Based on 33 Users
Absolutely phenomenal. A lot of the other reviews on here are mixed because they are from last year, Caram's first year teaching 14A. He has improved drastically since.
His lectures are engaging. He constantly uses real-world examples to demonstrate how Chemistry actually applies to our everyday lives. You feel like you're learning rather than just memorizing a series of facts.
And he has a booming voice that keeps you alert. I didn't truly appreciate this until I listened to Lavelle give a lecture and his soft, British-accented purr nearly rendered me comatose.
The only workload is optional practice questions on Sapling and optional practice midterms and finals leading up to the exams. Do them! It's nice that he trusts you to manage your own studying. He gives you everything you need and lets you decide what works best for you.
And the exams are definitely fair. He offers so much partial credit that even if you don't know what you're doing but do the stoichiometry and show all your work, you'll be fine.
And the TA's! Take advantage of their office hours. I really, really mean this: the TA's in this class are one-of-a-kind brilliant.
PROTIP: Share Sapling with a buddy or five and split the cost.
do yourself a favor and don't take this class. Justin is smart but he seems like he has 0 interest in teaching. he does not seem like he knows the material well enough to be teaching it. he just derives equations on the board without any good explanation. his homework and exams are impossible because he puts stuff on there that he has not taught us yet. this class is notoriously hard but taking it with him will make your life absolute hell. by far the worst chemistry professor i have ever had.
DO NOT TAKE THIS CLASS WITH THIS PROFESSOR
He is not clear at all. Very very very disorganized person. His homewokrs and exams are questions that haven't been taught to us. It looks like he doesn't care bout this class, and is not a good professor at all.
Honestly, I can't begin to express how much I love Caram. I mean, the guy doesn't even use a mic to begin with in a huge lecture hall so that tells you his voice won't be putting you to sleep anytime soon.
Each day, he starts his slides off with a meme (so he def knows his target audience) and the slides are never info dense with just text filled to the brim. He engages the class with clickers (so make sure to show up to class) and he always makes an effort to relate the chemistry content that we are learning to the real world. He gives weekly quizzes that are very doable and its just to make sure you have been keeping up with that week's content.
His midterms and finals are also not too difficult, if you go over his lecture slides and go to TA office and review hours, you will be more than prepared. The problems are very straightforward, and Caram wants you to succeed. He won't include any trick or convoluted questions intended to make you confused. Also, the grading from the TA's are amazing, like you can miss the question completely but still get 3/4 of the credit from your work.
At the end of the day, you can't go wrong with Caram. This man loves chemistry just as much as he loves his wife and loves talking about his own research. He's also just a goofy and lovable guy, and won't fail to put a smile on your face. :)
THIS WAS THE WORST CLASS THAT I HAVE EVER TAKEN. Caram made everyone so stressed out the entire quarter. He is a smart guy, who is a researcher NOT A PROFESSOR. He has no idea how to teach and would send us emails that his lectures were quote "100% wrong" and he would scramble to take notes on everything he said then he would randomly cross out his work infront of all of us realizing he often did stuff wrong.
His office hours were held from 10-11pm at night and many of us would always go because he gave us exams every Friday including the last lecture. Many of us were first quarter freshman and barely had any knowledge on chemistry and he REVIEWED NOTHING nor gave a background which screwed me over for other chem classes in the series. His worksheets were completely impossible and even the TA's didn't understand them completely.
If you are already a chem god then you'll be fine but otherwise this was literally the worst class I have ever taken.
I took 14A fall quarter of 2018, and even though I got a decent grade in it in the end, I would not recommend this class. Caram's lecturing style was very disorganized and often confusing. I feel like if he was able to make the material more understandable, it would have been a breeze. He was fast and we went through a lot of content in this class. I've also attended his BPlate office hours but there were so many people, it was hard for him to accommodate everyone so that was not worth going to. The section worksheets were unusually hard. The midterms, however, were the worst part of it. They were very strangely worded and difficult to understand. Even though I had studied for about a week for the test, looking through homework problems and trying to understand the worksheets, those did not help prepare me for his exams. It was not just applying your prior understanding of the subject, but also it included having to learn often some new concepts introduced during the exam in order to do some of the problems. The final was much better, as he provided us a practice final which had a 3-4 almost identical problems on the actual final. Additionally, the quizzes were fair in my opinion, unlike the midterms. Overall, I got a D and a B on the two midterms and A- on the final and ended up with an A. I am glad Caram provided extra credit in the end because this class was difficult for an introductory chemistry class.
Terrible class. I did fine, but I probably would have done better in Lavelle. He had quizzes every Friday that he never gave enough time for and they caused so much unnecessary stress. His midterms were literally impossible, but he was nice on the final. At the end, it didn't matter because I had done so poorly on the second midterm even after studying. He knows his stuff but is unable to explain it correctly. Just save yourself the worrying and take Lavelle.
I personally liked Caram. His quizzes were extremely fair, and his midterms were not bad. His final did include material he never taught but introduced on the exam. He was pretty generous with the curve. I got an A on the first midterm, a D on the second, and a B on the final. Overall I did like this class. Natalie, my TA, saved my grade! She was the best and explained the trickier concepts really well.