Biochemical Methods I

Steven J Kim

Biochemical Methods I

Chemistry and Biochemistry department

Steven J Kim

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Ratings

Bad
Overall 3.5
Good
Hard
Easiness of class 1.7
Easy
Heavy
Workload 1.7
Light
Not Clear
Clarity of professor 3.3
Clear
Not Helpful
Helpfulness of professor 3.8
Helpful
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Grades

Spring 2010
15.4%
12.8%
10.3%
7.7%
5.1%
2.6%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

Winter 2010
19.4%
16.2%
12.9%
9.7%
6.5%
3.2%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

Fall 2009
15.8%
13.2%
10.6%
7.9%
5.3%
2.6%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

Spring 2006
15.5%
12.9%
10.3%
7.7%
5.2%
2.6%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

Fall 2006
19.3%
16.1%
12.8%
9.6%
6.4%
3.2%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

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1 of 4

Reviews

Quarter Taken: N/A Submitted April 7, 2014 Grade Received: N/A

You're probably reading this because you HAVE to take this class for your major or for grad/med school. Professor Kim cannot be avoided because he's the only one teaching this class so all you can do is to just suck it up and do everything you can to do well in this class.

To do well in 153L:

1. Don't rely on your friends' old stuff. Try to learn all the material on your own. Go to office hours. Go to all the lectures. Know the manual inside and out.

2. Be prepared for your labs. Know everything you have to do. When you start working with LDH, you don't wanna mess up because your work depends on the results of the previous week.

3. It's okay if you mess up on quizzes. Ace your practical and exams.

Quarter Taken: N/A Submitted Aug. 29, 2013 Grade Received: N/A

Professor Kim is a good lecturer, but he never gets through his slides on time and always goes over time to cover what he needed to in lecture, often asking us to just learn it ourselves. What you need to do in this class is to know the concepts inside and out, in every possible scenario if one variable was changed. The concepts in this class are not hard, it's just that Kim always likes putting a twist on his questions that makes things very difficult. The quizzes are important but they are not crucial for your grade. Focus most of your attention on the lab practical and the two exams.

I got below average on every single quiz, but I aced the lab practical and both exams ending with a solid A. Go to office hours. I went to at least 75% of them and they often helped A LOT. Go even if you do not have questions because the TAs are there to teach you and it's very valuable time. There are many pre-meds in the class freaking out about their grades but stick to the books and don't be intimidated. This class requires much more independent thinking than other chem labs, but stay on top of the material and you'll be fine. One of the most practical classes I've been in here at UCLA.

Quarter Taken: N/A Submitted Aug. 21, 2013 Grade Received: N/A

One more comment for the commenter posted on 8/13/2013.

Quote from you "The pencil will do on of two things: exploded with a verbal jargon of diarrhea or you will quickly jot down a simple, clear, and precise answer consisting of one or two sentences." :

While that statement is true, a "precise answer" is not what he is expecting. Have you even looked at the answer key he posted? Some of them are very convoluted and if you attempt to answer those questions in any different ways without using his "KEYWORDS" you'd be marked as incorrect. My friends, me, and even my TA all found it ridiculous.

I'm not here to argue with you, different teaching/testing styles fit different people, if he's for you then great.

Quarter Taken: N/A Submitted Aug. 21, 2013 Grade Received: N/A

To the commenter below:

It's really funny to see how you're writing a review as if you're writing an essay for your English class. Let's get real here, the fact that the class average is so low is not that the questions are hard, it's because he wants your answer to look EXACTLY the same as his.

I am the commenter below you, it turns out my official final grade is an A even my final exam is just slightly higher than the average, but I still hate his gut.

He simply doesn't want people to get good score at his exams, quizzes and papers. He told the TAs that "no one deserves 24 or higher for their final papers no matter how good it is", I don't understand this logic at all. This is not "challenging" the students, this is discouraging them. You obviously have no idea what an effective teacher is don't you? An effective teacher would not design a test that contains so much what I call "luck factor" and the test would not have a score distribution highly skewed to the lower end with very small standard deviation.

To be fair though, he does explain things quite clearly in lectures.

Quarter Taken: N/A Submitted Aug. 13, 2013 Grade Received: N/A

Please excuse any grammatical errors in this post. I put this little rant together in a rush after becoming quite disturbed by the previous summer 2013 post below. It is obvious that the person who posted below (8/10/13) has some serious anger issues and is most likely really really closed minded. Although, I myself at times felt the exact same way, it was not until I took an objective approach on my answers that I realized the true essence of Dr. Kim's teaching or art form. There are about three major things people hate about Dr. Kim's class before even stepping foot in lab. With this in mind, I will try to explain these "MISCONCEPTIONS" most students have when beginning his class in hopes of shinning some light on these topics.

The most common word on the street is , "I am going to wait until my last quarter of college to take 153L." What is all the hype about? However, after just finishing this class over the summer I can relate. I myself transferred from a community college and after finishing 153L I have to admit the communist prison approach in community college actually paid off. The reason I think people postpone this class is because you have to do annoying things that reminded of community very much of community college. For instance a protocol, lab report, quiz, and exam was always due the next day. Non-transfer UCLA kids hate this kind of thing. In the prison back at community college no one would have read your answers yet alone be even smart enough to interpret it. You might be lucky if you received a pretty dated stamp on your protocol or lab report you spent countless hours working on only in hopes that your Professor (TA's do not exist) would read, which never usually happened. 153l is survival of the fitness. Every little answer you scribble on a test/quiz, type in a lab report, and calculate on excel will be put under a large microscope. So do not hate the player hate the game. If you were to use UCLA in describing “fair,” 153L would be in the heading.

So where does the hard aspect rumor fit in? First, let me make it clear this class is not hard! Dr. Kim and the TA's literally provide every calculation and concept in a timely matter before you need to use it. This is not a "closed sourced" information class, everything is free knowledge and Dr. Kim does not keep any tricks for himself and neither do the TA's. The only few answers the TA's are not aloud to give are the grading rubric to the lab reports. But if you really wanted to know what answers the TA's are looking for in the lab report you can go to office hours. Who would of thought of such a strange thing?

Lastly and most importantly, people do badly in this class because they "cheat" or as Dr. Kim calls it, "stealing another persons hard work, thoughts, and ideas of organization." Lets just say there was a good amount of kids so far that have not received a grade yet this summer. Dr. Kim practically centers his whole class on people trying to regurgitate last quarter’s exams, quizzes, and lab reports in order to avoid other people having and advantage over others. I am not sure what kind of research or obligations Dr. Kim has but his major job is teaching and boy does he do a good job at it. For example, the 153A professor and Dr. Kim both focus on teaching but the difference between him is that he literally never recycles an old answers. Just when you thought the question could only be presented in one way he finds another way and never fails to disappoint. He challenges even the smartest student in the room while at the same time awarding points to even the simplest effort of reasonable thought processing if relevant to the answer at hand. His class is in a perpetual state of entropy and if your wasting your time studying last quarter’s exams he will find a way to throw you off in order to prove you really do not know your biochem. I mean the guy practically went to law school in his spare time while doing his PhD; if you don’t believe me then google it. He is one of those overachiever types but has been humbled over the years while teaching young students, which has only made him a better person he is today.

All in all, you cannot regurgitate answers on his exams from listing to the podcast over and over like you did in 153A. With this approach, you leave your exam feeling great, however, only to be disappointed. Later you soon realize that all that wonderful scientific diarrhea you expressed earned only a single point on a 16 point question. Actually, I had to learn the hard way in this class that it is not what you say but how you say it and not how much you write but how clear you can present it. The major takeaway is that Dr. Kim will ask a new question every quarter with a new answer in mind. You see it or you do not see it. The pencil will do on of two things: exploded with a verbal jargon of diarrhea or you will quickly jot down a simple, clear, and precise answer consisting of one or two sentences. Dr. Kim is constantly pushing you to new limits so if you have a problem then UCLA is not for you. Go Bruins!

Quarter Taken: N/A Submitted Aug. 11, 2013 Grade Received: N/A

I got an A for all 153 A,B and C, but not for this class EVEN I doubled the studying time for this class since this is my last quarter. Highly recommended if you want to jeopardize your GPA.

Kim is just ridiculous. The exams and quizzes are poorly written, you answers must be EXACTLY the same as the answer (i.e. contain all HIS "keywords") otherwise you'd lose all the points. That's why the average for the midterm and final are 37% and 36%. And in both exams only 1 out of 148 students got lucky and scored at the low 70s.

I believe he is the only professor in the chem department who'd expect students to give an answer that's verbatim of the answer key. This is NOT how you test people understanding of the material Kim, you incompetent f***.

I literally studied ALL the lecture material, ALL the problems in the problem set he posted and ALL the practice problems in the lab manual MULTIPLE TIMES, and I've NEVER EVER in my 4 years of college got a grade that bad while studying that hard for a single class.

Good luck guys, this class really depends on luck, not how much you prepare for it.....

Quarter Taken: N/A Submitted July 31, 2013 Grade Received: N/A

Dr. Kim is a very bad teacher. I sit through his lecture and learn almost nothing that pertains to anything in lab or the midterms. He teaches us one thing and tests us on something completely different. He's also very sexist. Hes very kind and easygoing with any girl he sees but this is not the case with his male students. It almost seems as if he deliberately tries to humiliate any of the male students he asks upon during class. He also teaches with so much arrogance that it is disgusting. I've never hated and I strongly want to emphasize the word "hated" a class as much as I hate this class. I think this class can be made much better and more beneficial if the instructor was good. But I think UCLA just has no control or no concern when it comes to who it hires as its instructors. Having a man like Dr. Kim teach the class not only ruins the learning experience for some many bright and exceptional student but it also ruins the reputation of such an elite school and degrades it to barely average status. Dr. Kim is by far the most difficult, arrogant, stuck up, and ineffective teacher I've had the pleasure of not enjoying.

Quarter Taken: N/A Submitted Jan. 9, 2013 Grade Received: N/A

Pros:

1) The class itself, the concepts and the labs, are actually pretty easy. People say there's a lot of busy work...this class was not that much work...I don't know what those other people were spending so much time on.

2) Professor Kim is dedicated lecturer and you can tell he actually enjoys teaching. Personally, I feel as if he is one of the best professors I've ever had.

3) The labs are actually pretty cool. For your LDH isolation project, you actually obtain a SINGLE enzyme from a slab of meat!! That's pretty freaking cool if you ask me.

4) The curve is extremely generous.

5) If you can get an A, it looks great on your apps.

Cons:

1) The tests are designed so that you cannot get perfect scores. (this is the origin of most of the complaints against Kim, but remember, the curve is VERY generous!)

2) Kim is a very, very picky grader.

3) Not all TAs are nice or helpful.

4) You may get stuck with terrible lab partners.

Overall, you're not doomed, so relax. It'll all be okay.

Quarter Taken: N/A Submitted Dec. 1, 2011 Grade Received: N/A

Dr. Kim is unorganized. The information he wants you to know is scattered throughout lecture slides and two course readers. The instructions between the course readers often conflict. He did not post due dates in a timely manner which made it hard to plan for the end of the quarter. Furthermore, if you consistently have midterm and paper averages that are very low, you are obviously not teaching your class very well. His test questions are vague and unclear. The quizzes were usually predictable if you knew how to analyze your data and do the math. The midterms were pretty long, given that you only get 50 minutes to complete them. Overall, I would NEVER recommend Dr. Kim as a professor. He's funny and nice but that's where the good ends! This class takes up more time than any other class you are taking, and is much more stressful. His lectures jump around from topic to topic -- basically whatever comes into his mind, he talks about it. He also consistently went over his 50 minute allotted lecture time by trying to cram too much information into the last five minutes. Some weeks he also expected you to know information for a quiz that he had not even covered yet.

The material is not hard. Dr. Kim is the one who makes this class difficult.

Quarter Taken: N/A Submitted July 26, 2011 Grade Received: N/A

It is unfortunate that Dr. Kim is the only professor for this class. The only lab skill taught is how to use a pipet, which seems pretty self explanatory to me. I've had Dr. Kim for other classes, and I thought his teaching style was pretty good. But for this class, the material is boring and monotonous, the labs are miserable, and the amount of busy work is literally unbelievable. The class isn't impossible, but it is painfully uninteresting and repetitive.

1 of 4

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