Don’t Base Your Academic Career On Rate My Professor

I am currently a college student who has been attending New York City College of Technology for three years now. Like any other student I make sure that I take the necessary steps so that I can have an enriching, enlightening, and successful semester. Towards the end of each semester, I make sure that I register for my classes as soon as possible, so that I can get amazing professors next term. In order to get great professors for the following term, I usually consult Rate My Professor because it’s extremely helpful. For those of you who don’t know about Rate My Professor, I’ll try to explain the content of the website. Rate My Professor is a website that does exactly what it says it does, it provides students a space to vent or provide success stories about their professors. The website is broken down into various categories such as schools, departments, and the individual names of each professor. You can type in just about any professor’s last name, and he or she will have at least one review from a past, or present student. In my opinion Rate My Professor has always been an amazing and accurate resource until this past year, when I registered for a few professors that I wasn’t compatible with.

Last semester I registered for a few classes based on the Rate My Professor ratings that I had found online. In doing so, I created a really hectic schedule for myself, which made my life difficult. Two days out of the week, I had early classes, and the other two days I was getting out of class after sun down. During this semester, I was also working, so it was very difficult to fit my work hours, into my set class schedule. However, I did find a way to make my class and work schedule coincide. At first my semester was going well, I was on top of my work, and I understood my professor’s lectures in their entirety. As time progressed, the connection between my professor and I began to decrease. I was so shocked that I was having difficulties with my professor, because I picked the professor that had 4.0 out of 5.0 rating on the website, as well as a CHILLI PEPPER, which indicates how hot the professor is!! My initial thought was that I was the reason that I was no longer grasping the information, which my professor was lecturing. I tried to change my seat, with hopes that I would catch on to the work that I wasn’t understanding. I also went to my professor’s office hours and sat down with them, and unfortunately that didn’t work either. Then one day it finally dawned on me, that I may be having difficulty with my professor because I put my whole semester in the hands of the opinion of another student!! Gasp!!

I had unknowingly based my whole college semester on what three students thought about a professor. In doing so, I paid for a class out of pocket (with no financial aid), that I thought I would do well in, just because another student said that they did well, in that particular class. I was so upset with myself because I had a crazy schedule, since a few students said that my current professor was amazing, and it turned out that this amazing professor, wasn’t so amazing to me. Don’t get me wrong, about 80 percent of the time Rate My Professor is accurate, because students hold no punches, and tell it like it is. However I do feel that students shouldn’t rely so heavily on Rate My Professor like I did.
In reality what works for one student, may not work for another. I am living proof that sometimes a student’s interpretation, or Rate My Professor reviews can make or break their semester. My advice would be to look your professor up on google beforehand, go to their office hours, and ask some of your favorite professors about other professors, who have the same mannerisms and teaching styles. DO NOT rely solely on one source, and possibly mess up your college careers by failing a class, because you aren’t compatible with a teacher, who received great reviews online. Do your own research and find out what professor is best for you, and make your college schedule convenient for you. Make your own choices so that you can have a prosperous college career.

2 thoughts on “Don’t Base Your Academic Career On Rate My Professor

  1. I’m so sorry you had to learn this lesson the hard way but thank you for sharing it so others don’t have to make the same mistake. I’ve never used Rate My Professor but I have heard many people say it’s rather accurate. However, like you said, what works for one person might not work for another. For a parallel example, there are some movies I’ve seen that Rotten Tomatoes and IMDb have given unfavorable ratings, but when I took the risk and watched it myself, I found them to be enjoyable. Sometimes popular opinion is not enough especially if your taste is not so typical.

    • Robine, you are so right about popular opinions and how they can vary based upon an individuals personal preferences . I have also gone on Imbd and read reviews about movies , and sometimes after watching the movie I realize the reviews were completely off . Everyone has different experiences , so it may be better to just take reviews with a grain of salt and form your own opinions.

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