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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.
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. :)
I personally really like Professor Caram as a person. Although his lectures may appear to be randomly ordered with no apparent connection between topics at first, it becomes obvious, later, that Professor Caram puts in a great deal of effort into helping his students understand topics.
The biggest problem my classmates had with Professor Caram was that he would often cover seemingly unrelated topics back to back. What I noticed, though, was that he was really just trying to cover as many linked topics as possible before teaching us what connected them all together. So if you have him just bear with it, it will make sense down the road.
Aside from that I found that Professor Caram's tests were pretty easy as long as you could do stoichiometry. Also, his 200-point grading scale is super clutch.
Professor Caram is charismatic, engaging, and cares about his students. Everything he covers in lecture is useful information and added with some reading from the textbook before lectures and extra practice from sapling and the textbook problems, you should succeed in this class. He gives practice midterms and finals and they are an EXACT model of what you will see in the real exam. The problems are not ridiculously hard and Professor Caram gives you all the tools you need to succeed. The weekly quizzes also aren't bad, just review a little the night before. I highly recommend taking Chem 14A with professor Caram!
There is at least one clicker question every lecture, and quizzes every monday.
The discussion groups go over worksheets that are relevant to what is discussed in lecture that week (some harder than others).
As long as you keep up with the ((STRONGLY RECOMMENDED)) textbook problems that he assigns, and don't fall behind, then you should be fine.
As a person, Dr. Caram is very funny and his lectures were often entertaining - though not too much to be distracting from the material.
On the downside, his research into lasers and light waves clearly shows through in tests and worksheets, to the point that I felt like I was taking a physics class at some points. The class is frontloaded with a lot of physics-esque conceptualization, and trails out to easiness toward the end.
TAs do most (if not all) of the grading, so what you get might depend on your TA
Justin isn't the best at explaining concepts or answering questions, but he's nice and wants you to succeed so he makes the tests/quizzes really fair. Read the textbook before lecture and go over the practice tests he gives you and the class will be pretty easy. The quizzes and tests are easier or the exact same questions as the real ones.
The class as a whole was reasonably difficult with plenty of resources to help you learn, but Caram as a lecturer was not the greatest. His slides and explanation during lectures were convoluted, and he was not good at dumbing down the information for first year students, so don't be worried when you come out of lecture not understanding anything. The textbook was not necessary at all as online resources such as youtube videos were far more useful in clearing up anything confusing from lecture. The homework isn't required, but I recommend doing it because that's how I learned to do all the math. The two midterms and final were challenging but the graders are really generous with partial credit and the average for all three were mid 80s which is high. The weekly quizzes are easy if you do the homework. Most exams have extra credit, and he will round your grade so getting an A is easier than other professors.
My grade turned out fine, but I had to get a lot of help in order to succeed. I pretty much went to my TA's office hours every week because they actually bothered to break things down step by step. Dr. Caram's office hours aren't very helpful. He explains things exactly how he does in class, so if you don't understand it in class, you're pretty much screwed. His class is not Bruincasted, so if you miss a lecture, that sucks. He goes into more depth than is on his slides, so copying notes from a friend will only get you so far. The weekly quizzes are really easy since they're very similar to the practice quizzes he posts. His midterms and final are more difficult. While they resemble the practice exams posted online, he does create a new question for each of these tests. The most difficult part about this class is that were required to make connections between concepts ourselves. Dr. Caram will not make the connections for you. Often times, these connections are important to be successful on tests. Additionally, there are concepts not emphasized in lecture that end up being a large part. If you put in the work you can be successful in this class.