Based on 104 User s
Overall, this is an easy although relatively uninteresting class. It mostly covers mundane stuff (ex. the powers of the US branches of government, how a budget bill is passed), which I think most people would find not super engaging. Like many have said before, Schwartz is a really nice guy (I actually found his "dad" humor kinda enjoyable), but his lectures are not super exciting and its easy to space out.
That being said, if you study appropriately, it's easy to get a good grade in the class (especially if you took AP Gov in high school or have some background knowledge of the subject). I had a TA that couldn't really speak English too well and it was still not that difficult.
What you need to do to succeed is basically cram all the material a couple nights before the mid-term and the final, and then consult your TA about your final paper to make sure its good.
I'd recommend using Schwartz "hunks" (essentially really well written, concise summaries of each of his lectures, which can sometimes be uninteresting and slow paced), in addition to, or substituting lecture attendance. Also use the test bank for the mid term and final. The tests aren't hard, but he recycles the same questions from year to year, some of which are oddly specific scenarios that I definitely wouldn't have gotten correct if I hand't used the test bank.
In summary, this class is "easy", but not in the sense that you can just sit back and expect everything to be taught to you. But take a little initiative and study for a couple nights and you can get an A. Also the textbook isn't important at all.
I never took AP Gov so in the beginning of the quarter I was honest to god lost and had no idea what was going on compared to everyone else. That said I still ended up with an A+! I never really went to lecture after the midterm - Schwartz is a nice guy but I found his slides kind of boring and he posts verbatim lecture notes online, so I stopped showing up and instead took notes on those. For the midterm, the test bank has like 40 past exams to choose from, so I printed two from different years and aced the midterm with no problems whatsoever. The test bank from the final only had 2 past exams from like 2012 and they had 20 less questions on them than our final, so I made a quizlet of info from the hunks instead, spent like three days reviewing those, and did pretty well on it considering the final grade I got :) It is a lot of memorization, but it's not too bad coming from someone who never learned anything about gov before this. Also beware that this prof does not believe in multiple choice so everything is short answer.
DON'T BUY THE LOWI BOOK. It's useless and I stopped reading it after Week 1 because it just kinda goes over the same stuff his lecture notes do. The Kollman textbook is pretty helpful for the midterm in-class essay, but after the midterm I literally never opened it again. The readings after that weren't on the final and are just meant to help you with your final essay. The final essay is based on your TA, so I went to office hours to go over my stuff and make sure I was on the right track. My TA didn't require us to reference any books or specific readings so the Kollman book was really useless after Week 5. Overall, this class is really straightforward and easy if you put in some work before the exams. Really good intro course, I'd recommend it as a GE for sure.
This class is easy, and it is very possible to get a 100 in the course. However, Prof Schwartz gives poorly made and old lectures, cannot use technology, and makes sure to put a conservative spin on American politics. The TAs were helpful, which made the class successful. There are 2 textbooks that are required, the Lowi one is not very helpful unless you need a recap of lecture material but the Kollman one is required for the midterm essay. Grading was very lenient, but Schwartz was not flexible for students in alternate time zones in regards to final exam timing. I did not learn all that much from this course, it felt like a repeat of AP Govt for the most part.
This Class is extremely easy if you are good in Political Science and History. I loved this Class and loved both the Professor and the TA (Joseph Perry, he is a gem). The Professor posts detailed Lecture Notes 'Hunks' on CCLE (you don't need to take Notes in Class). Study them in detail, memorizing and remembering each and every detail and you will score easily on the Midterm and Final Exams, 20% and 30% of the Final Grade respectively. The Readings are extremely interesting and you need to do them till the Midterm only (The Readings are tested on the Midterm Paper, 20%, in which you have to write an Analysis on specific Readings. Taking Joseph Perry will be an advantage here as he will tell you the set of Readings you have to do). There is a Final Paper, 30%, which is not as difficult if you have an easy Topic and talk about it with your TA. Go to the Discussion Sections, no matter what or why, especially before the Midterm and the Final. It will help you comprehend and revise the Topics. The Lectures are often un-engaging, but it won't matter. There are Extra Credit questions in both the Midterm and Final Exams. Depending on the Quarter, there might be extra Extra Credit, but not as an addition to your Final Grade, but to your Midterm Exam (I scored 100). For the Final Paper, this Class makes you a more analytical and critical thinker, which is extremely beneficial.
Overall, a highly recommended Class.
This class was fairly straightforward. If you took AP Gov in high school, this should be an easy A. The only thing you really need to know is the "hunks"/lecture notes that Schwartz provides you with. Everything from both the midterm and final is on the hunks, so just know the information on those very well. Besides the short answer midterm/final, the only other things that count for your grade are the midterm/final essays. You need the Kollman book to complete this essay as you have to write about the readings you completed and the discussions you had in class about the readings. Don't bother buying the Lowi book. The midterm essay was done during discussion section in about 50 minutes while you have about 3 weeks to complete the final essay. Overall, I recommend this class for an easy GE or easy political science prep course. I also really liked my TA A Young, she was super clear about what she was looking for when grading so that was a major help.
Class Structure: Midterm Exam(20%), Midterm-in-section essay(20%), Final Exam (30%), Final Paper (30%)
1. Midterm Exam and Final Exam: REPEAT AFTER ME: HUNKS AND PAST EXAMS. HUNKS AND PAST EXAMS. HUNKS AND PAST EXAMS. HUNKS AND PAST EXAMS. Did I say lectures? NO. Did I say readings? NO. REPEAT AFTER ME: HUNKS AND PAST EXAMS. Memorize these and you will be golden.
ps. We were online so we couldn't access the test bank, but some folks asked on the UCLA subreddit / had access to past exam questions so we were able to get access to them.
2. Midterm In-section essay: This is the only instance where doing the readings might be beneficial to you. Each TA had their own essay prompts so I can't be too specific. For mine, we had a couple of prompts to choose from and needed to use a number of either the readings, or other documents (eg. court cases, the constitution, etc.) to answer the prompts and get points. I just used the federalist papers and court cases from when I took AP Gov in high school and that was fine.
3. Final paper: don't need any readings. talk to your TA on this one and get help from them, mines basically gave me ideas for my entire paper after I came into office hours with barely anything and I just used their advice.
I stopped watching lectures after the midterm because they were boring and disorganized with very little information on slides. However, for the ones I did watch Professor Schwuartz did throw in a couple of funny jokes here and there, so there's that.
Overall I agree with the other reviewers. Lots of memorization, straightforward but boring.
Basically if you did AP gov it's going to be the same thing.. with a crappier lecturer. I did not learn anything new except some game theory.. which I learned from the TA (my TA was A Young - best girl) and not the prof. It's an easy but boring course and I recommend if you need a sure A to boost your gpa.
only an easy A if you read the lecture notes, exploit and memorise the test banks at the SAC and on course hero word for word and see the TA's about ur research paper. go for lecture from time to time altho they're a snore just to help the material stick better
Fairly straightforward class. Professor Schwartz is not the most engaging teacher but I found him to be a really organized one. This class is one of the most established classes at UCLA.
He does not take attendance and posts his slides (or "hunks" as he calls them) and for the written midterm and final, those hunks are all you need to study from. Most people, including myself, stopped going to class after the midterm. There was also a midterm essay and a final essay. So your TA is the most important factor when it comes to your grade. I had Joseph Perry as my TA and he is literally the best POLSCI TA ever. He's so helpful and a genuinely nice person.
Overall, a pretty popular and easy class that most people take with Prof. Schwartz.
This class is quite easy but it depends heavily on your TA (i recommend Soonhong). I only showed up to class the first week and just read hunk notes for the rest of the quarter, read assigned readings, and attended discussion sections. This class would have been hard without the help of past questions from SAC but since things were online we had to scout for them. I am selling the Kollman textbook for $30 and the midterm and final past questions for $20. pm me @ email@example.com if you're interested. Happy summer!