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Professor Merchant is one of the most approachable professors I have encountered at UCLA. Her tests were challenging in that some of the questions expected you to "apply" concepts learned, and even to formulate logical answers to material not necessarily covered during class. She is a very nice lady, always willing to help during office hours. She really takes interest in the students and gives immense hope for a high grade in the course. Even after a midterm with a low score, she motivates you to study by saying, "You can still get your A". I wish other professors would do that as well. Those who do well in her class obviously put in the time and really deserve the grade. The course is not an easy A, but it is not impossibly difficult either.
This class is HARD...If you think 153A is bad, this is 5 times harder. I took this class with two microbiology upper divs and I spent 5-10 times more time and definitely many times more stress on 153C.
Merchant herself is a very approachable person, and you can learn a lot just by talking to her, considering that you know Biochem well. She has a good personality, and although the lectures were very err...information based, the handouts for each topic were useful (Though a lot of material are straight from the book). This class is hard in that there are a lot of material to memorize and digest.
The tests vary from moderately hard to very hard. They are do-able but you have to think fast. I actually hope that some of the questions are shorter (Not like a whole paragraph) because they are hard to understand.
I feel that I learned a lot from this class, but if I have a choice of not taking it, I'll prefer not to, or take it at another college that has the material more spread out over the course.