While 1L’s are automatically registered in classes (at least at my university they are), upper years are not. We’re responsible for choosing our own courses and registering for them. And let me tell you…upper year registration is a TOTAL NIGHTMARE!
There’s some 150+ students logging on at the same time to enroll in courses and often, the system can’t handle this so it crashes (I’m looking at you BearTracks).
Since there are limited spots in each course, by the time the system goes back online, all of the spots are gone. And you end up registering for night classes you’re not even remotely interested in because they were the only courses with seats left open…*sighs*
Okay so, what can you do? Well, while there are no guarantees, here are some things you can do to increase your chances of securing a spot in classes you actually want to take!
1. Choose your courses beforehand
This seems obvious but you should already know the courses you’re going to register in even before the enrollment date rolls around. Spend an hour or two the day before registration to pick out the courses you’re interested in. Read through course descriptions and create a draft schedule.
PRO TIP #1: Make sure there are no class time conflicts between your chosen courses.
PRO TIP #2: Check exam dates. Make sure there aren’t any exam conflicts either for your chosen courses and if you’re someone who’s not into having back-to-back exams (and who is anyway), consider choosing courses with exam dates that aren’t held on consecutive days.
2. Have backup courses
Just in case you don’t get into a specific course, you should have backup courses picked out for each of your first choice courses. Having backup courses saves time and prevents stress. There’s nothing worse than having to go through the course descriptions and looking for what course to take ON registration day when seats are going fast!
PRO TIP #3: Have backups for your backup courses just in case you don’t get into your first or second choices.
3. Be ready to press that enroll button
Log on to the registration system before enrollment begins and familiarize yourself with it. Add the courses you want to your shopping cart (if applicable) so all you have to do is click enroll when the time comes. On the day of enrollment, log on to the system a few minutes before your assigned enrollment time and get ready to press the enroll button right as the secondhand of the clock strikes whatever time registration opens!
4. Don’t refresh the webpage
DO NOT REFRESH! I repeat…DO NOT REFRESH THE PAGE! As tempting as it is, if the webpage is loading, don’t refresh it. Whatever you do. Just wait for the system to load, no matter how long it takes (unless of course, it crashes or something). Often, the request will go through if you let the system do its thing. If you refresh, you might interrupt the request and not be able to submit it again until it’s too late.
5. Have more than one device open, if possible
Sometimes, the system might respond better on one device versus another. At least, that’s how it was for me. The system was not loading at all on my computer but for some unknown reason, it worked on my phone and that’s how I was able to register in a few classes that I actually wanted to take. So if possible, have more than one device ready and check to see if the system works on one if not the other.
6. Add courses to your watchlist
If all else fails and you couldn’t get into a course you really wanted, add that course to your watchlist. You’ll be notified by an automated system when seats open so you can register for the course later on in the week/month/semester. Seats do open with students switching between courses or dropping them entirely so not all hope is lost!
PRO TIP #4: If your school has a first-come-first-serve watchlist system, update your watchlist notification preferences (text or email or both) to make sure you don’t miss out on any seats opening.
Well, there you go. I hope these are helpful and best of luck on registration day!!