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Summer School: Pros and Cons

Last updated on September 24, 2019

The decision to register for summer college classes is not an easy one. Students struggle with the choice between taking a relaxing hiatus from their studies or using the summer to get ahead (or catch up).

Should I Take Summer College Courses?

Here are a few advantages and disadvantages of signing up for Summer term. As you read through these, keep in mind there are may be other factors not listed here that could be important in your decision.

Summer Classes: Pros

  • Short classes. Summer school programs are typically only four weeks in length. This allows you to really focus in on a topic, which can be difficult during a regular semester that lasts 16 weeks.
  • A condensed syllabus. Time constraints mean professors may have to pare down the course material. For example, instead of taking a test over one chapter, you might be taking a longer test over several chapters in order to cover the same material in the shorter time frame. Fewer tests or assignments doesn’t mean you won’t still be working hard, though!
  • Less waitlisting. Courses that are hard to get into during the Fall or Spring semester are often offered over the summer to meet high demand.
  • A relaxed atmosphere. Summer courses are usually less formal and provide a relaxed learning environment. This often translates into more hands-on activities and increased discussion.
  • Smaller classes. Taking a hard class to get it out of the way? Thanks to smaller class sizes during summer term, professors are able to give more individualized attention to students.

Summer Classes: Cons

  • Less free time. Because summer classes are condensed into four weeks, they meet much more frequently (often daily) and require a fair amount of studying outside the classroom. This means less free time during your summer for things like an internship or time at the pool.
  • Procrastination is not an option. It simply won’t fly in summer school! One missed class, test or reading can cause a domino effect where you quickly fall behind.
  • Lots of reading. If you struggle with reading, you may want to save those English composition courses, or any class with a large amount of reading homework, for the Fall semester. It would be a shame to fall behind because you have too much reading and too little time.
  • College at warp speed. A fast-paced course can be an advantage or disadvantage, depending on your perspective. Professors will cover a lot of material in a short amount of time. You may have a quiz, a lab and a midterm in the same week.

Students Weigh in on Dallas Community Colleges Summer Classes

  • “Register early so you get the classes you want.” — Andrea M.
  • “Don’t expect professors to be nicer just because the weather is nicer. You still have to study.” — Matt B.
  • “Final exams are easier for me in the summer. The material is still fresh.” — Maya R.
  • “If you’re going to take more than one Summer class at a time, make sure one is an easy class. Like, don’t register for organic chemistry and calculus. That’s way too intense.” — Daniel T.

Register for Summer Classes

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