and free up a space for a class or do you think three Bio courses is manageable and worth it? Thanks!

    • I can’t really offer much advice in terms of Biol 111’s difficulty, but I will say that I took three biology courses in first year and it was definitely manageable. Personally, I would recommend you just take Biol 111 in the fall and enjoy your last summer before you start university!

  5. Hey! I’ll be going into sciences as well next year, and I am having quite a lot of difficulty deciding what courses to take. I am considering csp, but I don’t know if that’s better or choosing my own course ,since I lose the option of picking electives.( do u have any recommendation for electives?) Also I noticed that u didn’t take English first term, did u use ur Ap credits? Will not taking English in university effect your application to other programs, or graduate school?

    • You need to take 6 credits of English in first year science if you don’t have AP or IB credit, although you can push three of those credits to second year. I didn’t have any AP English credits, I just took SCIE 113 instead of another English course as they both satisfy the Faculty of Science’s first-year communication requirement. Can’t really say about grad school admissions though, because that can vary a lot from place to place. As for CSP, it’s a pretty good option since it satisfies all of the entry requirements to second year specializations (plus Biol 140). Besides, if you’re taking biology, chem, physics, math and English and you don’t have any advanced credit, you probably won’t have any electives in first year. The only elective I got to take was PSYC 101, and that’s just because I took six courses second term (which was a terrible, terrible mistake). But if you have room for electives, just take something that interests you, probably outside of the Faculty of Science.

  6. Hi Cam,
    I have a quick question, do you know when to start applying for second year specialization? If so, does 1st year science student needs specific average grade to get into specific major? Any tips on how we can make best use of our first year, so that we can get into the specialization we want?
    Btw, your posts are awesome and they are really helpful. Thanks for posting them. šŸ˜€

  7. Mariam Nasser

    Thank you for posting a great blog. I want to ask a question , I registered for the CSP which consists of 5 courses; and I also added 1 English course in the first term and another in the second term so that I can complete the 5 credit English requirement. Then, I realized that I just loaded myself with a hectic schedule of having 6 courses per term. Is there anyway I can have less that 6 courses, but still continue taking the CSP?

    • Hi Mariam! While I’m happy the blog could be a good resource to you, I’m unfortunately not very familiar with the CSP and don’t feel like I’m in a good position to give you advice. I would recommend talking to a science academic advisor or one of the CSP coordinators and asking for their input (maybe you can defer English credits to second year?). Sorry I can’t be of more help!

  8. Hi Cam!
    Your course reviews for first year really helped me out a lot! I’m going into Kinesiology but I’m still taking some similar courses as you like Eng 112 and Chem 121 in the first term so thanks so much šŸ™‚ keep up the blogging!
    How did you join Blog Squad? Were you selected or did you have to apply for it? It sounds so fun and yours was the most organized and easy to navigate around!

    • Hey Noel! I’m happy to hear that you enjoyed reading my blog, and I’m super happy to hear that you’re interested in joining the Blog Squad! It was a really great experience being a part of it this past year, and I loved being able to share my experiences with new and prospective students. To be a first year blogger, all you need to do is write a sample blog entry on a given topic and submit it via email to the CSI staff. The Blog Squad application will be up on the main Blog Squad page () closer to the end of the summer. I really hope you apply!

  9. Hi Campbell~
    Your postings were a great help, just one question. I am currently registered in 5 courses per term, and planning on taking one more in the summer. I have Bio 140 in the second term right now but after reading your post as well as some others, I’m wondering if doing Phys 101 in second term and bio 140 in the summer is a better choice?

    • Hi Lillian! I’m not sure if they offer Biol 140 in the summer – be sure to check this out before you make any decisions. But use your own judgement when it comes to your courses. With that in mind, both of those classes are a lot of work, although in different ways (sorry I never got around to writing my PHYS 101 review!). Whichever one you think would be easier, I would recommend taking during the year, and focus on the more difficult one in the summer session.

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