Academics: Mid-Term Assessment
MIT's pace and rigor intensifies as the term progresses. Mid-semester is a time for assessment and reflection on what is going well and what can be improved. This is also a time when student stress levels peak and adjustment issues become more apparent.
If you are struggling in one or more classes, you need to examine your course load and determine if you can successfully complete the semester. Seeking academic resources might help you get what you need to improve your performance. However, if after accessing tutoring options you still have not turned around your performance in a subject, you should consider the option dropping it. Drop Date is late in the term, allowing you to make an honest assessment of your academic performance.
How should you decide whether or not to drop?
As you contemplate whether or not to drop a subject, you need to look at the big picture of your performance. Here are some self-assessment questions to help you think through your decision:
- Are you struggling in more than one class? If you're having problems in only one of your subjects, trying to pass all of them may work. However, if you are grappling with several, you have to assess your whole situation.
- How far behind are you? Are you borderline or far behind? If you're far behind, how much effort will it take to catch up?
- If you have to spend a lot of time catching up in more than one subject, what effect is this having on your full subject load. Should you consider dropping the subject in which you're furthest behind?
- Are you behind because of lack of effort put into the class, or because you really don't understand the material?
- How much time are you spending now on the "problem" subject? Are you spending so much time in the one subject that you're putting your other subjects in jeopardy?
- What does your TA or instructor have to say about your performance? Sometimes a borderline situation can be improved with just a bit more effort and some help from a tutor, review sessions and office hours.