CHEM 153A

Biochemistry: Introduction to Structure, Enzymes, and Metabolism

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PROFESSORS

Agape Awad See Full Profile

Overall 3.5 Easiness 1.9 Workload 2.1 Clarity 3.8 Helpfulness 3.5

Most Helpful Review

Don't let the past distributions fool you. Tests are unclear and are meant to trick you. She seems like a nice teacher but her grading was nitpicky, and I did not feel like what she covered in lecture was indicative of what she was going to test on.

Fall Quarter 2019
Marjorie Bates See Full Profile

Overall 3.4 Easiness 1.0 Workload 1.2 Clarity 4.0 Helpfulness 3.4

Most Helpful Review

Pro: very organized in lectures and lecture notes. She always try to make the class and biochemistry interesting. You don't have to open the textbook at all since the exams are based on her lectures only.

Contra: Her exams are hard, partly because biochemistry is a hard subject.

Tips: Study every week, do all the problems, study well for the quizzes, and always give yourself time to review the past exams.

Jan. 9, 2002
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Robert Clubb See Full Profile

Overall 3.0 Easiness 2.0 Workload 2.1 Clarity 3.3 Helpfulness 3.6

Most Helpful Review

This is the only chem class that I have truly enjoyed. Clubb is straight forward. He teaches you only the things you need to know - the important things. Everything that he has taught me has come up on the MCATs. I am not sure how the other teacher (Bates) teaches her Chem class. Take Clubb, you will probably learn a lot better and understand the topics instead of having a chem teacher cram your brain with too much useless information. Also, you will get a better grade in Clubb if you just go to the lectures and pay attention. (he tells you what will be on the test basically and also, you can ask him "Is this going to be on the test" - great isnt it?)

July 14, 2003
Maria Dzialo Full Profile > N/A Overall N/A Easiness N/A Workload N/A Clarity N/A Helpfulness
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Maria Dzialo See Full Profile

Overall N/A Easiness N/A Workload N/A Clarity N/A Helpfulness N/A

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James Gober See Full Profile

Overall 3.9 Easiness 2.6 Workload 2.6 Clarity 3.2 Helpfulness 3.5

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Professor James Gober is one of those professors who tries to hard too be funny (he's really not). His lectures are alright I guess.

Despite that, I HIGHLY recommend for everyone to take this class, especially over Tienson. I took this class my spring quarter, and my roommate took this Tienson's class while I was in Gober. The difference in the amount of work and content we need to know between the two is quite big. Tienson is much harder, due to the fact that there are weekly quizzes, worksheets that need to be completed to understand the material, and hard tests. Because of the extra material they need to learn and the weekly quizzes, students in Tienson tend to understand the material better, simply because they have to put more work into the class.

Gober's class is based on the following: 2 midterms, 1 final, and a 10 point extra credit, along with a 4 point extra credit question on the final. There are no weekly quizzes to keep you in "check." Most of the worksheets are busy work that don't need to be completed, espeically after the 2nd midterm (the first few worksheets should be completed tho). I swear, literally every single question on Gober's exams were drawn either from his old midterms (check out the bruin test bank), or pulled from his worksheets, with a question or 2 that Gober made up himself. Best part? For his review session, he will pull the midterm out in front of you, and read off the questions you need to know. As long as you frantically write everything down, look for the answers on chegg or course hero or the class worksheets, you're pretty much set. Going over his slides are also a must.

Between Tiensons and Gober: if you're taking a lot of classes this quarter and want the easier class go with Gober. If you want to work hard, be responsible for learning more content, and have a bit of a grade threshold (from the weekly quizzes), go with Tienson. I would recommend Gober, simply, because he is the easier professor.

Spring Quarter 2018
Deborah Jarrett See Full Profile

Overall 2.2 Easiness 3.8 Workload 4.0 Clarity 2.0 Helpfulness 2.0

Most Helpful Review

Review on her Chem153L course Summer Session A

Let me just say, this class felt as if the innocent friend in the group stabbed me in the back. Seeing the syllabus and meeting the class expectations I was not worried about this class at all. Her lectures were pre-recorded (she didn't attend the one lecture that was supposed to be in person) and they usually tended to be 5-20 minutes long (she just read off the slides verbatim). I knew that as long as I put enough effort into the course, I would be able to come out with an A.

This was the case for all of the homework, lab reports, etc. However, then came the midterm and final. At first glance the midterm/final seemed extremely easy and doable. Nevertheless, my grade did not reflect this view when I got points removed from a rubric that the professor seems to have taken out of thin air. Her questions were very simple. The professor was not looking for simple answers. You think you got the answer right? Probably. However, your correct answer will only give you 1 point and you'll get docked off 14 other points from not answering the question "fully". She wants you to add even more detail than what she has taught you (which is difficult as a non-biochem major). I don't know where she got her answers but it sure was not what the question was asking for and it sure was not what we were taught. She hates negative feedback so she'll just end up ignoring your emails (this includes the TA) and nothing will change. You think a regrade will help you? Well, you're wrong cause all the TAs are told to go off the rubric and if your words don't match exactly what the rubric says then you don't get even .5 points back.

If you take my grades from the lab reports, group project, homework, etc., I finished the class off with an A+. If you include my midterm grade and my final grade I get dropped to a B-.

I should've dropped this course when I had a chance. Also, hope you don't get stuck with a crappy TA who doesn't respond to feedback or e-mail you back on ANYTHING *cough cough* Noelle.

Summer Quarter 2020
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Christopher Lee Full Profile > N/A Overall N/A Easiness N/A Workload N/A Clarity N/A Helpfulness
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Christopher Lee See Full Profile

Overall N/A Easiness N/A Workload N/A Clarity N/A Helpfulness N/A

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Harold Martinson See Full Profile

Overall 3.2 Easiness 1.8 Workload 1.5 Clarity 3.2 Helpfulness 3.8

Most Helpful Review

I didn't think that Dr. Martinson was "easy." So, I think I arrived at the conclusion that the class, 153A, is hard no matter who you take. My advice to you, who's reading this, is don't take Martinson just because his review for difficulty is a 7 instead of an 8 compared to bates.

I loved this class, and it was because I thought the material was so interesting and applicable to everything that I have learned in sciences so far. Dr. Martinson is a great lecturer. You walk out of class learning something everytime you attend lecture, but you also have to do your part. You MUST read the book!!! Even though he is conceptual, his so called concepts come right out of the book. It's just that he explains them more clearly than the book does.

It's really really annoying how he spends lecture time talking about how to study. That kind of bothered because I think that he thinks we're stupid. I mean, we're all UCLA students and I think that by the time someone takes chem 153A, he/she knows how to study! But then again, that's just how he is. He thinks his teaching style if revolutionary, but I didn't really think so.

Overall, exams are very tough. But, he makes them that way in order to challenge our learning (sarcastic tone here), and the averages are very low. So in terms of getting an A, it's totally doable.

I liked the fact that he is very patient with students and is available to talk to you anytime. Occasionally, he'll put you down for asking dumb questions, but I wouldn't get discouraged because who cares...it's your grade and he doesn't know you. I'd recommend him but the class is TOUGH!!! Study a little for it almost everyday, do his past exams, read the book, understand lectures, ask him questions...and good luck!

July 8, 2004
Jeanne Morin-Leisk See Full Profile

Overall 4.7 Easiness 2.5 Workload 2.5 Clarity 4.5 Helpfulness 4.7

Most Helpful Review

Morin Leisk is the nicest, most caring , and enthusiastic professor you will get for chemistry. If you value the character and personality of the professor, you will not be disappointed. She has that early enthusiasm that is seen in new professors.

As for the lecture and materials, I feel that there was too much info and all of the different topics lacked cohesion. But maybe this is just the nature of the course and this will be the same regardless of the professor you take. I don't like her lecture style. She writes on the projector on printed out power point slides. I wish that she would just post the slides with the notes on them because I really prefer to pay attention during lecture and not be so focused on writing notes.

And now...for her exams. You know how Napoleon got a bit too ambitious when he decided to invade Russia? Well yea.. She says that she designs her test so that student's can get a C- just by putting the crappiest answers possible. Let's just say that I wouldn't even qualify as crap based on her criteria. The exam was way too long for 50 minutes!

Overall I recommend her. I believe that she will only improve as a professor and considering that your alternative is Tienson, I think it would be wise to take Morin Leisk for 153A.

April 28, 2015
Stacie Nakamoto See Full Profile

Overall 2.8 Easiness 1.8 Workload 1.6 Clarity 3.2 Helpfulness 2.6

Most Helpful Review

Sooo I took this professor during session A this summer, and overall, this was not easy. She says on the very first day not to take the summer course, so that's a clue right there...but I had to stay b/c it fit my schedule and nothing else. I commute to school on the bus everyday, and while I was taking this class I worked 20 hours a week at night, so after 4pm Monday-Friday, I could NOT study anything. BUT, I did end up getting an A in the class. So there is hope! I went to lecture every day, and yes her writing on the compendium overhead is kind of annoying but not too horrible, kinda just wasted a few minutes every day, I went to a couple different TA sections during the week, and multiple CLAPS sessions. I didn't buy a textbook, and I memorized the entire compendium...no joke -.- not fun...I wrote and rewrote allllll of the pictures and notes in the compendium, so that when the final was coming, I didn't have to look at the compendium to study, I just used my own notes. Definitely do all of the CLAPS and hw questions, even the ones not assigned, and bring questions to discussions, they help A LOT. The midterms were straight up memorization, so memorize everything :/ but the final was random. I did not end up leaving early, and I almost cried when I came out of the room. I had left some parts blank, and I thought I was gonna get a C...I started to get nervous during the final and began just writing whatever I could remember without thinking into much detail b/c I didn't have enough time, and thank God the memorizing worked and I wrote out everything like a reflex. There were some naming of molecules that came out of the blue, but I had to use knowledge from the chem20/30 series info to help me on those...So again, midterms are memorization (very doable) and final is more conceptual. I never asked her questions so I don't know whether or not she was easy to get a hold of...but pretty much I had to study every day till 4pm, did notes, rewrote notes, memorized EVERYTHING, and came out with a solid A...and it was the summer...Just focus (which I know is hard to do with this kind of class) but you gotta just pump yourself for the class. I also studied with 2 good friends and we studied together every day, sometimes next to each other in the library, but having a solid study group is very helpful. To summarize again, memorize the compendium, have really good and thorough notes, go to multiple discussions and CLAPS sessions, go to class every day, and FOCUS. It was kind of hard for me to focus during the summer b/c a lot of my friends were out having parties, touring abroad and such, and it was easy to just give up, but if I can do it, anyone else can. Trust me. My brain isn't exactly wired to be a genius, I'm not, and I was kind of jealous of the kids in discussions that got everything right away, but you have to work hard. It's not an easy class, but you can still get an A. :] Good luck!

Oct. 20, 2010
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