Our college experience is a one of a kind experience that can be costly, but highly beneficial at the same time. Much of this experience has to do with the professor you have and whether or not they teach the class well. You pay and you pay well for the college experience, so you highly expect a professor that that's just as well as the money you put down. If they're good, it could make the ultimate difference... for the good. If they are terrible, it could make the ultimate difference... in a way that puts a hole in your pocket, a declaration of wasted time, and a statement of: "what the hell did I just put myself through?" Rate My Professor is the ultimate solution to the problem as to how to find the right professor. It provides just the right information and feedback from the students, those who have had the instructors hands on.
I learned about Rate My Professor while taking Academic Success in my first year of college. It was mentioned as a powerful suggestion that impacted the tenure of one of the instructors and how his extremely strongly negative reviews caused him to resign his position with the school. Like all opinionated sites, RMP should be taken with a grain of salt. However, fifty consistent strong reviews and fifty consistent poor reviews... or just fairly consistent opinions is strong enough to prove a point. There is going to be a biased person every now and then, but read through the opinions and see which ones are most believable and thorough.
As for how it works, it's simple. You rate each professor anonymously on a scale of 1-5 based off of easiness, helpfulness, clarity, and rater interest on the subject. You can also provide comments that are up to 350 characters long. You also include the class you had them for, some other information that isn't shown or is occasionally optional, and a chili pepper that signifies whether or not you think the instructor is hot (physically attractive).
With that being said, I myself have used the site to rate every professor I have had. I give my honest opinion as to what I thought about each and contribute to the rating as to which each of them has. I feel that it is a civil service that all students should put their time into. It allows good professors to be given attention and more students and has bad professors dealing with students who steer away from them. On some occasions, it makes the grand difference in whether or not a professor stays of goes.
Unfortunately, there have been some colleges that have withheld the information as to which professor will teach which class because of Rate My Professor. Students have really looked into this site as they selected their classes, which is most definitely a good notion. The exercising of the first amendment has really made an impact and it's doing what should be done. Withholding professor information because of this is censorship and should not be tolerated. Bad professors should not be given the credit of more classes. I have always been against tenure and feel that professors should always perform to the best of their ability. Those who aren't good should be given the boot. The best society is one that is constantly flowing for the good and those who stall should be swept away.
My most important factors in selecting a professor is word of mouth from family or friends, whether the time fits, and if Rate My Professor shows a consistently good or bad flow. I myself contribute to this flow and suggest that you do the same in order to contribute to the values of merit.