Thinking of taking psychology 101 at University of Waterloo but aren’t sure whether it is a good course to take? Well, you have come to the right place to find out! First of all, Psychology 101 is the basics of all the different areas in psychology, it gives you the opportunity to learn about all the different types and find out which one you like the most and would like to pursue.

1. It is NOT easy!

Maybe some of you have taken psychology in high school and therefore think that “101 will probably be the same content that I already covered in high school  and thus I am definitely going to ace it”. Don’t mean to ruin the excitement but that is not all true, some of the content might be the same however,  the information will go into a lot more depth. Another thing to note is that the exam style will be different from what you are normally used to- MCQs can be really hard because there is a 50% chance the answer picked is right, it takes practice to get used to. If you are ready to work hard then take this course because honestly it is not an easy credit to achieve.


2. Read, Read and Read more

In High school teacher would say university is all about reading and after my first term at Waterloo, definitely have to agree with them. The Psychology 101 textbook is one of the thickest books. It will be expected of you to read more than 2 chapters before each class and each chapter has 5 to 6 units. If interested in taking this course you would have to read the chapters thoroughly because the MCQs are based partly on the readings and partly on lecture notes, which leads to the third point.


3. Take notes in class

Going to class is a must for this course because if you miss one class, you will miss out on the notes which are quite important to succeed in MCQs which are 15% each. It is easy to zone out, specially during morning classes but for this course attention is of paramount importance. Students who received the best marks would after lectures discuss what they had learnt, this can be a very helpful method to remember content.

4. Long answer questions

LAQs are 10% each, this does not sound like much but it will help to bring up grades if  MCQs did not go well. To succeed at these,  reading the chapter that correlates with the question and highlighting all the important parts that answer the question (the answers to the question will mostly always be in the textbook) would be highly recommended. Then write down all the points and making sure enough points are written  to get the maximum marks on the question and lastly put it all together into paragraphs and memorise!

*Not all professors will give you the long answer questions before hand but if they do then the above would be helpful, if they don’t then just read and take notes from the textbook and lectures.

In conclusion, even though Psychology 101 may have been a lot of work but it was a really interesting course in terms of content – students will learn a lot of things they did not expect, so if  interested in taking this course, hopefully this article has not changed minds because to be honest all courses require work.



Faleeha Rashid

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