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Last year the CRIMSON published its Confidential Guide in pamphlet form for the first time. The reception given to the booklet was so enthusiastic and proved to be so helpful to both students and faculty that the experiment has been repeated this year and will be continued.
The Guide has been an institution in the columns of the paper for the last eleven years and has always received wide comment but lacked the permanent value which the new form gives it. Prior to its initial appearance, students were able to gain information concerning their courses only from acquaintances who had previously taken the course or from members of the faculty who were interested in it. The Guide was introduced to give students a student's reaction to the courses which he had taken.
This year a now departure was made which we feel will greatly enhance the value of criticism. All effort to cover the courses taken only by upperclassmen has been abandoned since it is believed that they have friends from whom they may secure information. The effort devoted to the Freshman courses, however, has been redoubled and this year a questionnaire was sent to all Freshmen asking their opinions of the courses they had taken. A gratifying number of men responded and their answers show consideration.
It is on the basis of these replies that the present issue has been constructed. The reviews are still written by CRIMSON men but they follow the reactions of Freshmen to Freshmen courses except in a few cases. From their contacts with University officials, editors are aware of changes which the Freshmen are not and the criticisms have taken cognizance of these differences.
The Guide is not infallible since editors cannot be expected to know all the changes but it is sufficiently accurate so that almost unanimously last year's class agreed with the opinions expressed in the booklet. The student must make his own decisions as to the value of the courses he chooses to include in his plan of study but we urge him to take advantage of all possible sources of information.
We have mailed the Guide because Freshmen are required to file their study cards soon after arriving in Cambridge and we feel it will be of greater value to them if they have some time to study it.
In spite of this extra precaution on the part of the man unused to College methods he may well find himself enrolled in a course which he cannot rapidly comprehend. If he finds himself in such a predicament, he is advised to take advantage of the two weeks trial period the College allows in which he may change his course. Too few men have used this opportunity in the past.
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