Iris Firstenberg
Department of Psychology
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3.2
Overall Rating
Based on 164 Users
Easiness 2.3 / 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 2.4 / 5 How light the workload is, 1 being extremely heavy and 5 being extremely light.
Helpfulness 3.6 / 5 How helpful the professor is, 1 being not helpful at all and 5 being extremely helpful.

TOP TAGS

  • Tough Tests
  • Needs Textbook
  • Engaging Lectures
  • Gives Extra Credit
  • Has Group Projects
  • Appropriately Priced Materials
  • Participation Matters

GRADE DISTRIBUTIONS

21.1%
17.6%
14.1%
10.5%
7.0%
3.5%
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Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

27.4%
22.8%
18.2%
13.7%
9.1%
4.6%
0.0%
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A
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Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

15.8%
13.2%
10.5%
7.9%
5.3%
2.6%
0.0%
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A
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Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

23.5%
19.6%
15.6%
11.7%
7.8%
3.9%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
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B
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Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

20.2%
16.8%
13.4%
10.1%
6.7%
3.4%
0.0%
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A
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Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

19.8%
16.5%
13.2%
9.9%
6.6%
3.3%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
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B
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Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

19.4%
16.2%
13.0%
9.7%
6.5%
3.2%
0.0%
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A
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Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

17.0%
14.2%
11.3%
8.5%
5.7%
2.8%
0.0%
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A
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Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

18.0%
15.0%
12.0%
9.0%
6.0%
3.0%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
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B
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Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

17.6%
14.7%
11.7%
8.8%
5.9%
2.9%
0.0%
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A
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B
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Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

20.0%
16.7%
13.3%
10.0%
6.7%
3.3%
0.0%
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A
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B
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Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

17.7%
14.8%
11.8%
8.9%
5.9%
3.0%
0.0%
A+
A
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B
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Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

17.9%
15.0%
12.0%
9.0%
6.0%
3.0%
0.0%
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Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

16.7%
13.9%
11.1%
8.3%
5.6%
2.8%
0.0%
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Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

16.3%
13.6%
10.9%
8.2%
5.4%
2.7%
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Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

15.2%
12.7%
10.1%
7.6%
5.1%
2.5%
0.0%
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Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

17.0%
14.2%
11.3%
8.5%
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Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

16.9%
14.1%
11.2%
8.4%
5.6%
2.8%
0.0%
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Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

17.2%
14.3%
11.4%
8.6%
5.7%
2.9%
0.0%
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Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

17.4%
14.5%
11.6%
8.7%
5.8%
2.9%
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Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

17.2%
14.3%
11.4%
8.6%
5.7%
2.9%
0.0%
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Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

17.4%
14.5%
11.6%
8.7%
5.8%
2.9%
0.0%
A+
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Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

16.3%
13.6%
10.9%
8.1%
5.4%
2.7%
0.0%
A+
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Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

18.3%
15.3%
12.2%
9.2%
6.1%
3.1%
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Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

15.2%
12.7%
10.1%
7.6%
5.1%
2.5%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
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Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

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Reviews (140)

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Quarter: Summer 2018
Grade: A+
Sept. 26, 2018

After finishing Psych 100B, I have a strong desire to de-mystify this class for aspiring psych majors. Below you will find a guide that I would have found helpful when beginning this class.

Please note that this class’s structure will be changing in Fall 2018, but I still feel as though the basic advice I have can apply.

Is this class impossibly hard? Not really, in my opinion. By and large, people find this class to be extremely difficult, impossibly graded, and just plain unfair. I came into the class thinking that all the negatives you see here on this BruinWalk page would be the reality. In my experience, it really, really wasn't the reality. Was it a stressful class? Yes, it was, but all my classes give me stress. Truth be told if you actually put in the effort, you will be rewarded. However, a few baseline skills help to do well:

1. If you are an excellent writer, this class will be a breeze. I am double-majoring with History, so I have been through the gauntlet when it comes to challenging and long papers. The writing assignments in this class are on the easy side if you are an experienced writer. You get automatic style points if you know how to write with clarity, good grammar, and nice flow. However, the majority of psych majors (in my experience), are not as used to writing, and writing a lot.

2. You need to have good study habits. If you take the class in the summer like I did, the final will creep up on you because it happens around the same time as the first submission deadline. However, if you are taking stellar notes during lecture and are studying them many days in advance of each quiz, you will be well-prepared for the final without even doing dedicated studying. If you last-minute study for quizzes just by skimming over your half-done notes from lecture and then begin studying for the final at 10 PM the night before, you will not do as well. Treat the class like a job – put in the effort consistently and throughout the quarter and you will wonder what all the fuss about the class is about.

3. I think general communication skills are important just so you can easily talk to your TA and the professor and communicate what you need help with. If you are afraid of your TA or the professor, you will be left with unanswered questions and confusion. If you want a good grade, you have to push past any fear of a bad interaction with your TA or the professor. It is imperative that you show your instructors that you’re there to fight and are willing to learn and grow from this experience.

If you have all, some, or none of those skills, there are some other ways to help you succeed and learn in this class:

1. Take it in the summer with no other classes. It is only 6 weeks as opposed to 10 weeks, and it will be your main focus. I worked alongside this class (usually more than 12 hours a week) and still did very well because my only academic attention was directed towards this class. If you are directing your brain into to many different classes, it will be tougher to do well because this class requires your full attention.

However, the grading scheme is flipped in the summer: 60% section and 40% lecture (it is the other way around in the normal school year). If you find that you are not a good writer and would rather not have more than half your grade focused on section where all the writing is, you may want to take it in the school year. Also, in the school year, you are given weeks to write assignments, while in summer you are given a few days to one week to do all the writing assignments. Since I am an experienced writer, this time pressure didn’t really get to me, but I know it can be a lot for those not used to writing a lot in a short period of time. If you feel that either of these facets of the summer version of this course concern you, maybe you should bite the bullet and do it in the school year. I still recommend pushing through in the summer.

2. How to overcome not being the best writer? Start your assignments as soon as they are assigned. Read over them daily, making edits along the way. Always make sure they line up with the APA guidelines in the course reader and APA manual. The longer you spend with a paper, the better it will be, believe it or not. Also, you can take your papers to the writing center to get a second set of eyes on it. Finally, you can also ask your TA questions - they have a limited scope with what they are allowed to help with, but it is still important to ask as many questions as possible to clarify content.

Now let’s talk about Professor Firstenberg: she is absolutely lovely. She is a wonderful lecturer and makes the concepts very accessible and interesting to learn. However, I think her stand-out quality is how kind, responsive, and helpful she is. It is easy to get wrapped up in section and forget that she is there to help, but I would recommend to talk with her at least a few times. She is the quickest professor I have ever had when it comes to answering emails: she answered one of my emails within 3 minutes of me sending it! She was also helpful when it came to section, believe it or not. She sat after lecture and helped students run through their group experiments and gave feedback on all of them, and even offered ways to improve them. She is so kind and helpful and I wish more professors were like her. Also, I hope students don’t blame her for how hard the grading can be. The class has been taught this way since the 1970s according to my TA and is consistent across professors.

How about TAs? It is luck of the draw, pretty much. Some are easier graders, and some are harder graders, but at the end of the day it doesn’t matter what type of grader your TA is because (as I understand) the curve applies within sections and between sections. This means that if you have a hard grader, you won’t be punished, your grade will be adjusted accordingly. This also means that if you have an easy grader, you won’t necessarily get a better grade. The danger is running into a TA that a) you do not get along with b) is not well-versed in the class or its material c) or is just generally bad at communication, answering questions, and teaching. I would say I was lucky because my TA was very well-versed in the class and its material and was in-tune with student concerns. I have no gauge to say what type of grader my TA was as I do not know of the averages of other sections, but as I mentioned before it doesn’t really matter. All that matters is performing above the mean in your own section.

Speaking of grades, here is my grade breakdown which can be helpful when gauging where you might stand in the class*:

Method section: 91% (average: 79%, SD: 6)
Group project: 83% (average: 77%, SD: 6)
Quizzes: 100%
First submission: 92% (average and SD are unknown)
Grade for the in-class final: 37/40
Final submission: 94% (average and SD are unknown)
Final grade in the class: A+

* Please note that due to the curve, the actual percentages really don't matter. All that matters is that you perform above the mean, ideally 1-2 SD above the mean. Easily my grades and the section averages could have been knocked down 20 percentage points each and it would be the exact same grade in the end. Students get caught up in the percentages, when in reality if you scored a 68% on an assignment where the average was a 50% and standard deviation was 6, you would be easily at an A. Please always keep this in mind, the percentages do not matter and are usually not consistent across sections and across quarters. All you need to care about is if you are consistently above the mean and are performing at the top of your section.

Here is what actually makes up your final grade (in the summer):

40% Lecture (1 multiple-choice exam that counts for 40% of your final grade)
60% Section (15% quizzes, 10% participation, assignments 75% - which are broken down into: 5% method section, 10% team project proposal, 60% project report [which is split into 35% for the first submission and 65% for the final report])

SUMMARY:
If you are a dedicated and driven student who puts in the effort and wants to succeed, you should do well. Start your assignments early, take your papers to the writing center, get to know your TA and professor, study early and consistently for the exam, become well-versed with the APA manual and its requirements. In the end, there is no secret formula to this class: if you put in the work, you will be rewarded.

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Quarter: Winter 2019
Grade: N/A
March 20, 2019

It is incredible how you can read the book, do the practice exams, and still do miserably poor on the actual exams because the exams are created to trick you. They want you to fail. Make sure you know how to decipher cryptic messages because there is nothing clear about this class. The professor needs a lesson in proper email etiquette; super rude.

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Quarter: Winter 2022
Grade: B
March 20, 2022

I know that this course has been redesigned to be "easier" but in no way was this class easy. I almost want to know what it was like prior to them restructuring it. The professor's lectures were dry, boring, and made me realize that I NEVER want to work in a research position in Psychology. The exams in no way reflected what the practice exams she provided to us showed. Our midterm was formatted online so poorly that the class exam average was ~ 72%... We had to all as a class collectively email her, as well as the department to complain about the unfairness of the formatting and her refusal to change it. She eventually changed it and allowed us to "double" the final exam. (Her first solution was to require us to choose if we wanted to 1. Keep both final test grades, or 2. Double the value of the final exam grade. We would have had to submit that decision to her BEFORE Week 7.) That's when we decided to email the department head, who thankfully shut that down and "encouraged" her to allow us to keep whichever score was the best score without making a choice ourselves... Exams were also designed to be "sequential" meaning you cannot go back and review your answers or skip any before moving on to the next.. These exams were a LOT more stressful than they needed to be.

Her TA's were awesome - shout out to lead TA Ginny for her SUPER HELPFUL ALM VIDEOS AND CONTENT EXPLANATIONS!!! Ryan S. was also an incredible TA if he ever teaches this course again.

The fact that I managed to pull off a passing grade in this course is something short of a literal MIRACLE. I was able to enroll in Psych 100B course for the next quarter during my first pass and I was PREPARED to fail it. (I'm also an honors student BTW!)

When you get to this class, literally take it with ANY other professor - NOT THIS ONE!!! STAY AWAY AT ALL COSTS IF YOU VALUE YOUR PHYSICAL HEALTH, WELLBEING, AND SANITY!!

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Quarter: Winter 2021
Grade: A+
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
March 20, 2021

What makes up for your final grade:

Lecture: 50% (midterm 40 + final 40 + weekly quizzes 15)
Lab: 50% (15% study strategy proposal + 10% group project + 40% final individual paper + 20% discussion assignment + 15% participation)

The lecture grade is curved based on the performance of all students. You can earn 1% extra credit by participating in a SONA study for your lecture part after the curve is applied.
Lab grade is curved based on the performance of students in your session. For both the lecture and lab part, if your grade is higher than the average, you will at least get some form of B (they said the curve would never hurt your grade).

I ended up in an A+:

Lecture (A+):
midterm (39/40, mean 33)
final (40/40, mean 32)
quizzes (15/15, mean unknown)
I did the 1% extra credit SONA study

Lab (A+):
participation 100%
study strategy (81/100, mean 78, sd 13, I didn't do very well, and I'll explain why later)
group project (98/100, mean 81, sd 14)
final paper (99/100, mean unknown)
discussion (59/60, mean unknown)

Tips:

1. The practice exams will give you a general idea of what the actual exams look like. Usually, the question will describe an experiment and then ask several questions regarding this experiment. I recommend you do all the practice exams (they gave us a short version, around 40 questions, and a long version, around 140 questions, before each exam). Ask questions and make sure you understand all the concepts before the exam. Almost every question was about concepts from lectures, but I remember one on the midterm that asked something from the textbook.

2. Bring DETAILED questions to your TA's office hours. I didn't do that before turning in my first graded assignment (study strategy proposal) and got a grade much lower than my expectation. After I got my grade back, I rewrote the part I got marked off and brought them to my TA's office hours, and made sure I understood why I got the point deducted (which was very helpful because then I realized that sometimes I didn't answer or just misunderstood what they asked on the instruction). For later assignments, I always brought MANY DETAILED questions to office hours and got them clarified.

3. Start to write your assignment ASAP; otherwise, you won't have enough time to ask questions and revise your assignment. Especially for the final paper, writing itself will take a long time (I'm not a fast writer, though). My final write-up was around 14 pages (of course, double-spaced), including a title page and 1.5 pages of reference.

4. For the group project, I think whether the experience is good or not will very likely depend on your group members. I'm SO lucky to have two great group members!! We shared responsibilities and went to office hours together, so everything went very smoothly for us. We also scheduled some meetings other than the regular discussion time. The group paper helped my individual write-up a lot (because the individual paper is also about your group experiment, although you cannot use any "group intelligence" from the group project assignment).

Lastly, I want to say that I'm a TRANSFER student, and this class is NOT as HARD as many people (including myself before taking it) imaged. It's definitely not the hardest class I've taken (but it's the most time-consuming one LOL). Please believe in yourself! If you'd like to devote your time and energy, you will learn A LOT from it.
BTW, my TA is Grace, and she is so supportive and sweet (:

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Quarter: Winter 2020
Grade: B+
March 25, 2020

The professor is very nice and helpful, but it was just the class itself and the material that made me hate it. There are just too many questions on both exams that have similar answers and these questions are gonna confuse you. The lab work is definitely a heavy load, but if you communicate well with your TA and ask to clarify the requirements of the rubric you'll do well. As for the lecture, I would say read the book because although she only put 3-4 questions from it, these questions can help boost your score. These exams were definitely stressful and the best way to prepare for them is to complete the practice exams they post. Start your papers at least a week ahead so you have time to edit and ask your TA questions.

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Quarter: Winter 2020
Grade: A+
March 24, 2020

First off, don't be too afraid of this class. I was absolutely terrified because literally everyone tells you how bad it is. However, after taking this class, I can say that I learned a lot and that as long as you really try your best, it shouldn't be THAT bad as everyone says. I got an A+ but I definitely worked my ass off for it.
I can say professor Firstenberg was one of the best lecturers I had in college so far. Extremely clear and actually kept me awake for every lecture despite it being an 8am. There isn't that much material each lecture and I really liked that she wrote on the board instead of using slides so I could actually write notes by hand for once because I could still keep up with her. She used good examples that actually helped me understand the material. Overall, super glad I had her as my 100b professor. On the other hand, lab can be draining just by the fact that you spend 4 hours a week in lab. But even then, it's not too bad. It's mostly the group project that can be annoying.

Just as a reference for what I needed to get an A+:
<Lecture>
Exam 1: 39/40 (avg: 31)
Exam 2: 36/40 (avg: 29.9)
<Lab>
Method edit: 4.5/5
Advice proposal: 70/100 (avg: 73)
Group project proposal: 89/100 (avg: 83ish)
Final write-up: 95/100 (avg: 78.8)
Poster: 4.5/5
Quizzes: 15/15
Participation: unknown but I think I participated in discussion quite a bit, went to office hours, asked a lot of questions so I assume it was good
I only wrote the mean scores for stuff I knew/remembered.
I think my TA was on the harsher side of grading things but lab grade is curved for each section so as long as you're above the mean within your section you should be okay.
In terms of the group project – yes, this is the shittiest part of the whole class unless you have good teammates. I did 80% (if not, ALL) of the work but I was lucky because our group got a research topic I was actually interested in so it wasn't as painful as it could have been.

Tips:
- I'd try to keep up with the readings and take notes on them. The reading really isn't bad because a lot of it overlaps w lecture material but there are just some stuff she doesn't mention in class at all. I'd say max. 3 problems from the book for each exam. Yeah, it doesn't seem like much and not worth it but think of them as free points given to those who actually read.
- Even if you get shitty group members, don't lose all hope and motivation. Focus on the exams and ace them because at the end of the day it's 60% of your grade.
- Do NOT give up just because your group is shitty. I know it sucks to do all the work for your group but if they're shit, you just gotta push through and do all of it if they don't. You always have the teammate evaluation form at the end of the class to truthfully let your TA know that you had to do all the work.
- Definitely take advantage of the practice exams/questions. I personally think they are a pretty good representation of the actual exams. The actual exams are a little harder but not crazy harder. Exam 2 was for sure harder than exam 1.
- For the writing assignments for lab, really read the workbook (writing guidelines/rubric pages) and check off things to make sure you included every single component they asked for. I saw a lot of people get points docked for missing parts the workbook mentioned. Double check for APA formatting. Make sure to have a decent amount of relevant references for the final write-up. I had at least 7. The papers take up a LOT time so write ahead of time, try to get feedback from your TA as much as possible whenever you can and even from other TAs too.

This class was a pain mostly for the group stuff but other than that, it was one of those classes that didn't teach useless bullshit. I feel like I actually learned valuable research/analytical skills. If you're interested in going to graduate school for psych, I think this class is really great for getting a taste of what grad school would be like I assume. If you absolutely dreaded this class, maybe grad school isn't for you..?

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Quarter: Winter 2022
Grade: A+
March 19, 2022

Lecture - 240 pt
Lab - 120 pt
ALM - 40 pt
E.C. 9 pt
400 pt total

The instructors for this class could not have been more thorough in their explanations, expectations, and organization. When they redid the PSYCH 100B class, they really went all out. It was incredibly manageable if you put in the time. I didn't do much practice outside of watching the lectures and attentively doing the ALMs and labs. Most labs were completion based but the ones that were graded on accuracy were graded super harshly. I got Cs on those. Even then, doing well on the exams carried my grade. The ALMS were all for completion credit so that was easy points. Overall, this class was well run. Although the concepts were sometimes dense, the course was manageable and full of useful information for research.

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Quarter: Winter 2022
Grade: B-
March 16, 2022

Professor Firstenberg is a great teacher, but this class is just awful. I had 100% in this class until week 5 when we had our first exam (the midterm). My grade dropped significantly after that point and it was too late for me to do much about it besides work as hard as I could on the rest of the lab assignments and the final. There are extra credit opportunities, which if you complete them all, raise your grade by about 1.5%. The one thing that killed me in this class were the tests. I don't feel that they reflected what we learned during lecture and she kept changing the grading scheme throughout the quarter. The labs are rough for no reason. A large portion of the class did poorly on the two large lab assignments in this class and from what I heard and experienced, it wasn't clear why. She absolutely will not curve the class so keep that in mind because with the average midterm grade being a 73 (or around there) you're bound to run into some issues. I wouldn't recommend this class unless you are an absolutely perfect student and dedicate every hour of your day to this class.

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Quarter: Winter 2022
Grade: B
March 6, 2022

I honestly never write reviews but this is so necessary. Yes 100b has become much easier than what it was before. The lecture content and class content is really easy in my opinion to understand, but when it comes to the midterm and final its a whole different ballgame. The practice exams and lecture content are not a reflection of what will be asked on the exams. The questions are definitely meant to trick you as much as your TA's and Firstenburg says they aren't. There isn't really a way to prepare yourself for these exams because the practice questions are much easier. The only advice I have is to analyze everything in the scenarios to an extreme before choosing an answer choice. Basically become a pro at reading these scenarios as if you're the researcher doing them. Not being able to go back to the question after answering it also makes the exams even more hard. Overall, exams are hard but the class itself is easy. Curious if other Professors for 100b have easier exam questions similar to the ones on the practice exams. Good luck!

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Quarter: Winter 2022
Grade: C-
Feb. 3, 2022

Oh my god y’all this professor is crazy! We just took a midterm (WHICH WAS NO WAY NEAR THE PRACTICE EXAMS) and her answer choices were cut off. She doesn’t want to compensate us for her fault! Average on the midterm was a C and people are shocked right now. She’s rude, disrespectful, and doesn’t care about her students.

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Quarter: Summer 2018
Grade: A+
Sept. 26, 2018

After finishing Psych 100B, I have a strong desire to de-mystify this class for aspiring psych majors. Below you will find a guide that I would have found helpful when beginning this class.

Please note that this class’s structure will be changing in Fall 2018, but I still feel as though the basic advice I have can apply.

Is this class impossibly hard? Not really, in my opinion. By and large, people find this class to be extremely difficult, impossibly graded, and just plain unfair. I came into the class thinking that all the negatives you see here on this BruinWalk page would be the reality. In my experience, it really, really wasn't the reality. Was it a stressful class? Yes, it was, but all my classes give me stress. Truth be told if you actually put in the effort, you will be rewarded. However, a few baseline skills help to do well:

1. If you are an excellent writer, this class will be a breeze. I am double-majoring with History, so I have been through the gauntlet when it comes to challenging and long papers. The writing assignments in this class are on the easy side if you are an experienced writer. You get automatic style points if you know how to write with clarity, good grammar, and nice flow. However, the majority of psych majors (in my experience), are not as used to writing, and writing a lot.

2. You need to have good study habits. If you take the class in the summer like I did, the final will creep up on you because it happens around the same time as the first submission deadline. However, if you are taking stellar notes during lecture and are studying them many days in advance of each quiz, you will be well-prepared for the final without even doing dedicated studying. If you last-minute study for quizzes just by skimming over your half-done notes from lecture and then begin studying for the final at 10 PM the night before, you will not do as well. Treat the class like a job – put in the effort consistently and throughout the quarter and you will wonder what all the fuss about the class is about.

3. I think general communication skills are important just so you can easily talk to your TA and the professor and communicate what you need help with. If you are afraid of your TA or the professor, you will be left with unanswered questions and confusion. If you want a good grade, you have to push past any fear of a bad interaction with your TA or the professor. It is imperative that you show your instructors that you’re there to fight and are willing to learn and grow from this experience.

If you have all, some, or none of those skills, there are some other ways to help you succeed and learn in this class:

1. Take it in the summer with no other classes. It is only 6 weeks as opposed to 10 weeks, and it will be your main focus. I worked alongside this class (usually more than 12 hours a week) and still did very well because my only academic attention was directed towards this class. If you are directing your brain into to many different classes, it will be tougher to do well because this class requires your full attention.

However, the grading scheme is flipped in the summer: 60% section and 40% lecture (it is the other way around in the normal school year). If you find that you are not a good writer and would rather not have more than half your grade focused on section where all the writing is, you may want to take it in the school year. Also, in the school year, you are given weeks to write assignments, while in summer you are given a few days to one week to do all the writing assignments. Since I am an experienced writer, this time pressure didn’t really get to me, but I know it can be a lot for those not used to writing a lot in a short period of time. If you feel that either of these facets of the summer version of this course concern you, maybe you should bite the bullet and do it in the school year. I still recommend pushing through in the summer.

2. How to overcome not being the best writer? Start your assignments as soon as they are assigned. Read over them daily, making edits along the way. Always make sure they line up with the APA guidelines in the course reader and APA manual. The longer you spend with a paper, the better it will be, believe it or not. Also, you can take your papers to the writing center to get a second set of eyes on it. Finally, you can also ask your TA questions - they have a limited scope with what they are allowed to help with, but it is still important to ask as many questions as possible to clarify content.

Now let’s talk about Professor Firstenberg: she is absolutely lovely. She is a wonderful lecturer and makes the concepts very accessible and interesting to learn. However, I think her stand-out quality is how kind, responsive, and helpful she is. It is easy to get wrapped up in section and forget that she is there to help, but I would recommend to talk with her at least a few times. She is the quickest professor I have ever had when it comes to answering emails: she answered one of my emails within 3 minutes of me sending it! She was also helpful when it came to section, believe it or not. She sat after lecture and helped students run through their group experiments and gave feedback on all of them, and even offered ways to improve them. She is so kind and helpful and I wish more professors were like her. Also, I hope students don’t blame her for how hard the grading can be. The class has been taught this way since the 1970s according to my TA and is consistent across professors.

How about TAs? It is luck of the draw, pretty much. Some are easier graders, and some are harder graders, but at the end of the day it doesn’t matter what type of grader your TA is because (as I understand) the curve applies within sections and between sections. This means that if you have a hard grader, you won’t be punished, your grade will be adjusted accordingly. This also means that if you have an easy grader, you won’t necessarily get a better grade. The danger is running into a TA that a) you do not get along with b) is not well-versed in the class or its material c) or is just generally bad at communication, answering questions, and teaching. I would say I was lucky because my TA was very well-versed in the class and its material and was in-tune with student concerns. I have no gauge to say what type of grader my TA was as I do not know of the averages of other sections, but as I mentioned before it doesn’t really matter. All that matters is performing above the mean in your own section.

Speaking of grades, here is my grade breakdown which can be helpful when gauging where you might stand in the class*:

Method section: 91% (average: 79%, SD: 6)
Group project: 83% (average: 77%, SD: 6)
Quizzes: 100%
First submission: 92% (average and SD are unknown)
Grade for the in-class final: 37/40
Final submission: 94% (average and SD are unknown)
Final grade in the class: A+

* Please note that due to the curve, the actual percentages really don't matter. All that matters is that you perform above the mean, ideally 1-2 SD above the mean. Easily my grades and the section averages could have been knocked down 20 percentage points each and it would be the exact same grade in the end. Students get caught up in the percentages, when in reality if you scored a 68% on an assignment where the average was a 50% and standard deviation was 6, you would be easily at an A. Please always keep this in mind, the percentages do not matter and are usually not consistent across sections and across quarters. All you need to care about is if you are consistently above the mean and are performing at the top of your section.

Here is what actually makes up your final grade (in the summer):

40% Lecture (1 multiple-choice exam that counts for 40% of your final grade)
60% Section (15% quizzes, 10% participation, assignments 75% - which are broken down into: 5% method section, 10% team project proposal, 60% project report [which is split into 35% for the first submission and 65% for the final report])

SUMMARY:
If you are a dedicated and driven student who puts in the effort and wants to succeed, you should do well. Start your assignments early, take your papers to the writing center, get to know your TA and professor, study early and consistently for the exam, become well-versed with the APA manual and its requirements. In the end, there is no secret formula to this class: if you put in the work, you will be rewarded.

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Quarter: Winter 2019
Grade: N/A
March 20, 2019

It is incredible how you can read the book, do the practice exams, and still do miserably poor on the actual exams because the exams are created to trick you. They want you to fail. Make sure you know how to decipher cryptic messages because there is nothing clear about this class. The professor needs a lesson in proper email etiquette; super rude.

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Quarter: Winter 2022
Grade: B
March 20, 2022

I know that this course has been redesigned to be "easier" but in no way was this class easy. I almost want to know what it was like prior to them restructuring it. The professor's lectures were dry, boring, and made me realize that I NEVER want to work in a research position in Psychology. The exams in no way reflected what the practice exams she provided to us showed. Our midterm was formatted online so poorly that the class exam average was ~ 72%... We had to all as a class collectively email her, as well as the department to complain about the unfairness of the formatting and her refusal to change it. She eventually changed it and allowed us to "double" the final exam. (Her first solution was to require us to choose if we wanted to 1. Keep both final test grades, or 2. Double the value of the final exam grade. We would have had to submit that decision to her BEFORE Week 7.) That's when we decided to email the department head, who thankfully shut that down and "encouraged" her to allow us to keep whichever score was the best score without making a choice ourselves... Exams were also designed to be "sequential" meaning you cannot go back and review your answers or skip any before moving on to the next.. These exams were a LOT more stressful than they needed to be.

Her TA's were awesome - shout out to lead TA Ginny for her SUPER HELPFUL ALM VIDEOS AND CONTENT EXPLANATIONS!!! Ryan S. was also an incredible TA if he ever teaches this course again.

The fact that I managed to pull off a passing grade in this course is something short of a literal MIRACLE. I was able to enroll in Psych 100B course for the next quarter during my first pass and I was PREPARED to fail it. (I'm also an honors student BTW!)

When you get to this class, literally take it with ANY other professor - NOT THIS ONE!!! STAY AWAY AT ALL COSTS IF YOU VALUE YOUR PHYSICAL HEALTH, WELLBEING, AND SANITY!!

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COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Quarter: Winter 2021
Grade: A+
March 20, 2021

What makes up for your final grade:

Lecture: 50% (midterm 40 + final 40 + weekly quizzes 15)
Lab: 50% (15% study strategy proposal + 10% group project + 40% final individual paper + 20% discussion assignment + 15% participation)

The lecture grade is curved based on the performance of all students. You can earn 1% extra credit by participating in a SONA study for your lecture part after the curve is applied.
Lab grade is curved based on the performance of students in your session. For both the lecture and lab part, if your grade is higher than the average, you will at least get some form of B (they said the curve would never hurt your grade).

I ended up in an A+:

Lecture (A+):
midterm (39/40, mean 33)
final (40/40, mean 32)
quizzes (15/15, mean unknown)
I did the 1% extra credit SONA study

Lab (A+):
participation 100%
study strategy (81/100, mean 78, sd 13, I didn't do very well, and I'll explain why later)
group project (98/100, mean 81, sd 14)
final paper (99/100, mean unknown)
discussion (59/60, mean unknown)

Tips:

1. The practice exams will give you a general idea of what the actual exams look like. Usually, the question will describe an experiment and then ask several questions regarding this experiment. I recommend you do all the practice exams (they gave us a short version, around 40 questions, and a long version, around 140 questions, before each exam). Ask questions and make sure you understand all the concepts before the exam. Almost every question was about concepts from lectures, but I remember one on the midterm that asked something from the textbook.

2. Bring DETAILED questions to your TA's office hours. I didn't do that before turning in my first graded assignment (study strategy proposal) and got a grade much lower than my expectation. After I got my grade back, I rewrote the part I got marked off and brought them to my TA's office hours, and made sure I understood why I got the point deducted (which was very helpful because then I realized that sometimes I didn't answer or just misunderstood what they asked on the instruction). For later assignments, I always brought MANY DETAILED questions to office hours and got them clarified.

3. Start to write your assignment ASAP; otherwise, you won't have enough time to ask questions and revise your assignment. Especially for the final paper, writing itself will take a long time (I'm not a fast writer, though). My final write-up was around 14 pages (of course, double-spaced), including a title page and 1.5 pages of reference.

4. For the group project, I think whether the experience is good or not will very likely depend on your group members. I'm SO lucky to have two great group members!! We shared responsibilities and went to office hours together, so everything went very smoothly for us. We also scheduled some meetings other than the regular discussion time. The group paper helped my individual write-up a lot (because the individual paper is also about your group experiment, although you cannot use any "group intelligence" from the group project assignment).

Lastly, I want to say that I'm a TRANSFER student, and this class is NOT as HARD as many people (including myself before taking it) imaged. It's definitely not the hardest class I've taken (but it's the most time-consuming one LOL). Please believe in yourself! If you'd like to devote your time and energy, you will learn A LOT from it.
BTW, my TA is Grace, and she is so supportive and sweet (:

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Quarter: Winter 2020
Grade: B+
March 25, 2020

The professor is very nice and helpful, but it was just the class itself and the material that made me hate it. There are just too many questions on both exams that have similar answers and these questions are gonna confuse you. The lab work is definitely a heavy load, but if you communicate well with your TA and ask to clarify the requirements of the rubric you'll do well. As for the lecture, I would say read the book because although she only put 3-4 questions from it, these questions can help boost your score. These exams were definitely stressful and the best way to prepare for them is to complete the practice exams they post. Start your papers at least a week ahead so you have time to edit and ask your TA questions.

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Quarter: Winter 2020
Grade: A+
March 24, 2020

First off, don't be too afraid of this class. I was absolutely terrified because literally everyone tells you how bad it is. However, after taking this class, I can say that I learned a lot and that as long as you really try your best, it shouldn't be THAT bad as everyone says. I got an A+ but I definitely worked my ass off for it.
I can say professor Firstenberg was one of the best lecturers I had in college so far. Extremely clear and actually kept me awake for every lecture despite it being an 8am. There isn't that much material each lecture and I really liked that she wrote on the board instead of using slides so I could actually write notes by hand for once because I could still keep up with her. She used good examples that actually helped me understand the material. Overall, super glad I had her as my 100b professor. On the other hand, lab can be draining just by the fact that you spend 4 hours a week in lab. But even then, it's not too bad. It's mostly the group project that can be annoying.

Just as a reference for what I needed to get an A+:
<Lecture>
Exam 1: 39/40 (avg: 31)
Exam 2: 36/40 (avg: 29.9)
<Lab>
Method edit: 4.5/5
Advice proposal: 70/100 (avg: 73)
Group project proposal: 89/100 (avg: 83ish)
Final write-up: 95/100 (avg: 78.8)
Poster: 4.5/5
Quizzes: 15/15
Participation: unknown but I think I participated in discussion quite a bit, went to office hours, asked a lot of questions so I assume it was good
I only wrote the mean scores for stuff I knew/remembered.
I think my TA was on the harsher side of grading things but lab grade is curved for each section so as long as you're above the mean within your section you should be okay.
In terms of the group project – yes, this is the shittiest part of the whole class unless you have good teammates. I did 80% (if not, ALL) of the work but I was lucky because our group got a research topic I was actually interested in so it wasn't as painful as it could have been.

Tips:
- I'd try to keep up with the readings and take notes on them. The reading really isn't bad because a lot of it overlaps w lecture material but there are just some stuff she doesn't mention in class at all. I'd say max. 3 problems from the book for each exam. Yeah, it doesn't seem like much and not worth it but think of them as free points given to those who actually read.
- Even if you get shitty group members, don't lose all hope and motivation. Focus on the exams and ace them because at the end of the day it's 60% of your grade.
- Do NOT give up just because your group is shitty. I know it sucks to do all the work for your group but if they're shit, you just gotta push through and do all of it if they don't. You always have the teammate evaluation form at the end of the class to truthfully let your TA know that you had to do all the work.
- Definitely take advantage of the practice exams/questions. I personally think they are a pretty good representation of the actual exams. The actual exams are a little harder but not crazy harder. Exam 2 was for sure harder than exam 1.
- For the writing assignments for lab, really read the workbook (writing guidelines/rubric pages) and check off things to make sure you included every single component they asked for. I saw a lot of people get points docked for missing parts the workbook mentioned. Double check for APA formatting. Make sure to have a decent amount of relevant references for the final write-up. I had at least 7. The papers take up a LOT time so write ahead of time, try to get feedback from your TA as much as possible whenever you can and even from other TAs too.

This class was a pain mostly for the group stuff but other than that, it was one of those classes that didn't teach useless bullshit. I feel like I actually learned valuable research/analytical skills. If you're interested in going to graduate school for psych, I think this class is really great for getting a taste of what grad school would be like I assume. If you absolutely dreaded this class, maybe grad school isn't for you..?

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Quarter: Winter 2022
Grade: A+
March 19, 2022

Lecture - 240 pt
Lab - 120 pt
ALM - 40 pt
E.C. 9 pt
400 pt total

The instructors for this class could not have been more thorough in their explanations, expectations, and organization. When they redid the PSYCH 100B class, they really went all out. It was incredibly manageable if you put in the time. I didn't do much practice outside of watching the lectures and attentively doing the ALMs and labs. Most labs were completion based but the ones that were graded on accuracy were graded super harshly. I got Cs on those. Even then, doing well on the exams carried my grade. The ALMS were all for completion credit so that was easy points. Overall, this class was well run. Although the concepts were sometimes dense, the course was manageable and full of useful information for research.

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Quarter: Winter 2022
Grade: B-
March 16, 2022

Professor Firstenberg is a great teacher, but this class is just awful. I had 100% in this class until week 5 when we had our first exam (the midterm). My grade dropped significantly after that point and it was too late for me to do much about it besides work as hard as I could on the rest of the lab assignments and the final. There are extra credit opportunities, which if you complete them all, raise your grade by about 1.5%. The one thing that killed me in this class were the tests. I don't feel that they reflected what we learned during lecture and she kept changing the grading scheme throughout the quarter. The labs are rough for no reason. A large portion of the class did poorly on the two large lab assignments in this class and from what I heard and experienced, it wasn't clear why. She absolutely will not curve the class so keep that in mind because with the average midterm grade being a 73 (or around there) you're bound to run into some issues. I wouldn't recommend this class unless you are an absolutely perfect student and dedicate every hour of your day to this class.

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Quarter: Winter 2022
Grade: B
March 6, 2022

I honestly never write reviews but this is so necessary. Yes 100b has become much easier than what it was before. The lecture content and class content is really easy in my opinion to understand, but when it comes to the midterm and final its a whole different ballgame. The practice exams and lecture content are not a reflection of what will be asked on the exams. The questions are definitely meant to trick you as much as your TA's and Firstenburg says they aren't. There isn't really a way to prepare yourself for these exams because the practice questions are much easier. The only advice I have is to analyze everything in the scenarios to an extreme before choosing an answer choice. Basically become a pro at reading these scenarios as if you're the researcher doing them. Not being able to go back to the question after answering it also makes the exams even more hard. Overall, exams are hard but the class itself is easy. Curious if other Professors for 100b have easier exam questions similar to the ones on the practice exams. Good luck!

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Quarter: Winter 2022
Grade: C-
Feb. 3, 2022

Oh my god y’all this professor is crazy! We just took a midterm (WHICH WAS NO WAY NEAR THE PRACTICE EXAMS) and her answer choices were cut off. She doesn’t want to compensate us for her fault! Average on the midterm was a C and people are shocked right now. She’s rude, disrespectful, and doesn’t care about her students.

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1 of 14
3.2
Overall Rating
Based on 164 Users
Easiness 2.3 / 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 2.4 / 5 How light the workload is, 1 being extremely heavy and 5 being extremely light.
Helpfulness 3.6 / 5 How helpful the professor is, 1 being not helpful at all and 5 being extremely helpful.

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