Huiling Shao
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
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4.1
Overall Rating
Based on 95 Users
Easiness 3.2 / 5 How easy the class is, 1 being extremely difficult and 5 being easy peasy.
Clarity 3.9 / 5 How clear the professor is, 1 being extremely unclear and 5 being very clear.
Workload 3.3 / 5 How light the workload is, 1 being extremely heavy and 5 being extremely light.
Helpfulness 4.4 / 5 How helpful the professor is, 1 being not helpful at all and 5 being extremely helpful.

TOP TAGS

  • Gives Extra Credit
  • Uses Slides
  • Tolerates Tardiness
  • Is Podcasted
  • Engaging Lectures
  • Tough Tests
  • Would Take Again

GRADE DISTRIBUTIONS

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Reviews (73)

1 of 8
1 of 8
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Quarter: Fall 2021
Grade: A
Dec. 19, 2021

Disclaimer: I am a chemistry major so I actually enjoy chemistry... take it as you'd like. Chem 20A is a humbling experience. The course starts off with quantum mechanics and is very confusing at first. Midterm 1 was very long and complex even though all tests are open note, mostly no one finished. After midterm 1 the course is actual chemistry stuff which was much easier. The homework (engage assignments) are terribly long, however it is easy to get full points because you have 10 attempts per problem. The professor lacked a bit of organization, but since she's relatively new it was understandable. The grading curve most definitely saves your grade because 50% is given to you by discussion worksheets and homework assignments meaning that if you put some effort on exams you can pass. TA review sessions for exams are very useful (more than Tau Beta Pi sessions). I never went to the professor's office hours but I did go to the TA's (shoutout to Judah Raab for being a great TA!). I didn't have much of a physics background for the first part of the course, but I was still able to get an A. Overall, a good course just make sure to set aside time to review concepts and study and it should be completely doable.

Helpful?

4 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2021
Grade: A
Dec. 15, 2021

These reviews are sugarcoating to the max......that’s all I’m going to say.

Edit: I'm just going to say it:

It's a damn shame that UCLA shoves freshmen into this class and presents them with material (i.e. quantum) that they have zero preparation for, all while refusing to teach it properly. Shao did this ridiculous dance between surface-level/no teaching and giving us full-on derivations (of Schrodinger's equation for ex.) (WHILE SKIPPING OVER CRUCIAL CALCULUS)...do one or the other, not both. The result? NO PROPER LEARNING. I don't care what grade I got in this class; I don't care what grade you got in the class. None of us learned quantum mechanics well, or hardly at all. I am so, so disappointed that this is chemistry at UCLA: plug and chug to get the grade (as my TA told me!!) and ignore the learning. I can't stand it. It's frankly horrific for a university. This class, the ignorance of the chem department here, and the overall curriculum make me ashamed to be a bruin. And I'm a chemistry major for crying out loud. WHY AM I HERE???

Helpful?

14 5 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2021
Grade: A
Dec. 18, 2021

This class is a lot of work. Its easy to pass the class due to the grading scale but its hard to get a good grade in the class since the tests are hard. Passing in this class was a 55% and you can get a 55% by completing the homework and the discussion worksheets. There are two midterms and one final, all were open note for us. The discussion worksheets were graded for completion with my TA, and the cengage homework was more time consuming than it was difficult. Shao is super organized but theres a lot of material she covers in 10 weeks which is why so many people struggle in this class.

Helpful?

2 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2021
Grade: A+
Dec. 17, 2021

Although the live lectures are often confusing and hard to grasp, they are recorded and posted on canvas, which is nice. Rewatching them helped a lot, and using the annotated notes on tests was also helpful, as the tests are open note. They are challenging, but not that bad. The only thing is the time constraints of the midterms. I ended up not finishing midterm 1 and finishing midterm 2 with like 5 seconds left. Overall, Professor Shao is very nice and helpful, and I would take a class with her again. The resources provided are good, but the lectures themselves lack some clarity at times.

Helpful?

2 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2021
Grade: A
Dec. 7, 2021

Professor Shao is an amazing teacher. Her stand-out points are her organization and helpfulness. She prepares lecture notes and slides that are very clear and that come with examples. If there is anything unclear, she updates her notes later on and you can always reach her quickly via office hours or email. She is also extremely friendly and welcoming, and is one of my favorite teachers that I have had so far. Would definitely recommend her for the class! Her tests can be challenging, but with enough studying and review based on what she gives us, students should be well prepared. She also gives out extra credit and is tolerant about deadlines. Overall, she is one of those rare teachers that wants students to actually learn and apply principles, not just copy and paste material.

Helpful?

8 3 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2021
Grade: A+
Dec. 14, 2021

definitely recommend this class with Professor Shao!! as one who actually enjoys chemistry, i really enjoyed this course during my first quarter at ucla. the grading scale practically guarantees that you pass & it is kind of hard to do bad.
however, the tests are difficult, mostly because of the time constraint. i got a 74 on the first midterm (which is a B- on her scale) & practically had a heart attack when i saw it. the first midterm was more of quantum chemistry/physics so i still did decent for being completely unfamiliar w the concept. second midterm i bounced back & got a 95, and i got a 91 on the final.
to study, i just went over the sample/expectation problems she'd post before exams & weekly worksheets from our discussion sections. for the final, i went over the two midterms & two additional practice midterms she posted.
Shao truly cares about her students -- she was super helpful during office hours and did not hesitate to re-explain concepts how ever many times. she answered my messages on canvas SO fast so don't be scared to reach out to her with questions.
one piece of advice is to print or write down her blank lecture slides (which she posts on canvas) before each lecture so you can actually listen. if you use an ipad, there's pros and cons because the midterms/finals are open-note but with no electronics.
overall, although the concepts explained in this course are not easy, the class is VERY doable. especially with all the resources provided by Dr. Shao. i would definitely take this class again & think my academic skill (in terms of studying, time management, etc.) was positively impacted by this course. take 20A w shao!!

Helpful?

4 1 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2021
Grade: A
Dec. 18, 2021

MISERABLE - I CRIED SO MANY TIMES
All of these reviews are sugarcoated. While I took this class, everyone talked about how much they hated it. Shao's lectures are based on slides which she posts online. While this is helpful, if you do not have an iPad it is impossible to keep up with her lecture notes. I walked out of that class with a headache every time. I only learned things during discussion with my TA. Shao's notes are also often wrong and the TAs and LAs always had to correct her mistakes. Her midterms were very hard and long, meaning most people did not even finish them. Shao is also not very helpful. Her email responses are very passive aggressive and she is not accommodating. Her homework assignments consist of a worksheet that is given during discussion and a 6 hour cengage assignment due at the end of every week. The information on these assignments was often not covered in lecture, so I had to teach myself or ask the TA for help. The only good thing about this class is her grading scale. Do not take this class with her unless you like crying:)

Helpful?

7 3 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2021
Grade: B+
Dec. 13, 2021

The midterms in this class are hell, there are some people that do well but the large majority get 50-70s. She records and posts all of her lectures which is very helpful. Her final grading curve is very forgiving which is probably because the tests are deathly. She gives extra credit though easy things and is pretty nice and forgiving. Go to the TA test reviews because they really help.

Overall, the class is very hard but if you do all of the homework and worksheets and mediocre (ish) on the tests and final you can do okay in the class (at least a B because the homework+worksheet give you a 50% in the class and 54.9% is failing for her).

Helpful?

5 2 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2021
Grade: A-
Dec. 21, 2021

tl;dr - good teacher, awful midterms, good grading curve, good discussion worksheets, good final.

I think that Shao was a really good professor, who had little idea of how to time a midterm. I learned a lot in this course, and this was mostly due to Shao's really clear lecture notes, which were posted to canvas (ccle? idk whichever) as both blank before class and then annotated after class, which was really helpful for adding things that I'd missed and just general review. During the lectures themselves, Shao would sometimes go off in small tangents or explain a concept but not really to the full extent, which left me not really knowing how to apply an equation or the point of an experiment/ phenomena that we had to know. Shao had 4 hrs of office hours per week, but I could only make one hour of them due to conflicting class times. It didn't really matter a huge amount though, because I was able to set up meeting times outside of those OHs and she'd stand outside of the lec hall for 10 minutes answering small questions after each lecture. All great stuff.

As for the midterms - yikes. I got about a 70 on the first one (average) mostly because of rushing through all (I think) 7 multiple part questions in the 50 minute block and making a lot of calculator input errors and not having time to check anything. I got about a 50 (again an average of 70ish) because of panicking on time and missing an important question. Thankfully though, Shao posted both an answer key and a video of her going through each question on the midterm and explaining why she was solving it the way that she did. This helped for regrade attempts. The midterms and final were 15%, 15% and then 20%, with cengage assignments and worksheets being 50% (and they were rarely difficult - just time consuming). This saved my ass and I ended up with an 89 in the class (along with extra credit) and that curved to an A-.

I'd take her class again.

Helpful?

3 1 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2021
Grade: A
Dec. 13, 2021

Although the first part of the class and its material may seem hard, Shao understands and really goes through a lot to help students understand. Also, it is important to do the worksheets in discussions as they greatly help the exams. The exams weren't a breeze (the final was def way easier) but definitely doable if one puts in the effort. Also it is open note/open book so that helps as well.

Helpful?

3 1 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2021
Grade: A
Dec. 19, 2021

Disclaimer: I am a chemistry major so I actually enjoy chemistry... take it as you'd like. Chem 20A is a humbling experience. The course starts off with quantum mechanics and is very confusing at first. Midterm 1 was very long and complex even though all tests are open note, mostly no one finished. After midterm 1 the course is actual chemistry stuff which was much easier. The homework (engage assignments) are terribly long, however it is easy to get full points because you have 10 attempts per problem. The professor lacked a bit of organization, but since she's relatively new it was understandable. The grading curve most definitely saves your grade because 50% is given to you by discussion worksheets and homework assignments meaning that if you put some effort on exams you can pass. TA review sessions for exams are very useful (more than Tau Beta Pi sessions). I never went to the professor's office hours but I did go to the TA's (shoutout to Judah Raab for being a great TA!). I didn't have much of a physics background for the first part of the course, but I was still able to get an A. Overall, a good course just make sure to set aside time to review concepts and study and it should be completely doable.

Helpful?

4 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2021
Grade: A
Dec. 15, 2021

These reviews are sugarcoating to the max......that’s all I’m going to say.

Edit: I'm just going to say it:

It's a damn shame that UCLA shoves freshmen into this class and presents them with material (i.e. quantum) that they have zero preparation for, all while refusing to teach it properly. Shao did this ridiculous dance between surface-level/no teaching and giving us full-on derivations (of Schrodinger's equation for ex.) (WHILE SKIPPING OVER CRUCIAL CALCULUS)...do one or the other, not both. The result? NO PROPER LEARNING. I don't care what grade I got in this class; I don't care what grade you got in the class. None of us learned quantum mechanics well, or hardly at all. I am so, so disappointed that this is chemistry at UCLA: plug and chug to get the grade (as my TA told me!!) and ignore the learning. I can't stand it. It's frankly horrific for a university. This class, the ignorance of the chem department here, and the overall curriculum make me ashamed to be a bruin. And I'm a chemistry major for crying out loud. WHY AM I HERE???

Helpful?

14 5 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2021
Grade: A
Dec. 18, 2021

This class is a lot of work. Its easy to pass the class due to the grading scale but its hard to get a good grade in the class since the tests are hard. Passing in this class was a 55% and you can get a 55% by completing the homework and the discussion worksheets. There are two midterms and one final, all were open note for us. The discussion worksheets were graded for completion with my TA, and the cengage homework was more time consuming than it was difficult. Shao is super organized but theres a lot of material she covers in 10 weeks which is why so many people struggle in this class.

Helpful?

2 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2021
Grade: A+
Dec. 17, 2021

Although the live lectures are often confusing and hard to grasp, they are recorded and posted on canvas, which is nice. Rewatching them helped a lot, and using the annotated notes on tests was also helpful, as the tests are open note. They are challenging, but not that bad. The only thing is the time constraints of the midterms. I ended up not finishing midterm 1 and finishing midterm 2 with like 5 seconds left. Overall, Professor Shao is very nice and helpful, and I would take a class with her again. The resources provided are good, but the lectures themselves lack some clarity at times.

Helpful?

2 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2021
Grade: A
Dec. 7, 2021

Professor Shao is an amazing teacher. Her stand-out points are her organization and helpfulness. She prepares lecture notes and slides that are very clear and that come with examples. If there is anything unclear, she updates her notes later on and you can always reach her quickly via office hours or email. She is also extremely friendly and welcoming, and is one of my favorite teachers that I have had so far. Would definitely recommend her for the class! Her tests can be challenging, but with enough studying and review based on what she gives us, students should be well prepared. She also gives out extra credit and is tolerant about deadlines. Overall, she is one of those rare teachers that wants students to actually learn and apply principles, not just copy and paste material.

Helpful?

8 3 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2021
Grade: A+
Dec. 14, 2021

definitely recommend this class with Professor Shao!! as one who actually enjoys chemistry, i really enjoyed this course during my first quarter at ucla. the grading scale practically guarantees that you pass & it is kind of hard to do bad.
however, the tests are difficult, mostly because of the time constraint. i got a 74 on the first midterm (which is a B- on her scale) & practically had a heart attack when i saw it. the first midterm was more of quantum chemistry/physics so i still did decent for being completely unfamiliar w the concept. second midterm i bounced back & got a 95, and i got a 91 on the final.
to study, i just went over the sample/expectation problems she'd post before exams & weekly worksheets from our discussion sections. for the final, i went over the two midterms & two additional practice midterms she posted.
Shao truly cares about her students -- she was super helpful during office hours and did not hesitate to re-explain concepts how ever many times. she answered my messages on canvas SO fast so don't be scared to reach out to her with questions.
one piece of advice is to print or write down her blank lecture slides (which she posts on canvas) before each lecture so you can actually listen. if you use an ipad, there's pros and cons because the midterms/finals are open-note but with no electronics.
overall, although the concepts explained in this course are not easy, the class is VERY doable. especially with all the resources provided by Dr. Shao. i would definitely take this class again & think my academic skill (in terms of studying, time management, etc.) was positively impacted by this course. take 20A w shao!!

Helpful?

4 1 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2021
Grade: A
Dec. 18, 2021

MISERABLE - I CRIED SO MANY TIMES
All of these reviews are sugarcoated. While I took this class, everyone talked about how much they hated it. Shao's lectures are based on slides which she posts online. While this is helpful, if you do not have an iPad it is impossible to keep up with her lecture notes. I walked out of that class with a headache every time. I only learned things during discussion with my TA. Shao's notes are also often wrong and the TAs and LAs always had to correct her mistakes. Her midterms were very hard and long, meaning most people did not even finish them. Shao is also not very helpful. Her email responses are very passive aggressive and she is not accommodating. Her homework assignments consist of a worksheet that is given during discussion and a 6 hour cengage assignment due at the end of every week. The information on these assignments was often not covered in lecture, so I had to teach myself or ask the TA for help. The only good thing about this class is her grading scale. Do not take this class with her unless you like crying:)

Helpful?

7 3 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2021
Grade: B+
Dec. 13, 2021

The midterms in this class are hell, there are some people that do well but the large majority get 50-70s. She records and posts all of her lectures which is very helpful. Her final grading curve is very forgiving which is probably because the tests are deathly. She gives extra credit though easy things and is pretty nice and forgiving. Go to the TA test reviews because they really help.

Overall, the class is very hard but if you do all of the homework and worksheets and mediocre (ish) on the tests and final you can do okay in the class (at least a B because the homework+worksheet give you a 50% in the class and 54.9% is failing for her).

Helpful?

5 2 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2021
Grade: A-
Dec. 21, 2021

tl;dr - good teacher, awful midterms, good grading curve, good discussion worksheets, good final.

I think that Shao was a really good professor, who had little idea of how to time a midterm. I learned a lot in this course, and this was mostly due to Shao's really clear lecture notes, which were posted to canvas (ccle? idk whichever) as both blank before class and then annotated after class, which was really helpful for adding things that I'd missed and just general review. During the lectures themselves, Shao would sometimes go off in small tangents or explain a concept but not really to the full extent, which left me not really knowing how to apply an equation or the point of an experiment/ phenomena that we had to know. Shao had 4 hrs of office hours per week, but I could only make one hour of them due to conflicting class times. It didn't really matter a huge amount though, because I was able to set up meeting times outside of those OHs and she'd stand outside of the lec hall for 10 minutes answering small questions after each lecture. All great stuff.

As for the midterms - yikes. I got about a 70 on the first one (average) mostly because of rushing through all (I think) 7 multiple part questions in the 50 minute block and making a lot of calculator input errors and not having time to check anything. I got about a 50 (again an average of 70ish) because of panicking on time and missing an important question. Thankfully though, Shao posted both an answer key and a video of her going through each question on the midterm and explaining why she was solving it the way that she did. This helped for regrade attempts. The midterms and final were 15%, 15% and then 20%, with cengage assignments and worksheets being 50% (and they were rarely difficult - just time consuming). This saved my ass and I ended up with an 89 in the class (along with extra credit) and that curved to an A-.

I'd take her class again.

Helpful?

3 1 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2021
Grade: A
Dec. 13, 2021

Although the first part of the class and its material may seem hard, Shao understands and really goes through a lot to help students understand. Also, it is important to do the worksheets in discussions as they greatly help the exams. The exams weren't a breeze (the final was def way easier) but definitely doable if one puts in the effort. Also it is open note/open book so that helps as well.

Helpful?

3 1 Please log in to provide feedback.
1 of 8
4.1
Overall Rating
Based on 95 Users
Easiness 3.2 / 5 How easy the class is, 1 being extremely difficult and 5 being easy peasy.
Clarity 3.9 / 5 How clear the professor is, 1 being extremely unclear and 5 being very clear.
Workload 3.3 / 5 How light the workload is, 1 being extremely heavy and 5 being extremely light.
Helpfulness 4.4 / 5 How helpful the professor is, 1 being not helpful at all and 5 being extremely helpful.

TOP TAGS

  • Gives Extra Credit
    (69)
  • Uses Slides
    (59)
  • Tolerates Tardiness
    (51)
  • Is Podcasted
    (57)
  • Engaging Lectures
    (45)
  • Tough Tests
    (49)
  • Would Take Again
    (58)
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