If you’re an incoming business major at Binghamton University, expect a ton of classes on information technology, and especially Microsoft Excel. CQS111 is the first of several required computer tools for management courses that provide students with an understanding of the uses of technology in today’s business world. Here are some keys to getting the most (grade points) out of CQS111:

1. Practice makes perfect.

The easiest way to make sure you get the problems right in the Exprep graded assessments is to make sure you get the problems right in the Exprep lessons (because they’re exactly the same.) Going through each lesson once before the grading period for the assessment starts is plenty of preparation.


2. Use the buddy system.

If you’re too busy to follow tip one, find someone who isn’t. Because projects and assessments are done remotely, students are expected to collaborate and help each other problem solve to do well on assignments. It doesn’t hurt to have someone to bounce your work off of prior to submitting it for a grade.


3. Office hours > Class time.

If you’re not interested in going to both, office hours are far more beneficial to attend than the classes themselves. As the class is not attendance mandatory and taught primarily through a computer interface, poor attendance is certainly not a barrier to success. However, it is not uncommon to struggle with a particular excel task, and the TA’s are always a great resource to help.


4. Complete your projects early.

The TA’s are a great resource in more ways than one. In the event that your group project is completed ahead of class time, they will usually take the time to look it over for you after class before you submit it. This is very helpful for catching small errors or missed grading criteria.


5. Don’t blow off the exams.

While the class itself may be relatively simple, the exams can be challenging if you have not studied sufficiently for them. Reviewing the material and practicing the excel tasks are two great methods to ensure good performance on the exams.


6. Remember what you learn.

The class may seem boring if you don’t have a particular interest in information technology, but the skills you  learn are essential to future classes and your work as a businessperson. The recurring skills will help you in all aspects of your campus life and beyond. Spreadsheeting is incredibly useful for more activities than you’d think!


For many students, it may not be the most exciting class, but with these key tips, CQS111 may be the easiest. However, CQS111 may spark an interest in information technology or management information systems, which is all the more reason to do well in the class. Good luck!


Alex Reksten

Binghamton University student studying business and political science

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