CSC104 is a first year course at the Department of Computer Science at the University of Toronto. It teaches students to write codes using the CSC104 language (Yeah, the language is specific to this course only) in Dr Racket (which is a programming software accepting different coding languages. This course serves as a good foundation for anyone who is not familiar with computing and programming. No matter if you are joining this course as a newbie in the world of computing or not, you will find the following tips helpful for you to achieve success in this course.

1.      You don’t have to go to classes

What? It sounds surprising, doesn’t it? It is because each of the lectures are video-recorded and will be posted to Blackboard, you can always treat is as an online course and attend the lectures at your own pace. The advantage of this is that you can stop the lecture at any time by pausing the video, so that you can jot notes without having to worry that you will miss something. This is a way more effective method considering that normally you would have to tidy your notes after every lecture and you probably missed something. Remember, making good notes are extremely helpful for full understanding of the course content.


2.      Attend TA hours

The professor of this course are very understanding and considerate. They try to help students success by allocating a lot of TA hours for you. There will even be extra TA hours when it comes to assignments and before exams. You don’t have to go to these hours if you understand all of your course contents. However, assignments may be difficult and you are always welcomed to ask the TA about the assignments. They are very nice and open to any questions. With the help of TAs, you will definitely score high in your assignments and clear your misunderstandings.


3.      Try Dr Racket your own

Although there won’t be anyone checking if you have downloaded Dr Racket throughout the course, you should download this software. There will be a quiz every week (really short ones!) and materials will be given every week for you to familiarize yourself with the quiz content. The materials given are in the format of Dr Racket and you can only practice with Dr Racket. If you do not download the software and do not familiarize the codes making use of Dr Racket, it could become very hard to achieve success in this course!

4.      Use all the materials that the prof as provided

You will be given pre-quiz or pre-test materials. Use them! Use the TA hours! They are great tips on how you score on the quizzes and tests! TAs are there to help you succeed! They are basically how you will be an A student in this course…



To be very frank, there are no other ways than these to achieve success in CSC104. Sounds simple, right? That’s the nature of this course. Hope you will have fun in this course while putting effort in familiarizing yourself with the materials.


Tiffany Tsz-wing Tiu

I am currently a University of Toronto first year undergraduate and a scholarship recipient. I major at Kinesiology and Physical Education.

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