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Archive for the ‘bird courses’


what kind of bird ARE u tho

what are the bird courses at UofT?


hello there!

don’t we all wanna know. i’m not aware of that many (you’ll find it’s a very short list lol), but i’ll toss the ones i have heard about at you.


all i know is a bunch of people have recommended this to me as a bird. if you check out this reddit post, one user can tell you why. i’m always a lil hesitant to trust reddit, especially as an aska– a lot of redditors giving advice don’t really know what they’re doing. sooooooo use this at your own risk, but either way ANT208 seems to be a solid bird option.

PHY100: magic of physics 

i heard from a first-year that as long as you had taken physics in high school, this one was a breeze. don’t know much about it otherwise, but it seems to be a relatively well-known bird for those inclined towards the sciences.

CLA204: introduction to classical mythology 

i met one girl who wouldn’t shut up about this course. she told everyone she knew to take it, because apparently it was that easy. as long as you’ve read percy jackson, she said, you’ll already know all of the testable material. and the lectures are basically like listening to stories. i can’t corroborate this cause i have yet to take her up on her advice, but like… sounds like a bird to me.


someone told me first year sociology would be a bird, but I haven’t really found that to be true. there was still quite a workload when I took it, and the final exam is pretty hefty AND worth about half of your final grade. i found that, at least with caron, the nice thing is he’ll give you a lot of the questions beforehand, especially short answer and essay prompts. helped a lot with test anxiety, but it meant the exam was pretty tough in terms of length– maybe to compensate. even then, the class average was something like a B. so i guess it depends on what’s important to you. for me, knowing what’s on the exam ahead of time makes it worth it. for you, maybe not. i hear with latouche it’s different, and the exams are pure multiple choice.


first-year seminars generally seem to be quite a bit easier, and I’d recommend them if you’re a first year and you qualify. they emphasize participation more so than in other classes (in my experience it counted for about 10%), so if you’re not into talking and you care about that 10%, just be aware of that i guess. they also cover some real fun topics, like vampires and drugs. separate courses, unfortunately not in the same one.

i took the frontiers of astronomy one, and was pretty lost at the beginning but found that if i worked off the rubric and spoke up a few times each class, it wasn’t actually a stretch to get an A. easy breadth 5 fulfillment, not even basic math required! a win. and the profs, reid and drout, are real gems. a brainless recommendation for me.

i brought bird courses up with an academic advisor once, actually. her response was, “what kind of bird are you, though?” which is actually, if you think about it, a fair point. what’s a bird for me might not be a bird to you. do you like talking? writing? is math a strength or a con of MASSIVE proportions to you (like it is for me)? some courses are birds for CS majors but will crush a humanities kid, and some fun-looking artsy course might not turn out to be all that fun for a physics geek.

i dunno. i guess some courses are objectively easier ie. the course average is higher and they have less of a killer workload. i would just say be careful about any courses you take just cause you’ve heard they’re birds, especially if you don’t have any real interest in them. people tend to do better in courses they can get excited about, or at least don’t want to pass out over.

on top of that, taking a harder course with a phenomenal prof seems to almost always be more rewarding than taking an easy course with a subpar instructor– another thing to keep in mind. ratemyprof can help you out with this.

personally, the best instructor i’ve ever had is kevin o’neill, who teaches out of diaspora and transnational studies. such a passionate lecturer, and literally described as a genius by his fellow faculty. he made me excited to show up for my morning class, even in the dead of winter. get you a prof like that.

anyhow, this facebook group is also a great reference for bird courses. join it if ya want, seems like you can get some advice on what to take if you want an easy time. sometimes people will send you syllabi, too, if they’re feeling nice and you want more info. this relatively recent blog post also gives you some options i didn’t highlight, in case you wanna check that out.

big sorry that it took me so long to get to this; i’ve had a bunch of questions i’m only just now almost through, and it’s also exam season. SUMMER IS COMING though and i couldn’t be more excited.

over n out,



bird courses. the tests just fly away from you.


So I just saw my MAT135 course mark, and well, I failed. I really wasn’t expecting this… and I am quite traumatized. My chosen major is Genetics (I’m a first year right now) and since math isn’t a prerequisite, I’ve decided to take it next year instead of next semester, so I can pull up my GPA without bearing the burden of math (which I hate, and really don’t understand why I have to take) but anyway, what do you think? Also, do you have any suggestions for any “bird courses” I could take that would help boost my GPA? I know no course is easy, but statistically speaking, courses that students have done generally well in.

Thanks for your help, please post this anonymously.


hey there,

the only subject POSts i can find with genetics in the title is human biology’s “fundamental genetics and its applications” major, and the molecular genetics and microbiology major. both of those POSts require math, so i don’t know why you’re saying that it doesn’t require math.

however, assuming that i’m missing something and that there is some kind of genetics POSt that doesn’t require math, then – no, why would you take it? if you know it’s going to be hard for you, and it’s not a priority for the POSt, there’s no reason to take it. however, do make sure you take a look at upper-year courses required for that POSt – if there are any math courses in there, then it’s probably a smart idea to take first year calculus.

i’d recommend, though, that you take this opportunity to reflect on what you want to do. genetics is an area that, somewhere down the line, does overlap significantly with math. ask yourself why you’re doing what you’re doing. is it really the right thing for you? i’m not hinting at anything, i just think it’s important to self-reflect and ask yourself these questions honestly.

if you need some help thinking through these questions, having a conversation with someone at your registrar’s office can be really useful.

“statistically speaking,” i have no idea which courses people have done well in, because they don’t give me that kind of data. i’m absolutely impoverished in data. in fact, i’m impoverished in a lot of stuff: a social life, hours of sleep, money, food – pretty much everything except sass and some sick slow-motion .gifs.

anyway. i find that the best way to identify courses in which you’ll do well is to look at courses in which you’ve previously done well or found interesting, and then find similar courses?at a lower year level.

maybe there’s some 100-level course that’s outside your area of interest that you can pick that up to take in your second year. for example, ENV100H1 is a biology-esque 100-level course that might be a bit easier on the ol’ grey matter.

or maybe you want to get some breadth requirements out of the way. maybe you don’t want to stray to far from biology, but you really want to get rid of your category 3 breadth req – lucky for you, PHL281H1: Bioethics is available.

also, the general ease or difficulty of a course often has a lot to do with the professor. and there are websites you can go to read up on a professor’s reputation. of course, they’re not uoft-sanctioned and so i can’t recommend them outright, but. they’re out there. you know what i’m talking about.

best of luck,



don’t send me your personal documents ffs


as you can see i did terrible

i received 5 credits, and failed 4 credits! so my cgpa is 0.76. I do want to come back this fall 2014 to complete my degree by improving my grades.

I think i will do religion major as it is the only high grades.. also do geography minor and biology minor (science stream) to receive a Bachelor of Science degree.

The reason I choose biology and Geography is because it is a type 1 subject post – for a science subject! Most subjects like psychology minor is a type 2!

do you know how hard are geography courses? my high school geography marks was easy but this is UofT!

is there a chance in raising my CGPA to atleast 2.0? I know raising it to 4.0 will always remain a dream because I can not even transfer to any other?University – I am not in good academic standing!

any advices?

can you please recommend any GPA booster courses?

or teachers name?



hey there,

firstly, do not send me personal documents over e-mail, even if it’s just a screenshot of your transcript. that’s very dangerous. i could be a goblin. i could be mojo jojo. you don’t have enough reason to trust me that you should feel comfortable sending me these things. i mean, obviously i’m actually all y’alls’ saviour, but you can’t know that for sure.

also, i don’t care enough to look at anyone’s transcripts or marks. so don’t do that, okay?

before you go ahead and enrol in courses, i’d recommend making an appointment with your college registrar to discuss your academic history and where to go from here – whether staying in school is the best option for you, and if it is, what you can do to improve. if you’re currently on academic probation, it’s important to get the best advice possible about how to proceed to make sure you’re not suspended.

as i’ve said before, i don’t believe in “easy courses.” every course is hard. doing well is hard. life is hard. so you have to make the right decision for you, based on your own interests and strengths. if you did well in high school geography, figure out why! see where and how you can apply that to university.

is there a chance of raising your GPA? sure. anything is possible, and there are many people who’ve gone through a less-than-great first year and managed to turn it all around. but the way to do that is not to figure out what?course or prof is easiest, but to make a plan about how YOU can do better.

best of luck,


P.S. YES i know yoda is not a goblin. who do you think i am. sheesh.


intro to ornithology

What are these bird courses I hear of? Are they like a two in one breadth requirement fulfiller? And if sooo, what’s an easy class to fulfill 4 and 5 considering I hate math, love history and don’t mind a little science?




Bird courses are basically super easy courses. They’re courses people take because they have a free slot in their timetable and want something that isn’t really going to bust their CGPA.

They certainly can fulfil two breadth categories, so long as the bird course in question is worth 1.0 FCE. So for example, if you take RLG100Y (which, according to some, is a bird course), you can satisfy 0.5 of credit requirement for both group 2 and group 3.

Just note that it’s a bit hard to identify something as a “bird course.” It all really depends on whether or not you can consider World Religions to be a bird course, right?

Bird courseiness is based on the content, your learning style, yada yada yada.

But if your interest in bird courses has to do with getting groups 4 and 5 out of the way since I’m going to assume you’re a humanities or social sciences student, here are a few suggestions from myself and another aska incarnation who I nagged for their picks!

Admittedly, a few of these aren’t quite “bird courses” so much as they are “more approachable sciencey ones” that can be conquered by the clueless humanities/social science student.


AST101H The Sun and its Neighbours (Group 5)
aska: “Why did you find this course easy? What did you learn?”
Potentially high on oregano oil student: “I learned that we are all made of stardust.”
aska: Well okay then!

AST201H Stars and Galaxies (Group 5)
aska: “And this course?”
PHOOOS: “Basically a regurgitation of The Sun of its Neighbours […] Also, in the lecture, you look at these beautiful slides of the stars and the skies! It’s totally like…Big Bang Theory comes to Con Hall! OMG QUOTE ME.”

ANT100Y Intro to Anthropology (Group 3 + Group 4)
aska: “Amazing course. I loved it. AMAAAAAZING.”
PHOOoS: “Linguistic and socio-cultural parts were so easy, but the bio was a biiiit tough.”

EEB202H Plants and Society (Group 4)
Nameless Student Who Seemed to Really Like the Course: “It was like the prof liked plants more than people!”
2011-12 Anti-Calender: General words of praise and an 81% retake rate.

And then some other things I’ve been told were great:

  • PCL102H The Art of Drug Discovery (Group 4)
  • EEB204H Diversity of Living Organisms (Group 4)
  • EEB214H Evolution and Adaptation (Group 4)
  • JUM205H Mathematical Personalities (Group 5)
  • CSB202H Further Exploration in Biotechnology (Group 4)
  • CHM101H The Chemistry and Biology of Organic Molecules: Sex, Drugs and Rock and Roll (Group 5)



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