Speed is king in Korean university course registration
After spending months choosing your university, applying, getting accepted, moving around the world and rocking up on campus, you’d be forgiven for thinking the stressful part is behind you. And then course registration comes around.
In Korea, course registration is a lot more than just browsing a course catalog and selecting the classes you want. Course registration is formatted with a waiting number system and a first come, first served policy that can feel as unforgiving as the rush to buy tickets to the hottest K-pop concert.
First come, first served
The waitlist system for course registration operates on a first come, first served format. The first people to hit that “apply” button are the ones who get the class; others are assigned to a waiting list in the order that they clicked.
With that in mind, two factors are most important: Internet connection and clicks per second.
Korea has one of the fastest internet connections in the world, and you might need it if you want to enroll in a popular class.
For internet connection, PC bang are the best bet.
However, going to PC bang is not necessarily a requirement — some students never set foot in one and still manage to get their classes in one go. There is luck involved in the process, but PC bang might increase your chances and give you more confidence on the day.
As for the clicks, train that finger!
If you really want to improve your clicks per second, there are training games available on the internet. For some universities, mock course registration websites are also available.
For Yonsei University, websites such as moisugangsinchong (https://yeonan.github.io/sugangsim/main1.html) can help you train for the occasion. The site tells you how many milliseconds it took to click the “apply” button.
A millisecond could be the difference between getting into a class or being waitlisted. As a result, setting the Navyism clock on a corner of your screen is a must. Copy and paste the course registration site on the Navyism clock search bar, and the website will give you the time of that server up to the millisecond. Having the time of the server instead of relying on the time set on the computer will provide you with a more accurate estimate of when to click.
You can usually start clicking 200 milliseconds before registration opens, loading the page at exactly the right time.
First-year students tend to spend the entire night at a PC bang to secure their spot in time for registration.
That isn’t strictly necessary. While PC bang near universities tend to fill up, those a neighborhood over often have plenty of spaces left. If the PC bang in your area tend to fill up, take a bus or the subway a few stations away and you will be able to find places there without much difficulty.
How do I rank my classes?
When selecting which class to click on first and which to click on last, there are two numbers to see: How many people want the course and how many spots it offers.
While looking at a class’s syllabus or course registration details is enough to know how many spots it offers, knowing how many students want to apply is not that straightforward.
Everytime, a community mobile app for university students, is a tool you can use for an estimate.
Everytime allows you to create your timetable in preparation for course registration. In addition, the app shows how many times the class has been added to a timetable, giving an estimate of how many people want to apply for the course. However, the number is not completely reliable — students can create multiple timetables, counting for double or triple the app count, or students can opt not to use the Everytime timetable and not count at all.
Click on the class with the most applicants first and move down your list to the least popular.
What if I don’t get in?
Usually, there is a waiting list and you can check which number you got.
Depending on your number, you can estimate whether or not you have a chance to register for the class without reapplying during Add-and-Drop.
The chance depends on your number on the waitlist and are relative to the class size. If your waitlist number is five in a class of 60 students, you will likely get in. If the course accepts only 20 students, being five on the waitlist is riskier. For anything above 10, chances drop significantly — it would mean that more than 10 students would have to drop the class before you can register.
In that case, it is best to prepare for Add-and-Drop.
If you need more credits or there is a class you want and did not get a chance to get, there is Add-and-Drop!
The Add-and-Drop period allows dropping or applying for classes with remaining spots.
Make sure to attend the classes you plan to apply to during Add-and-Drop; it shows the professor that you are enthusiastic about taking the class. While you are not allowed to ask professors to add you to their course directly, you can request they increase the class size for the Add-and-Drop period. The more spots they add, the higher the chances of getting in.
All previous advice applies — it is a first come, first served waitlist system.
Finally, listen to upper classmen’s advice! Lots of them have collected tips and tricks to help during registration, from organizing your desktop to click efficiently to which classes to aim for and which to avoid.
BY LAURA SENIOR PRIMO [firstname.lastname@example.org]