Top 10 Hardest Courses at ISU

Illinois State University building

Here’s a list of courses at Illinois State University that most students find unbearable. Although the majority of students can handle them, there are those that don’t love them and find them excruciating. The following courses have a reputation across the university for being the most notorious, even for those majoring in them. If you find yourself enjoying these courses and breezing through it, consider yourself lucky!

1. BSC 196 – Biological Diversity

Students take BSC 196 during their freshman year at ISU, and although it is hard, it is very important to any Biologist. It is the introduction to structure and function of the major groups of microorganisms, plants, and animals, emphasizing evolutionary relationships among the major groups. Students have to attend both lecture and lab classes, as well as purchase book and online access code for Pearson Mastering Biology as it will be a large part of their grade.

Example of BSC 196 exams.

2. Math 130 – Dimensions Of Numerical Reasoning

Students have to focus on mathematical problem-solving and reasoning with an understanding of numbers and their properties through various representations. The emphasis in Math 130 will be on problem-solving and reasoning with understanding rather than memorizing and using equations or algorithms. Calculators will only be used in the last few weeks of this course and are not permitted on tests.

Performing your best in your numerical reasoning test is all about practice, and knowing what to expect!

3. CHE 220 – Elementary Organic Chemistry

Elementary Organic Chemistry is a one-semester survey of organic chemistry. It will require students to think in a very specific way that many people are not accustomed to. If they have trouble thinking in that way, it’ll be hard to do well just through hard work or memorization.  The possible combinations of molecules or reactions are infinite and they will constantly encountering problems they’ve never seen before.

When you already gave your best at Organic Chemistry, but you still die inside!

4. PSY 110 – Fundamentals Of Psychology

PSY 110 review and critical analysis of psychology’s most influential explanations of human behavior. Students may be expected to participate in experiments. For some students, the Fundamentals Of Psychology can be especially daunting. Since many high schools do not offer courses in psychology, students often have little or no exposure to the subject prior to attending ISU.

Basics of Cognitive Psychology.

5. MAT 150 – Fundamentals Of Statistical Reasoning

MAT 150 involves collecting, analyzing, interpreting, presenting and organizing all aspects of data. It helps students develop statistical reasoning to analyze data and use elementary probability ideas to justify the validity of the analysis. Specifically, this course involves plenty of charts, numbers, equations and controlled experiments with numbers, which many students find frustrating to follow and tough to understand.

When it comes to statistical reasoning, students need to understand both math and the real world.

6. ACC 131 – Financial Accounting

ACC 131 is usually the first accounting course and the introduction to financial accounting. It the nature of accounting, basic accounting concepts, financial statements, accrual basis of accounting, the accounting cycle, monetary assets, inventories, fixed assets, current and noncurrent liabilities, and owner’s equity. Even if students choose not to major in accounting, the knowledge they gained from financial accounting will be crucial for a career in finance, economics, management, or almost any other area of business.

Financial accounting is a specialized branch of accounting that keeps track of a company's financial transactions.

7.ECO 105 – Principles Of Economics

ECO 105 tackles supply and demand in product and resource markets, international trade, determination of GDP, employment, inflation, and economic growth. Economics is like a puzzle. The real trick is to understand the connections between the puzzle pieces and to predict its connections. Students need to see connections that aren’t obvious on first sight. There is no textbook answer for that. So, either they see it or they don’t.

Principles of Economics is finding a connection which goes through indirect domino of four other pieces of a puzzle.

8. ACC 230 – Cost And Management Accounting

ACC 230 is the study of managerial accounting concepts in planning, control and decision making. It emphasizes on product costing methods, cost drivers, cost-volume-profit analysis, budgets, standard costs, just-in-time implications, relevant costs, and capital budgeting decisions. What makes it hard is that students can’t see how it applies to real life as a student because the material has been homogenized to satisfy broad curricular objectives.

Cost and managerial accounting is more conceptual than financial.

9. HIS 104.4 – History Of The Middle East

The Department of History encourages students to develop both global and multidisciplinary approaches to history. Hopefully, students can apply these methods to their studies in other disciplines. HIS 104.4 is the interdisciplinary, thematic, and chronological examination of the history of the Middle East and a prerequisite for COM 110 or ENG 101.

Learn about what makes the Middle East the way it is today.

10. MAT 443 – Statistical Learning and Data Mining

This course provides a case-based introduction to the exciting, high-demand field of statistical learning for analyzing massive datasets. This course is suitable for fourth-year undergraduate students who have learned Linear Algebra, Multivariate Calculus, Elementary Probability and Statistics, R Language, and Regression Analysis. Machine Learning is tought to learn. It’s a vast field, and knowing just python is not well enough.

An example of Machine Learning diagram in Data Mining.

It is essential for courses to be challenging. However, when they become a little difficult to understand, students tend to stop trying.

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