Ratings for Arnold, J
Based on 298 ratings for this instructor.
Comment: I could've AP out of this class, but decided to take it anyway because I needed a refresher and some additional concepts are covered, that being said, this class was not very difficult for me. I attended lecture and took notes, studied them, and did well on exams. Arnold tells you everything you need to know for the exams, but because it is lecture, you might not understand everything deeply enough for the exams, so make sure you can solve all the homework problems. Occasionally does cool demos. I have not attended office hours, so I don't know how those are, but Chem 1A generally has a lot of study resources available.
Submitted Dec. 18th, 2015
Comment: Let's get one thing straight: Professor Majda sucked, and Professor Arnold rocked. Arnold was a great lecturer, but he was inaccessible for office hours as there were over 600 students in the class. When I went to Majda's lectures because I couldn't wake up for the Monday or Friday 9am lecture, he was so dull and always made dry jokes, like "Oh, the coffee still hasn't kicked in yet, hahaha." It only got worse with Majda as the semester went on. The GSI was helpful in clarifying some general confusing concepts from the theory. But the midterms were brutal. The 2nd midterm was the single grade killer for many students. The only way to combat the midterms was by practicing problems in tandem with the homework. The online homework was ridiculously long at times, and the only way to finish certain problems was to find solutions on Chegg or some other source online in some instances. The final was just a killer, as I had no idea what truly to expect even after going to review sessions, taking practice exams, and paying attention and taking notes in class. Glad I passed the class, and can move on. But if I had wind of how brutal and grade-shattering this class could be, I probably would've APed out of it. Note: Lectures with Majda or Arnold don't do even a decent job of teaching you the material. I never went to office hours, which was a horrible idea. So go and do that first thing!! You've gotta be comfortable totally learning and reading on your own, and forcing yourself to practice problems from the book even if you just don't feel like it. Other than that, it was very eye-opening to what college rigor and difficulty truly is.
Submitted July 5th, 2015
Comment: This class seems ALMOST doable. The material isn't crazy, usually about AP-level. The most bewildering thing is that you can know the material and apply it to classes like Chem 3A easily but fail tests because your understanding of certain phenomena is slightly different from the word-by-word rubric. B's are easy to achieve, A's extremely difficult unless Chem is your passion (especially since everyone takes this first semester). It might help to try to go overkill on studying, because I and most of my friends would stop at studying lecture notes and the homework, rather than also closely reading the textbook or going to office hours.
Submitted April 19th, 2015
Comment: I really loved Arnold, he was very enthusiastic about chemistry and his lectures were very easy to understand and grasp. Sapling helped a lot-- it was a pain in the butt to do, but it helped in knowing what would be on the midterms and finals (the short answer part of Sapling DEFINITELY helps, study that!!) The exams seem fair, but the grading is incredibly harsh. The exams are more conceptual than mathematical, so the book is a plus. I was comparing Majda's exams (Arnold and Majda's exams are the same) with Saykally's exams-- Saykally's seemed easier in my opinion. It might be better if you could take this class in the spring, but if you have a pretty strong chemistry background, the fall is bearable as well. Didn't get my expected grade in the class because I took it pretty lightly (which I regret), so make sure you put in the hours for this class. READ THE RECOMMENDED BOOK CHAPTERS, DO YOUR SAPLING HOMEWORK THOROUGHLY, AND STUDY WITH FRIENDS.
Submitted Jan. 14th, 2015
Comment: An enthusiastic and engaging lecturer, but be careful because the lectures are very broad while the assignments require detailed reading and understanding. The Sapling HW assignments were often quite difficult. Midterm 2 and the final were very difficult, though it was partially made up for by an easy Midterm 3. Exams were graded pretty harshly. I would recommend taking the course if you have previous experience (AP or IB) because it is rather challenging and fast-paced, but definitely doable if you put in the effort.
Submitted Jan. 14th, 2015
Comment: I have mixed feelings about this class. At the beginning, you are probably going to be terrified of it, after hearing all the horror stories of students failing and not being able to go on to do MCB/IB/pre-med, but this class really is more doable than you think, especially with Arnold as your professor. I always enjoyed going to lecture for this class because of all the entertaining demos and because Arnold is such an engaging lecture. Arnold is very enthusiastic and really does care about his students, and it shows. iClicker quizzes during lecture are sometimes annoying, but I promise you will get better at them as the semester progresses. Make sure to look at the wording; often, they will try to trick you by wording the question a certain way. Arnold is fair about the quizzes though; if hardly anyone gets it right, he will not count that particular quiz. Plus, they are only worth 10% of your grade along with homework, so don't stress the quizzes too much. You also get to discuss with the people around you, but a lot of the time, I found this kind of useless because all of the hypercompetitive pre-meds around me would just argue about who was right, so I usually just went with my gut feeling. Basically, your grade in this class is based on your test scores, which is what makes it so intimidating. The first midterm was fair, the second midterm was unreasonably hard (but there was a curve to account for this), and the third midterm was easy. The final was fair, but study your butt off because they will ask very specific questions about material from all throughout the semester. I think they adjusted the cutoffs because of the difficulty of the final because I calculated my grade based on my test scores and homework grades/iClicker scores, and I should have technically received an A-, but I got an A. The key to my success in this class was reading the Tro textbook (it's super helpful and well written) and going to study group. If you can get Angela as your study group leader, do it! She's super down to earth, and she knows a lot about chemistry! Don't bother with the study guides and pre-class assignments. I found them useless and way too time consuming. Plus, the professors don't provide you with the answers, so even if you did do them, you wouldn't even know if you were doing them right because there would be no way to check your work. I suppose you could ask your GSI, but I was too lazy for that. I never attended office hours, but I suppose they could be a useful resource if you didn't go to a study group. Also, the Sapling homework is super tedious and time consuming, but it does help with your understanding. I know a lot of people who would redo the sapling problems before tests to get extra practice. I never did that, but I think it would be a useful resource if you wanted to work on the mathematical calculations associated with the class. Just know that walking out of the second midterm, no matter how hard you study, you are going to feel very disheartened, but don't give up! The second midterm isn't reflective of the entire class, and you will make it through, and if you work hard enough, you may just end up with an A like I did! GOOD LUCK!! :)
Submitted Dec. 25th, 2014
Comment: Great professor who is both knowledgeable and enthusiastic about his subject. Getting an A in this class is not impossible, but completely manageable. As long as you stay on task, do all the homework and really conceptually understand the lecture slides and key points, you'll do fine. However, oftentimes it's easy to get behind due to the fast nature of the class.
Submitted Jan. 21st, 2014