Advising Right Now: To Drop a Subject or Not? Making the Decision
MIT classes build on material right from the start of the term. Unlike in high school, when a hard push at the end of the term might have made a big difference in the outcome of a subject, students who don't keep up with the material from the start are unlikely to be able to "pull it off" at the end. In fact, trying to do this in more than one subject may mean that the freshman winds up failing both subjects.
Drop Date is Wednesday, November 18, ten weeks into the term.
It is important to encourage any student who is thinking about dropping a class to do so well before this tenth week deadline. Waiting until the semester is nearly over may mean that the student winds up failing not only the class in question but possibly also bringing down his/her performance in other subjects.
- Review the student's performance in all subjects, not just the class in question, so that you and s/he are clear on the overall situation.
- Help the student to determine what the situation is in each class, with input from the faculty or TA for each subject.
- While the TA or instructor for the class may be a good source of how a student is doing in the class in question, the TA will not have the big picture of how your advisee is doing overall in his/her other classes.
Some issues to consider:
- Is the student borderline or so far behind there's little hope of catching up in that class?
- How much work does the student have to complete in order to pass the subject?
- How much time is your advisee spending on the "problem" subject?
- And, most important: Is the time and effort being put into the flagged subject having a negative effect on any other classes?
You and your advisee should also view more detailed information about whether or not to drop a class on the Class of 2019.
If you or your advisee needs help with thinking through this decision, some helpful resources include your associate advisor, the Instructor or TA teaching the subject in question, and especially staff in UAAP, room 7-103, firstname.lastname@example.org