Sooner or later, every student at UT has to take a UGS course. Most courses lure you in with a fun, interesting topic and then ruin your whole semester with a syllabus full of lengthy research papers and mandatory discussion sessions. Not only are you out of your element since it has nothing to do with your major, but you’re forced to interact with people outside of your college. We’re only here for the credit and want an easy A, so here are 5 helpful tips that will help you ace your UGS course.
5.) Pretend it’s a hobby:
Convince yourself that the course is something you’re willingly doing to expand your knowledge just because you feel like it. If you tell yourself it’s not a class, then there’s no need to worry about grades. Coast through the semester by treating each class meeting like it’s just you getting together with some friends to have a good time learning about autoimmune diseases or creative problem solving, you know, fun stuff. This method is for the more disciplined students wanting to achieve high GPAs with no effort, because treating it as a hobby can either lead you to an A or an F, depending on how lazy or noncommittal the student is.
4.) Never think more than you have to:
An easy way for any UT student to ace their UGS course is to never try to excel. Most students don’t want to become experts on the topic anyway, they’re there to get those hours. Sure, you could do even less and aim for a C-, but to ace the course all you have to do is engage in the material for the short hour you have the class and then don’t even think about it until you’re back in lecture hall. If you find yourself thinking beyond what the professor told you, stop right there. There’s no need to impress your professor with a profound observation, your minimal effort can get you pretty far.
3.) Become extremely opinionated:
Nowadays, many UGS courses focus on current events and controversial topics, which attracts a huge portion of UT students because they love to argue. If you find yourself taking one of these courses, all you have to do it have an opinion, be willing to defend it, and you’ll find that you enjoy the course more because it’s a competition of who is more right. If you enjoy the course more, you’ll try harder and hopefully get that A. Even if the subject is mundane or irrelevant, take a hard stance and roll with it. The only downside of this method is that it’s not appropriate for every topic, and sometimes it’s impossible to apply it because there’s clearly a right and wrong. If you find yourself defending racism or denying the Holocaust, you’ve screwed up.
2.) Become best buds with your TA:
TAs can either be amazing or the worst person you’ll ever meet. Your TA could be a hardass who thinks they’re as important as a tenured professor, or you might get one that’s just along for the ride like you. Either way, you can suck up to both types of TAs. The fun TA needs someone to laugh at their jokes and to speak up during the awkward silences in discussion classes, and that someone can be you. They’ll love you for making their TA experience less uncomfortable and grade you accordingly. The other TA is most likely a teacher’s pet, so you must become their pet, then they’ll see themselves in you and reward you with easier grading.
1.) Bullshit your way through the topic:
The best way for any UT student to ace a UGS course is to just swallow your distaste for useless electives and tell yourself it’s only one semester. As any liberal arts major or seasoned veteran of irrelevant courses can tell you, 90% of the course is just pretending you’re actually keeping up with the readings and that you know what the hell is going on. The best part about UGS courses is that they don’t have a second part, so you don’t need to feel bad if you don’t retain any information after the final exam.
Hopefully, these 5 tips will save UT students from completely ruining their GPA because of a UGS class. If not, at least you got the damn thing out of the way.
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