How to Choose Useful Electives

I’ve now seen quite a few cases of how most bioinformatics undergraduate students choose their non-core elective courses. The general trend seems to be to “follow the seniors’ advice” by taking soft courses – that is, those that generally require memorisation and regurgitation of facts. Since the A grade is highly inflated in such courses, they are bound to get one. This makes the CGPA look good.

The students could do themselves a favour by thinking about two issues:

1. Am I in university to learn new things, or to get a nice CGPA?

2. Is the non-core course that I choose to take going to help me understand my core subjects better?

In a fast-changing world, the skills that matter most are those that are transferable, i.e. quantitative skills. To do this you need to learn more mathematics and statistics. A university education is like a journey to build self-confidence. When you take “difficult” courses and succeed, you become more sure of your intellectual capacity for handling unfamiliar situations (which are abundant nowadays). Oozing confidence helps you get jobs.

About Tsung Fei

A teacher, researcher in the bioinformatics division at the University of Malaya
This entry was posted in Education, Undergraduate Courses. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to How to Choose Useful Electives

  1. Get a nice CGPA for 90 percent.

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