Ryan Miller was a strong math student in high school. So when it came time to pick electives for his economics degree at Arizona State University, he felt pretty confident signing up for physics.
It was hard.
He got a bad grade.
He wishes someone had warned him.
So he, along with former classmate Dillon Osborn, launched a website called easyclassguide.com to help students find the easiest classes at ASU to help them “get the highest GPA possible.”
“It’s not about being lazy,” says Miller, 25. “It’s about being smart about where you spend your energy.”
ASU offers more than 6,000 classes. The school mandates about half the classes each student must take to graduate. For the rest, says Osborn, 23, who recently graduated with a degree in justice studies, “they’re on their own.
“The ASU website gives you a one-line description of the class, what credit requirement it fulfills, and that’s it,” he says. “We’re all spending so much time and money on this education, why isn’t there more insight into what we are getting ourselves into?”
At first, Osborn and Miller just formed a Facebook group, called ASU Easy Class Guide, where they and their peers could share tips with each other, such as which classes were best taken online and which instructors graded most leniently.
After the group burgeoned to more than 8,300 members, they hired a web developer.
Easyclassguide.com is powered by peer-to-peer reviews.
Students rate the classes on workload and input their grades. Then, using that information, the website gives each class a score between one and five (five being the easiest).
Students provide tips on getting an “A,” including how much reading is required and whether it is necessary to purchase the textbook.
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“I can’t tell you how many books I bought that I didn’t even open,” Osborn says.
In their reviews, students also give insight into the syllabus.
Ranking a communications course on public speaking, for example, students note the class requires between five to six speeches of about three to five minutes in length, with online quizzes every week “as easy points.” The course is rated four out of five stars on the easy scale.
“Show up to class,” one reviewer writes. “You will pass with minimal effort.”