Registering for Classes and Exams in Germany

Last semester, registering for classes was intense. It was my first time learning how the system works in Germany and learning about the registration deadlines. But now in my second semester it was better because I’ve already been through it once. At the University of Mannheim, registering for classes is very different than registering for classes at SDSU.

Here in Mannheim, everyone has the same day for registration. For example, this spring semester the timeframe for registering for business courses was between Feb. 2 and Feb. 16. Every department sets its own timeframe, however each department is around the end of January to the middle of February. The timeframe for business courses was not ideal – especially because classes started on Feb. 13.

Because everyone registers at the same time, it is not on a first-come first-serve basis for some courses. On the one hand, you can register and automatically get into the course. On the other hand, you can register for a course and it will say “the time of your registration is not relevant as seats are not assigned on a first-come, first-served basis.” That means that regardless of when you register within the timeframe, there is a chance that you might not get accepted into the course.

Thus, it is important to plan accordingly.

Because of the slight chance of not getting into a class, you should always have that backup in mind just in case. Of course, the university does try to get everyone into his or her priority classes, but it might not work out, especially if you need to fulfill the minimum requirement of 12 units.

The University of Mannheim has lectures once a week for an hour and 30 minutes. However, some classes have “exercises” and “tutorials,” which are both supplementary classes for the lecture. Some classes have both, some have one, and some have neither. Depending on the course and material, some lectures provide exercise classes and tutorials for students who need more help in the material. These classes tend to review the lecture material, answer questions, provide examples etc.

In my personal experience in the business courses that provided me with an exercise class and a tutorial class, we were not required to attend, but it was recommended. I attended both sessions and they did help me with the course. Of course it could happen that some courses require students to attend the exercise and tutorial sessions.

Moreover, one of the most important things to remember is that you must register to take midterms and exams. Even though you are already registered for the class, you have to register in order to take each one. The international office sends out an email of the exam registration period for the final exams. Within that time period you have to register.

Some classes have midterms or earlier exams; in this case, the professor will give the registration date for the exam. Very important: if you miss the deadline to register for an exam, you can still take the exam; however, you will have to pay a fee in order do so. One of my friends missed the deadline for his finance course and he had to pay 10 euros to take the exam.

So if you want to save money, please be mindful of the registration period.

Sayra Flores is a junior studying business management with an emphasis in human resources. She is studying abroad at University of Mannheim, Germany. 

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