Ratings for Marsden, P C

Rate this instructor:

Average Ratings

91

Based on 60 ratings for this instructor.

Assignments
80
Exams
87
Helpfulness
84
Enthusiasm
92

Instructor Ratings

76
Marsden, P C (CHEM 1AL, Fall 2013)
Assignments
91
Exams
87
Helpfulness
50
Enthusiasm
86

Comment: CHEM 1AL with Marsden consisted of your basic prelab questions, lab worksheets, and one final exam that you had to pass with a certain grade or you automatically fail the course. No worries though, because everything is easy. Prelab stuff you'll get used to as the semester goes by and lab worksheets were not that bad either--going to lecture helps though, because he explains a lot of the questions and sometimes the answer could be found in lecture. The final exam was very easy. A lot of what was on the final exam was basic CHEM 1A concepts that you just needed to apply. Studying and understanding the purpose behind each lab, as well as attending lecture if you don't understand something, is key to doing really well in the class. As for enthusiasm, if you're a life science major, you should try to take at least one Chemistry course with Marsden, because he's honestly one of the best and most fun lecturers I've had. He keeps the room alive with his jokes and they're not like outdated jokes, but more that someone of our generation would find funny. He blasts music before the start of each class--mainstream pop music. If you're taking a class with Marsden though, be sure to have something to write on, because he's a chalkboard-kind-of person. His notes are pretty detailed and well-organized, color-coded and what not. If I can recall, he doesn't require you to go to class, and the class is easy enough to pass without having to attend every lecture. For me, I never attended his office hours, so I can't say much about his helpfulness, but he's a pretty approachable guy to just say hi to sometimes when you see him. I've even heard stories of him getting along with a few of students to where he'd go bowling with them after the class is over. Overall, great lecturer, fair and easy exam material, and I just simply recommend having him as a teacher!

Submitted Sept. 15th, 2017

100
Marsden, P C (CHEM 3B, Fall 2015)
Assignments
100
Exams
100
Helpfulness
80
Enthusiasm
100

Comment: Had him for 1AL, 3A, and 3B. Very enthusiastic teacher who cares a LOT about his students. Very entertaining lecturer, and really can relate to the students. Although he has his "I don't know why this happens" moments, he is by far the best teacher I've had at Cal. Gives assignments that are very similar to his exams, and his exams weave you through each problem so that it's not too bad to do well. I don't know how I would've gotten through organic chemistry without this guy.

Submitted Dec. 22nd, 2015

100
Marsden, P C (CHEM 1AL, Fall 2014)
Assignments
100
Exams
100
Helpfulness
100
Enthusiasm
100

Comment: If you read the docs in advance of doing your labs and have a functional understanding of chemistry from the non-lab lectures, it's really hard to mess up in this class. Lab lectures were not particularly useful with a Thursday lab and Friday lecture. Pete was always split between giving an effective recap for those that did the lab and not giving away too much for those that hadn't done it yet. I suppose having the week split up like that was out of his control though, and to be honest the lectures are really not necessary.

Submitted Oct. 20th, 2015

100
Marsden, P C (CHEM 3A, Spring 2015)
Assignments
99
Exams
45
Helpfulness
98
Enthusiasm
100

Comment: Pete is a WONDERFUL WONDERFUL lecturer! He makes ochem very approachable. If you keep up with the homework (which, I will admit, is long. So keep up with the material if you can and try to understand why mechanisms are happening). His exams are on par with what I expect from Cal. They're hard but they're not undoable. The averages are consistently in the mid 60s - sometimes if its a good exam in the 70s. Pete is a very cool dude that is not intimidating to go to for OH or anything in general. He uses the boards in Pimentel which is very helpful when you're taking notes - his info on the boards is extremely useful for homework. I never used the book because well its basically unnecessary. It's very easy to get behind in the class though, so keep up with the work even if it is a lot. Believe me, though, Pete is a great guy. He even has a facebook fanpage ~ goes to show how much the students love him.

Submitted Oct. 16th, 2015

96
Marsden, P C (CHEM 3A, Spring 2015)
Assignments
81
Exams
78
Helpfulness
50
Enthusiasm
94

Comment: He's the best

Submitted Aug. 12th, 2015

86
Marsden, P C (CHEM 3A, Spring 2015)
Assignments
37
Exams
89
Helpfulness
73
Enthusiasm
89

Comment: As an earlier reviewer said, Pete takes the stigma away from organic chemistry. It was hard to believe that the material we were learning was what so many people have deemed "the subject of horrors," or something along those lines, when Pete made the material so approachable. Chem 3A with Pete was definitely much easier than Chem 1A with Arnold. I enjoyed the fact that everyone in this class came in with no prior knowledge, unlike most pre-med courses in which the majority of the people in the class already have AP/IB credit, making it nearly impossible for those with no prior exposure to do well. I received an A in this class, and I kid you not, all I did to study was do the packets as I went along in the course and take the practice exams posted online before each exam, which are very reflective of the actual exams, as a heads up, since they were written by Pete himself. I never touched the textbook and just used Pete's lecture notes as a reference. The most difficult part of the course is the reactions section at the very end, since Pete goes through them very quickly, but honestly, you just have to sit down and memorize them. There is no other way, sadly, unlike the earlier sections of the course that had little to actually memorize. My main advice is to not get behind on the packets. Yes, they are super tedious and long, and it is very tempting to just copy down blindly whatever the answer key says sometimes, but the packets are the way that you learn in this class.

Submitted June 3rd, 2015

98
Marsden, P C (CHEM 3A, Spring 2015)
Assignments
100
Exams
83
Helpfulness
94
Enthusiasm
96

Comment: Pete is an awesome professor who cares about his students. He provides thorough problem sets which prepare you well for quizzes and exams. This class is hard. The first half isn't too bad, but it really speeds up after the second midterm. You need to spend a lot of time to succeed in organic chemistry, but Pete makes that easier with good problem sets and tests that correlate to these. His office hours are also quite helpful.

Submitted June 3rd, 2015

100
Marsden, P C (CHEM 301C, Spring 2015)
Assignments
100
Exams
100
Helpfulness
100
Enthusiasm
100

Comment: Pete is a great instructor for the Teacher-Scholars seminar. He was particularly lax this semester, likely because he was really busy with teaching Chem 3A, and a lot of the course this semester was built around the UGTS's. For example, we had two content exams so that research could be done on us and the program, and meetings were cancelled for the Bio 1AL exam dates. I really enjoy being a UGTS, especially since Pete is so involved. This position is a great opportunity to teach and refine your knowledge of the material; after two semesters in it, I highly recommend the UGTS program!

Submitted May 22nd, 2015

100
Marsden, P C (CHEM 1AL, Fall 2014)
Assignments
93
Exams
100
Helpfulness
93
Enthusiasm
85

Comment: Awesome lecturer who would actually be more helpful for explaining some topics than the actual Chem 1A lecturer whenever the material overlapped. Labs were SUPER easy and low-workload (IIRC all we had to do were prelabs and fill out in-class lab reports that were more like worksheets than anything else), exam very easy as well.

Submitted April 19th, 2015

100
Marsden, P C (CHEM 1AL, Fall 2014)
Assignments
100
Exams
79
Helpfulness
100
Enthusiasm
100

Comment: Dr. Pete was the best. I have never had a more enthusiastic and caring professor ever. I wish he taught Chemistry 1A as well. He truly cared about understanding the material and applying it, and his assignments and lab activities were well thought out. The exam was fine, and he is extremely helpful during office hours (he helps out students in Chemistry 1A as well as 1AL).

Submitted March 30th, 2015