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Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.
Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.
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You don't have to know anything about science to pass this course. All that is required is you memorize all those countless slides and pages in the textbook. Names of enzymes, how many ATP produced/consumed, structures of amino acids, pka's, cycles and chains blah blah blah. If you get through all your classes by mindless memorization, you'll be right at home in this course. However, if you like to understand concepts and study hard for that understanding, you'll do poor in this course. I came into 153A with enthusiasm and left very bitter and discouraged. I should really thank Nelson though, because it was her and this course that made me decide to switch my major out of biochemistry into chemistry.
I was really mad when I heard that she got fired after I took her for 153A. And then I found out that she's indeed teaching 153A again next quarter which makes me happy because all you suckers are gonna suffer hell like me to the twentieth power. Her lectures are pointless, her TAs are clueless, and her tests might as well be written in Navvi. I hated her and her stupid cheery facade and I'm sure 98% of the class did too. Although I have to say that she is pretty brilliant for the questions she came up with on the final about babies and baby food but for the love God, she's not even human the way she runs that class. Yes, there is a huge ass curve that helped but Nelson should be banned for all eternity to a massive minefield for what she did to us. Brutal superbitch. So yes, you should all take her because you'll have the time of your lives in that class.
Before I took the class I heard about the horrid things that came along with it. The first day I walked in she was the nicest person on earth, no joke. She seemed so enthusiastic about the subjects and always had a smile one. I figured wow she can't be as cruel as everyone made her out to be. Then the first midterm rolled by...Good Lord I have never walked out of a midterm that confused. She tested the most details on the test and justified her difficult test as "biochem is a challenging course, so I would like to challenge you" Challenge was the wrong word choice..maybe kill was more appropriate. No matter how much you study you will still not do well. There should be no reason why anyone would willingly take her class. WAIT for another professor to teach this class. She makes it way too hard than it should be. HATE HER now!
Okay, for the record, the only reason why the people below and myself got A's in this class was because of the HUGE ASS CURVE. I still to this day have no idea what the hell happened in that class. It was a big blur due to the copious amount of caffeine I chugged to get through lectures. Did i study hard? Hell ya!!! But not any harder than all my other classes which I only get B's in. Why? THE HUGE ASS CURVE!! Thank god for all the other people who couldn't remember the difference between leucine and valine or between sphingolipids and the other thing with a squiggly chain of carbons.
"Good morning and...happy Monday!" or "Good afternoon~" to you all.
She starts off every class with a variation of the greetings above. She's really nice and loves biochemistry. I mean, she has a smiley face covering her office window, just to get an idea of how nice she is.
She likes details and finding themes in the material that she will test on. Her test questions are creative, although sometimes based on concepts barely covered in class. She loves the book, so you should read it. Her lecture slides are posted, but they are mostly unannotated figures, so the podcast is more helpful. She writes on the board a lot, so you should go to class. The curve is nice, and she gives 4 quizzes in discussion section, so be sure to sign up for a section you can attend. This class is a fair amount of work to handle, so put the time in studying as much as possible, do the practice exams, and seek outside help if needed to succeed.
Random facts: She loves America's Best Dance Crew. Also, I heard a rumor that she may not be teaching at UCLA anymore.
Ok I guess I'm the minority here but I thought Nelson was really good. I got an A in her class and I felt like her grading was very very fair (there was never a time when I missed a question because I had never seen something before, but rather only when I hadn't studied enough). I thought that her lectures were good, and I didn't open the textbook one single time. She gives you everything you need to do well on her tests, which is a lot more than most professors, and so long as you put in the work you will see the results (as opposed to teachers who make tests where you open it and feel like you've never seen anything like it before). I think that a lot of people just went about the class the wrong way, probably just memorizing everything and hoping that they'll do ok. If you want to do well in her class, sure you have to have everything memorized (she has 4 quizzes throughout the quarter to help you with just that), but you also have to know how things work and understand relationships and similarities between processes. She also incorporates math-based questions onto her exams, so you really have to know what you're doing. Now, this would seem really really hard, but fortunately for you Nelson puts every single one of her past exams with fully written out solutions on her webpage, so all you have to do is take like 2-4 practice tests and make sure you understand everything and you'll get an A. The practice tests also help you focus on what you need to know really well and what you don't need to know at all. If you do bad on a test, don't worry, because so did everyone else. The class is normalized to a B, so even if you feel like you failed a test you'll still probably do well. Also, she gives quizzes which basically serve to boost your grade, so long as you aren't lazy and actually take the 15-30 minutes it takes to memorize the information on one sheet of paper. In all, I thought Nelson was a good teacher, with average lectures but excellent tests and test-prep material.
This class was one of the hardest classes I have taken at UCLA. Professor Nelson is EXTREMELY detail oriented. She requires her students to memorize details that would normally be glanced over while studying. This was very tricky. However, the way in which she writes her test can be predictable. After completing the first midterm, the second midterm was definitely easier. This class requires a lot of attention and time but coming out of it, I learned a lot more than in my other classes. This class definitely helped me prepare for my mcats. I do recommend her. I worked hard and got an A. This class is very doable and worthwhile... just be sure to put the effort in.
This is the hardest class I've taken at UCLA. Honestly, I don't think it would have been this hard if the professor were better. Professor Nelson is the worst professor I've ever had. Be prepared to take something stimulating to class to keep you awake. Her lecture presentations are useless given that all her slides are graphs, charts, or pictures of proteins. You basically have to read the entire book and memorize it because you won't learn anything in lecture. She wastes time in lecture with the most useless details. There is no substance in her presentations because all her slides are pictures. She is also one of the most unpredictable professors I've had. There are two midterms and a final. There are two parts to her final. The first part is supposed to emphasize that last four weeks worth of material. Weeks 7-10 of the quarter is dedicated to learning the Glycolysis, Pyruvate Dehydrogenase Complex, The Citric Acid Cycle, The Electron Transport Chain/ Oxidative Phosphorylation in great depth. One would assume that she would write an exam that would focus on these pathways due to the fact that four weeks were dedicated to them. Leave it to Nelson to tell her students to study these cycles well and write an exam that had practically nothing to do with the cycles. The final I took was completely unfair and seriously came out of left field. She also has this obsession with breast milk and baby food because she has a one year old daughter. Our entire final was written about baby food. She does, however, make herself readily available for students. I don't know how much help she'll be considering the fact that she is horrible at explaining things. I found it easier to just read the book. Too put it shortly, be prepared for the unexpected in this class.