The Guide to Taking a Summer Class

By Amanda Cross, Student at the University of Central Arkansas

Image courtesy of artur84 /

Each summer, collegians are stuck with the debate of what to do during their break.

The options are endless — from going on vacation to getting a job to taking a summer class — and it's a tough choice to make! Taking summer classes is a popular option, but be warned … it's much different than taking classes during the fall or spring semesters. I talked to students to get their feedback on summer classes, and here's what they said.

Jaclyn Austin, a senior at the University of Central Arkansas, says taking summer classes is good if you want to graduate early or just want to get your general education requirements out of the way. Instead of going all semester for five classes worth of credit, you can go through three-week, five-week or 10-week sessions and get it done more quickly.

Summer classes are a good way to catch up during the summer, but the classes that you take need to be taken very seriously.

Kaylin Stovall, a senior at the University of Central Arkansas, gave this advice about summer courses: “Do not procrastinate and try not to miss a day of class. Summer sessions are very short, causing students to cram in a lot of information and assignments. If you get behind, it's very difficult to catch up.”

Going to class every day is essential in the summer. Most summer classes meet five days a week for a few hours a day in order to get in a semester's worth of information into a few short weeks. When you are taking a summer class, you have to pay closer attention, as you're moving through the material more quickly.

Elise Williams, a senior at the University of Central Arkansas, gave this advice about summer courses: “Take something you're good at because summer courses are short and move fast. For example, if you're not good at math, don't take algebra during the summer just to get the gen ed out of the way — you will get left in the dust.”

Taking a course that interests you and that you are good at is super important during the summer. You can’t afford to be lost for one second because classes are only a few weeks long. Think about this before signing up for your courses!

Summer classes are good for a lot of things, but when you take a summer class, you need to know the differences between summer classes and regular session classes. Don’t get left behind.

Use the summer as a GPA booster not a GPA buster!

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