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Present Time (Feb 2021):
Hello My Name is Lester (Great Grandson of David Prescott Barrows 1st UC President)
I REPEAT: I rescind all my respect towards professors Yao, Sayani, Johnson, Chen, Tarr, Pau, Barnese, Williams, Gutierrez...EVERY STUDENT HAS CHEATED AT UCLA EXTENSION FOR THE SAKE OF COVID19 ADVANTAGE. I AM ASHAMED TO HAVE THESE COURSES AS PART OF APPLICATIONS TO MEDICAL SCHOOL...
Nice Lester of the Past:
Who wants to go to Medical School or any other professional graduate-level subject in your future?
Take Dr. Jacqueline Pau's class. She is a very challenging professor, so make sure you are on top of your readings, lecture notes, homework, quizzes, self and group labs. All of these requirements in her class seems to be a huge load, but in graduate-level courses and/or professional schools, the load they provide would be more than what you would expect.
These things are more of future prospects in education, but the homework she provides prepares you for her exams and the MCAT. The quizzes she gives provides the conceptual framework on how the world works and to further give you a better grasp of the equations you learn per lecture. Her lecture slides are detailed (equation sense) and she connects videos from Pearson, to provide the extra buffer to understand the material.
In the midst of COVID-19, Dr. Pau has excelled in learning the logistics of canvas, zoom, and other communication platforms. Remote instruction doesn't do her justice, if you have the opportunity to take her course in-person please do. She has beautiful handwriting, and she sets up tables in preparation for the exam.
She enjoys physics and I respect people who have the capacity to teach the subject. I was never good at physics until I took her. I always averaged a B in physics in other schools, but with her, and hard work, I rose up to an A+.
I have developed confidence in my studies in preparation for the MCAT and other derivative exams for international schools. Just remember to be patient, and formulate your questions properly so she knows how to provide the ideal help for you. Never be afraid to ask her questions. She will never spoon feed you answers, she wants you to challenge yourself because it will give you more power in the future.
Honestly, taking this class with Pau was interesting as is. Similar to other reviews, the weighting of different assignments didn't change much except for the HW and Quiz proportions just swapping (due to class voting). Nevertheless, as a quick TLDR, this class was an absolute pain to take, and even though it was online, I would still NOT want to take this class with Pau. Thus, here we go with this review - I'll systematically dissect all the components of the class to give a better overview of how this went:
During the summer, MW lectures were around 2 hours long and F lectures were 50 minutes. They were honestly long and quite tedious; she loves to go on these tangents and reiterate the same things 3-4 times over which honestly kind of annoys the hell out of me. Nevertheless, she does an aight job at explaining concepts and for the most part, isn't that bad. She does, however, just read through the slides at times and expects the students to do their part and go through them beforehand (which tbh no one really does). But in all fairness, she uses a whiteboard to further explain such concept, which is greatly appreciated. The only downside besides these is that she tends to go through things conceptually rather than practically so you'll have to do problems in order to be able to apply the things taught in the class.
The classic mastering physics homework that we all know and hate. This component was weighted at 15%, but we had 6 attempts to do each question. She likes to release a set of problems after every lecture so for the most part, they were just tedious but not necessarily too difficult as she does tailor the questions based on what she taught at the time.
Honestly the easiest part of the course. It's just basically mastering physics questions but you have 15 minutes to do around 5 ish questions. These don't take really long and as long as you understand it, it's all good and should be straightforward. Most of the time, these quizzes are conceptual so you'll be out of the woods with any big calculations. For summer 2021, this was weighted at 10%.
Tedious and annoying, similar to the other labs in the physics series. If I had to make a comparison to 5A and 5C, 5B honestly has the worst labs and is the most time-consuming. However, with this in mind, your grade in this component is really dependent on who you have as a TA but if they're nice and chill with everything you should be fine. This is weighted at 15% of your final grade.
She gave around 70 minutes for the midterm and a bit over 3 hours for the final (iirc), but honestly, this was not enough time for people to finish the questions. Prior to each exam, she gives a general overview of what type of concept was covered in each question which is nice but mastering physics questions and the stuff covered in lecture wasn't as relevant - so be prepared for these. I'm not going to get into the specifics for each exam, but it is highly recommended for you to go to the TA review sessions and do the discussion worksheets for practice, but don't go to Pau's reviews as they're utterly useless. For reference, the MT is weighted at 20% of your grade and final is at 40% of your grade (heavy stuff right here :<). In Summer 2021, the avg for the MT was at a solid 68% and the final was around 77%.
6) Extra Credit
Pau gives a total of 4% extra credit (unweighted and added to your final grade), which gave a bit of leeway but given that the final was 40% of your final grade, that's rough fam. 0.5% was from the evaluations, 2% from campuswire (which is honestly really easy to get and pretty much can be done in like 2-3 days if you just answer a bunch of questions), and 1% from discussion worksheets. Similar to the discussions in other physics courses, it's not mandatory but by turning it in (based on completion), you can get up to 1% extra credit for those, so it's quite advisable to do such bc it's really free credit right here.
7) Final Remarks
Kudos to those who got all the way to here, but for the question that everyone has been asking, would I take this class again with Pau if I had to? Hell no. Labs were tedious and annoying as hell to do. Exams were long and we weren't given sufficient time to finish them all, but all in all, it is what it is. Even though the MT avg/median was dog, she still refused to change her grading scale (which was pretty much a straight scale).
This is one of the worst professors I have had at UCLA. I really don't understand what the other reviewers are talking about; we must have sat through different classes. Her lectures were incredibly unclear and included several instances of her talking in circles and saying things wrong, only to say "actually like this" and move on without explaining properly. When I asked a question at a review session about something she didn't even explain in class, but was on the homework, she refused to explain even the basic math principles of the issue, which turned out to be very simple once I asked the TA. She was very condescending in the way she said "I'm not gonna teach you math," in a literal physics class that is all about applying equations. She also gives a ton of homework, usually over 30 problems per assignment, and gives quizzes worth 15% of the grade, but are only 5 questions, so it is really easy to miss 20% or 40% with just one or two questions wrong. Very unfair timing as well, as the quizzes are only 15 minutes, and the midterm also had very little time because we had to upload each part of each problem individually, all while trying to complete the test. If there is another professor teaching this class, I would definitely recommend taking the other professor instead.
Professor Pau is a pretty straightforward and fair professor for physics. Her lectures are engaging, and she does a lot of long, difficult problems on the board. Her class consists of many things besides exams, which I liked since it gave your grade some buffer. There are two midterms, a final, quizzes through Mastering Physics, lab, and homework through Mastering Physics.
She uses two grading schemes:
15% midterm 1, 15% midterm 2, 35% final, 10% quizzes, 10% homework, 15% lab
20% highest midterm, 45% final, 10% quizzes, 10% homework, 15% lab
As for her exams, she is not out to trick you, but they are very long. For the midterms, you only have 50 minutes to do them, and you must work quickly and efficiently if you want to finish the exam. For the final you of course have 3 hours, so time was not an issue.
Pau is super funny and sweet, and I found her very approachable. She even gave an amazing extra credit opportunity at the end of the course. A short quiz through Mastering Physics allowed us to boost our OVERALL class grade by up to 2%. So if you had a 78% in the class, you could bump that up to an 80% (!!). Very generous in my opinion,
Dr. Pau is a good professor, she can teach pretty well and explains the concepts clearly, but her exams are impossible. I studied so hard for this class- I went to office hours, asked questions, redid HW and other practice problems/Worksheets, but the final exam was so hard, I got a D on it. The midterm was a bit easier but since the final was cumulative it made it really difficult to study for everything within the short amount of time we had. There were multiple choice questions on there also that completely stumped me even though I had gone through HW and lecture concepts thoroughly. If you struggle in physics like I had, I don’t recommend with this professor or taking it in the summer for that matter, it was a horrible mistake.
I'm not good at physics to begin with so I didn't go into this class expecting an A. I got a 97% on the first midterm, 80% on the second midterm, and I guess I didn't do well enough on the final to scrape the A- haha. The homework in this class is really annoying because it's due every week, I remember spending a good 4 hours to complete each homework assignment. I'm sure it's not as bad if you work on a little everyday but who has time for that? Chegg Study will be your best friend to knowing how to do the homework problems: beware that she changes the numbers tho so just use Chegg Study to know how to do it but plug in the numbers from your version. Also reiterating what other people said about the chalkboard: it's important to sit in the very front to copy down the examples she writes that can later become exam problems. Get there as early as possible to save a good seat within the first five ish rows, otherwise it's not worth coming to class because you can't see shit. Overall, this was an okay class, not too stressful in difficulty on the exams but workload was a little much.
Grade breakdown: 10% Mastering Physics Homework, 15% Lab, 15% Quizzes, 20% Midterm, 40% Final
HOMEWORK: The same as the rest of the physics series. We had six tries before we started losing points for incorrect answers.
LAB: These labs were terrible. They would post what we needed for lab the day before and sometimes the items were very specific, and since we're in a pandemic it was annoying to have to go and buy stuff for lab on short notice. The lab instructions were also terrible. They had us attend zoom calls even though all the work was individual.
QUIZZES: We had four quizzes over summer session, with the lowest one being dropped. They were five questions and no partial credit, so it was very easy to lose points here. They weren't necessarily difficult but the conceptual questions were convoluted at times.
MIDTERM: The midterm was just like her practice midterm. Class average was around 81%. It only covered thermodynamics since we were so behind the entire session (more on that later).
FINAL: The final was three hours timed and 40% of the grade. We begged for accommodations (ie the whole day to take the final) and did not receive any. At the end of the day, the final was pretty easy and the class average was an 88%.
OVERALL: This was a terrible experience, and definitely my worst physics experience at UCLA. Professor Pau would frequently switch from slides to her whiteboard which would complicate the topics and lead to confusion. We were supposed to cover chapters 11-18 over the course of 6 weeks and instead, we did not even finish chapter 16. Pau is very confusing, and unless you're prepared to teach yourself, try and avoid her.
Jackie is alright. She's not a favorite of mine, but she's not bad either. She posts lecture slides but will use the whiteboard function on zoom to explain concepts. I actually liked this more because it helps me process the info better when she explains it as she's writing/drawing rather than reading off the slides. Midterm and final were a little challenging but fair. She also offered unweighted extra credit so that definitely helped my grade. I feel like Jackie isn't the best at answering/explaining questions if you're confused, so I would recommend going to discussion and asking your TAs. Do the discussion worksheets too and make sure you understand how to do the problems!
Pau is a pretty good lecturer, and I really liked how she did a LOT of examples in class. She worked out both conceptual and computational problems for us in class, and these are the types of questions that would appear on exams. Her exams are really fair and she does not try to throw curveballs at us. She gave out a practice exam before each midterm and final, and these were pretty representative of the actual exams. She genuinely cares about her students, and I really liked the little pep talks she would give us before each exam to motivate us to try our best and work hard.
The one main downside to her class is that you lose points for each incorrect answer on the HW in mastering physics (i.e. you get multiple tries, but lose a percentage for each incorrect answer). Also, the online quizzes were kind of annoying and tedious.
Overall, though, I would recommend Pau for any physics class!