Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.
Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.
So the reviews for this class are super outdated, but during Spring 2020 Zocchi's class was unorganized to say the least. He gave us barely any time for the midterms, even after NUMEROUS emails asking him to accommodate people during a tough time. The worst part was he wouldn't even respond to the emails which left much of the class in confusion (it also lead to 25% of the class dropping by week 10)
Midterm averages were also super low, midterm 1 was like a 68% and midterm 2 was about a 58%. He doesn't curve the tests but uses his own wack grading scale (I think??) where >80 is an A, 65-80 is a B, and so on. I'm not entirely sure if that's accurate because when I emailed him to confirm he ghosted me :/ I think the final average may have been higher cause most people I know scored much higher than previous midterms. But he also gave us 48 hours (finally!) for this test.
His lectures were reaaaaally hard to learn from, he has a very thick accent and just covers a bunch of examples like a machine. He definitely knows his material, but I couldn't really get anything from the lectures and stopped attending by like Week 2. I just grinded the material from the textbook and worked through the homework and prayed I'd get lucky on the midterms/finals.
Overall, if this is your first physics class since high school (like me), I would NOT recommend as I definitely feel like I have a half-ass command of the knowledge compared to my friends who took 1A with other professors. If you do have a strong physics foundation, I would still hesitantly recommend cause you're probably gonna have to rely on previous knowledge and do a bit of reading to do well in the class.
Professor Zocchi's lectures are hard to follow and quite disorganized. After 2 weeks, I stopped attending lecture and went to discussion which was very helpful. He has his own course notes that he follows, which is quite hard to read, and he does many examples that are sometimes quite irrelevant. His midterms are challenging in that there are no numbers! It is all variables and because all the hw involved numbers, that was hard to get used to. HW is given every week on Mastering Physics and it is great practice and revision of the material done in class. The final was 48hours and the questions were not terrible. He does not reply to emails and may not seem like a great professor, but he does have a very lenient grading scale where >80 is and A and 65-80 is a B. I did AP Physics in highschool, so the material came easy to me, but for those who have not, Professor Zocchi may not be a great choice.
He was kind of a funny guy but his lectures focused mostly on theory explanation and were pretty boring. Honestly, you don't really have to go to lecture at all; just teach yourself the equations from the book and make sure you can do the homework.
First midterm was ridiculously easy, especially if you've taken high school mechanics - it was a simple plug and chug test. A lot of people scored 100%. His first midterm is also very similar EVERY year. The second midterm is a bit more tricky and varies every year, but as long as you do the problems in the book you're fine. The final is really long, and there are a bit of little tricky things that take a bit of THINKING to do. The last two questions on the final were very conceptual - one of which required use of geometric series and reasoning with words, and the other one was about an object sliding/oscillating back and forth in a parabolic shaped trajectory.
Lectures are very tough to sit through because Zocchi's accent is hard to understand. He also teaches beyond what is required, proving other stuff OUTSIDE of the textbook. But as long you read the textbook, you're fine.
Discussions are probably not necessary unless you really don't understand the textbook, but the textbook is very clear and the problems in the book come in a wide variety of difficulties to help you understand material.
Overall, to do well in the class, do EVERY problem in the book and look at previous midterms. You don't have to stress about not being able to fully understand some of the material beyond the scope of the class/textbook that Zocchi talks about. You MAY have to recall stuff from Math 31B for the final. If you mastered mechanics at the high school level, you should be able to score 100% on both midterms and pretty high on the final. If you haven't taken high school physics, I suggest taking another teacher because a lot of people will have an advantage, so missing one question is devastating to your grade.
don't take this course if you think it's an automatic guarantee of an A, bec it isn't. if, however, physics makes no sense to you at all (that's me), take zocchi because the worse you probably will get is a B or B- (which is far better than other professors will give you). zocchi's not that bad, though he tends to go off and do crazy calculus/math problems sometimes. first midterm was easy, second midterm and final were difficult.
I took his course just because it's easy. It's too hard to understand his accent. But you don't need to go to the lecture if you have learned the material. Just be careful with the second midterm. It may be harder than the first one. But overall, it's an easy GE for north campus student.
Take Zocchi for 1A if you can; he is the easiest south campus teacher I've had yet at UCLA. I went to about half the lectures, and of the ones I went to, I usually left halfway through. The first midterm was an absolute joke, the second one was difficult, and the final was hard but less so than the second midterm. However, the graders give unbelievable amounts of partial credit, so even though I felt like I knew close to nothing on the second midterm, I still beat the average substantially. Tests have very little to do with the homework and he loves to use variables instead of actual numbers in his problems. However, if you have an understanding of the concepts from the homework, you should be fine on tests. I ended up with an A after studying for about 5 hours for the final - not bad.
Also his accent is amusing.
Professor Zocchi is a great and funny guy, but his lectures are just average, or certainly not the best. Though I guess the easy tests offsets the ineffective lectures. First midterm was a complete joke (almost everyone got 100%) and the 2nd midterm was relatively harder, but overall very easy. The final was harder than both midterms, but still do-able. I literally crammed the night before, especially on rotational mechanics, but I ended up with an A in the class. Although I took physics in high school, I still went to 85% of his lectures, but I found them quite unorganized and felt the book does better teaching the material step by step. If you already have a background in physics prior to taking this class, this is definitely one of those classes where you can skip all the lectures.
Easy A. I went to the first lecture and decided that his accent was too hard to understand so i only showed up for the exams. I just did the hw and i got 100% on the first test 95% on the second and 100% on the final. i dont know if he was a good teacher or not but the exams were really really easy
First midterm really easy, 2nd midterm crazy hard. Didn't give much partial credit for the first midterm but he had to for the 2nd or everyone would have failed. The final was between the two in terms of difficulty, but probably closer to the 2nd midterm than the first. I got 2 points above average on both midterms, and 58/80 on the final (which he didn't give an average for) and somehow ended up with an A. Must have been a generous curve. His lectures are pretty useless, but I still went to every one. I found myself playing games on my ipod, as was over the class (those who went, at least). He has a thing for picking ridiculously hard Mastering Physics problems, so good luck with those. Overall, not the worst but definitely not the best.
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