Will listing alternates or using the “any section” option hurt my chances of getting my primary choices?

Q: I'm nervous that listing alternates or using the “any section” option will hurt my chances of getting my primary choices. Will it?

A: No! Listing alternates will not reduce your chances of getting your primary choices. Our robots are not that smart; they don't have the power of reason. Here's what will happen: Your five primary choices will be considered in order from 1 to 5 (i.e., from top to bottom). You'll be placed into as many of them as space allows. If, say, your third and fourth primary choices don't work out, then the robots will check if you selected "Any Section" for those, and try all other sections of the same course. If your schedule is completed this way, then your alternates never come into play. If and only if you don’t get a seat in your fourth primary selection (or another section of that same course, if you check “any section”), then your fourth alternate will be considered for it. For now, at least, we are still smarter than our robots.