Joseph Turnbull in the Social Sciences Centre, the building he had his first Western math class in on June 16, 2017.

Choosing which courses to take can be a daunting task no matter what year you're in. As much as the courses themselves are important, the person who teaches the course can completely make or break your experience.

With over 200 first-year courses available at Western, it can be hard to know which classes to take and which to avoid.

RateMyProfessors.com, a student-driven review site for university teachers, will soon become your best friend. The website is organized by school and faculty, and students reflect on their experience with a specific professor in order to let other students know what to expect. 

To help you in these stressful times, the Gazette has compiled a list of the top 10 Western professors according to RateMyProfessors.com.

Students evaluate professors on a 5.0 scale based on criteria such as level of difficulty, helpfulness and general personality. The Gazette's selection process for this list was based on professors' overall scores and the number of ratings. Anyone with less than 30 ratings was not considered, and professors with more reviews were ranked higher on this list. Reviews were edited for grammar. 

10. Theodore Osborne 4.8 (32 ratings)

Expertise: economics (King's University College)

Level of difficulty: 1.9

Review: Exceptional professor. Understands economics incredibly well and is passionate about the field. Makes tough concepts relatable to the real world which makes it easier to understand, for me at least. I would go out of my way to take another course taught by Professor Osborne!

9. Tony Vernon — 4.8 (38 ratings)

Expertise: psychology

Level of difficulty: 2.2

Review: I hate math [and] have never in my life gotten above a 65 per cent in math. Yet, in Vernon’s class I have an 80 per cent average! He explains things so clearly and is so helpful. He has weekly assignments that are very time consuming but are excellent and prepare you for the exams. I definitely recommend taking his class.

8. Tom Stavraky — 4.8 (45 ratings)

Expertise: physiology and pharmacology

Level of difficulty: 2.6

Review: Great professor. Very thorough at explaining and demonstrating hard concepts. Very respectable.

7. Laura Melnyk Gribble — 4.8 (57 ratings)

Expertise: psychology (King’s)

Level of difficulty: 2.4

Review: Best professor I have had in three years at school. The content is fascinating, and she explains concepts very well. Melnyk is an engaging professor and uses stories to help you understand concepts. Lecture material is a combination of concise notes, videos, graphs and class participation exercises. You feel like you are actually learning in her class.

6. Robert Ventresca — 4.8 (66 ratings)

Expertise: history (King’s)

Level of difficulty: 2.7

Review: By far my favourite professor. Made lectures interesting and the information easy to follow. No curve balls on the tests and provided tons of examples for the various papers we did. He truly cares about his students and wants you to succeed as long as you show you care.

5. Quazi Rahman — 4.8 (67 ratings)

Expertise: electrical and computer engineering

Level of difficulty: 2.2 

Review: He is a caring professor who understands how difficult the course can be and is always available for help. He is also very reasonable and wants to help you pass.

4. David Bentley — 4.8 (70 ratings)

Expertise: English and writing studies

Level of difficulty: 2.7

Review: Dr. Bentley is the only professor I had this year who took the time to learn each one of his students' names. He is extremely caring and is the best lecturer I ever had (he would often get applause).

3. Stephen Hicock — 4.9 (36 ratings)

Expertise: geography

Level of difficulty: 1.6

Review: Professor Hicock is honestly one of the friendliest and best professors I have worked with. I am not very “science-smart” but his lectures are easy to understand. He makes it sound very easy and simplifies complicated things.

2. David Meredith — 4.9 (37 ratings)

Expertise: mathematics and statistics (King’s)

Level of difficulty: 1.9

Review: I have never seen a better math teacher in my life. Even if you don’t love math or find it difficult, don’t worry at all. Meredith has got your back!

1. Joseph Turnbull — 5.0 (82 ratings)

Expertise: mathematics and statistics (King’s)

Level of difficulty: 2.6 

Review: Hands down the best math professor ever. If you are willing to put in the effort you will pass.

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Sabrina is pursuing her second year as a News Editor here at the Gazette. She is a fourth year International Relations student at Western University.

Interested in what's engaging students? Contribute to the Gazette's culture section!

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