Headed back to school? While you've likely registered for classes and tackled your Summer reading list, the next item of concern may be your professor. You don't have to be in the dark about the ins and outs of your instructor, thanks to a little help from your peers.
A number of online resources are available to solve the mystery of your professor's personality, teaching style, and grading curve. Use these sites to your advantage when preparing for coursework and tests this Fall. At the same time, take everything you read with a grain of salt; often, negative reviews are a result of a poor grade that may not have much to do with the professor's competency.
- Koofers — It's free to sign up for Koofers, which boasts not only hundreds of thousands of professor ratings, but practice exams, flash cards, and internship and job listings as well. To help you balance your course load, the site lists how often each professor assigns homework, tests, and projects.
- RateMyProfessors.com — As the largest online site for professor ratings, with over 1.7 million professors already on this site and over 7,500 schools in its database, Rate My Professors is your best bet to get the scholarly dish. The best part about this site is the range of qualities taken into account for a professor's performance: helpfulness, clarity, and, if you're interested, attractiveness. Since there are two sides to every story, the professors are allowed to rebut any ratings.
- In-School Ratings Systems — If all else fails, turn to your own school for ratings and advice. Many universities have created their own online rating system, like UC Berkeley's ULoop or Cornell's CourseRank. Many students are willing offer advice to peers, rather than an anonymous outside source. Don't forget your can stop in and speak to your major advisers, the true professionals, for honest opinions and direction.