The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch lets students know what to expect

As the Spring 2009 semester draws to a close, it is time for students to choose their new schedules and classes for next semester.

When college students are deciding what classes to sign up for, they take into careful consideration the professors they may be choosing. One very helpful tool that many college students use when it comes to this is

This invaluable Web site gives accurate feedback and reviews of professors’ classes from actual students. The site is available to anyone and all of the reviews and comments that students make are anonymous.

This allows for students to feel comfortable in making assessments about current or former professors.

In addition to anonymity, there is a comment box where students can briefly write about their experience in a professor’s class. The search database on is very extensive and has colleges and universities from all across the United States. There are five rating categories on Ratemyprofessor that
are scaled from 0 to 5.

The first category is “Easiness,” meaning how much work is required. For example, if a 15 page paper is going to be assigned for that class, a student who has an after-school job may decide that this is too heavy a workload for them and as a result will not take this professor’s class.

Second is “Helpfulness.” This reviews the professor’s approachability and willingness to help a student to understand the material. Next is “Clarity,” which describes the organization of the professor and how knowledgeable he or she is in the class subject.

The fourth rating category is “Overall Quality,” which is the average of the “Helpfulness” and “Clarity” ratings.

The “Easiness” rating is not included in the “Overall Quality” rating, so this can assure the student not of the easiness of the class, but that the class is worthwhile to take.

The last category is “Rater Interest,” which states whether the student would recommend the professor to other students and whether or not they would take the class again.

These five categories provide a good evaluation of the professors. Some people argue that students only use to find an easy professor, an easy class, and one that requires no thought or work at all. This may be true for some college students, but that is not necessarily the case
for the majority.

Some of the most popular professors are not rated as having easy classes. These classes are often challenging and require students to put in a decent amount of work. Yes, it is much easier to take a class that has a professor who misses class at least once a week and who gives no work whatsoever; this will give the student an easy A.

But in the long run, it is more satisfying to take a class that calls for students to think and formulate their own opinions.

According to the site, over 65 percent of the feedback and ratings are positive. This statistic alone shows the validity of because there is no reason for students to lie about positive comments if it is anonymous.

The Web site also helps to warn students about any professors who are arrogant, grade unfairly, or are very close-minded in their class discussions.

A professor’s poor attitude can affect the learning environment of his students and there is no need for anyone to be subjected to this kind of behavior.

Many St. John’s students already use when choosing their classes.

This is because it is a great tool that allows students to choose the professors they think they will work well with and that they would like to learn from.

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