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Top 3 Toughest Big, Intro Courses on the Ole Miss Campus

College is never supposed to be easy, especially freshman year. Some classes are harder than others but for the past five years there have been three in particular that seem to give students extra trouble.
Can you guess which ones?
Anna McGee, banking and finance major, said, “Let me guess, BISC 160?”
She was correct. BISC 160, also known as Biological Sciences 160, has had one of the highest failure percentages of any course at The University of Mississippi and has had for the past five years. With more than 140 students getting less than a C- each fall semester, that means 29 percent have to repeat the class or perhaps rethink their majors.
Data provided by the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment shows that, among large enrollment courses, BISC 160, BISC 102 and CHEM 101 are consistently the Top 3 toughest of the big, 100-level classes offered at the university.
In CHEM 101, every year for the past five, at least 21 percent of students have failed to get a C, and in BISC 102, at least 17 percent or more have been in that situation each fall semester.
What makes these courses so hard?
As a pharmacy major, Heidi Robbin had to take BISC 160. She says two things make the course especially challenging.
“The workload was a lot to handle, especially when you are trying to figure things out as a freshman on a brand new campus.”
Richards-DataWhen it comes to CHEM 101, Sarah Parkes, a psychology major with an emphasis in nursing, says you might have to get outside help to get out of the course with a passing grade.
“The class was very fast-paced, so it was a lot of information to take in in 50 minutes, so I suggest hiring a private tutor like I did,” Parkes said.
But what if a private tutor isn’t in the budget? Chris Kohl, an academic advisor at the Center for Student Success and First Year Experience says the key to being successful in difficult classes is simple.
“First, go to class. You have to show up and attend the class, and second, go see the professor during their office hours and not just during your class time, so they can really know who you are,” Kohl said.
The Center for Student Success and First Year Experience also offers supplemental instruction sessions for students taking all three of these classes, as well as several other tough classes on campus. The extra help seems to be working, too. Failure rates for BISC 102 and CHEM 101 have been steadily dropping for the past three years, but BISC 160 remains the toughest of them all.
Story submitted by Ole Miss journalism student Courtney Richards

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