CHEM 153A

Biochemistry: Introduction to Structure, Enzymes, and Metabolism

Description: Lecture, four hours; discussion, one hour. Requisite: course 14D or 30B, with grade of C- or better. Recommended: Life Sciences 2, 3, and 23L, or 7A. Structure of proteins, carbohydrates, and lipids; enzyme catalysis and principles of metabolism, including glycolysis, citric acid cycle, and oxidative phosphorylation. P/NP or letter grading.

Units: 4.0
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Overall Rating 3.1
Easiness 2.3/ 5
Clarity 2.8/ 5
Workload 3.3/ 5
Helpfulness 3.3/ 5
Most Helpful Review
Summer 2021 - Biochemistry is hard, there’s no doubt about it - and the 6-week summer variant of this class makes it feel like you are drinking water from a fire hydrant. Dr. He does not make it easier. With a non-transparent, micro-detail grading rubric, and exam questions designed to be ambiguous AND penalize you for writing over sentence limits, it’s clear that this class was structured to weed out pre-meds, rather than to facilitate student learning. This is the only class I have ever taken at UCLA that penalizes the WHOLE class for regrade requests made by each student; the TA told us that when a regrade is approved, the student may have their score improved but all other students’ grades drop as a result. There was outrage resulting from students’ grades dropping AFTER their exam scores were released this quarter. Mind you, this policy was not made transparent on either the syllabus or rubrics, it was just offered as an explanation after-the-fact. Furthermore, grades were due today, and our final exams were released 30 minutes before midnight, with an email explaining that “since today is the final day”, no regrade requests would be accepted, no curves made, and no corrections accepted. Although convenient for the Biochem grading team, it reflects the “deduct first, ask questions later” policy that has been shown all quarter. Having said all that, I can’t recommend Dr. He for Chem 153A. Do yourself a favor - save yourself a lot of headache - and take someone else.
Overall Rating 3.5
Easiness 3.8/ 5
Clarity 3.3/ 5
Workload 4.1/ 5
Helpfulness 3.4/ 5
Most Helpful Review
Summer 2020 - Despite the issues that came up in this class, Professor Jarrett was a good instructor. She explained difficult concepts in an easy to understand manner and she was very helpful during office hours if you had any questions. Her lectures were straightforward and lecture slides got straight to the point without being confusing. It was obvious that Professor Jarrett had experience teaching and that she knew the material well. There were no problems in terms of her teaching ability. The biggest downside was the disorganization, I do not know if it was because the TA did not care (which it seemed like he didn’t) or because of the pandemic requiring us to shift to online learning. The TA and Professor would often give out contradicting statements at the beginning of the course. We were told that worksheets were to be submitted individually but then group submission was encouraged. We were then told group submission was required until finally being told group submission was encouraged in the end. In addition, nobody received grades until the very end of the second to last week after a significant proportion of our grade was turned in without any sort of way to evaluate our progress in the class. Thankfully, Professor Jarrett acknowledged this was unfair and provided extra credit. Nonetheless, the exams were very fair and tested knowledge of lecture material and problem-solving. There were not any curveballs in terms of material that we did not cover. Overall, what you learn is determined by the effort you put into this class. If you put in minimal effort to get the grade you want you will not have a good grasp on the material. However, if you put effort into this class you will come out with a solid introduction to biochemistry.
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