All Ratings and Reviews for Heather Tienson
Name one person who says Biochem is easy. That person doesn't exist. I was terrified about this class, before it started. To my surprise, however, it wasn't that bad. Dr. Tienson made the class very enjoyable! It amazes me just how she is able to remember to teach so much material in so little time. She is the best lecturer I have ever had and a very kind person who cares about her students.
Her midterms are not difficult. It solely depends on you spending time on those study questions. First, be able to understand and solve all of the questions. Next, note the questions she asks multiple times in the study questions and MEMORIZE the points she makes. She WILL ask you those questions again on the midterms and you HAVE to mention all those points to get full credit. DON'T be lazy and memorize them! Don't worry so much about counting number of words you used for questions with word limits. Just estimate and your fine (5 words over the limit is fine). No matter how much you know of the material, if you don't use the points she makes in the study questions then you wont get credit. 50 minutes will be enough time, don't stress over it. Try not to mess up on the first midterm as it is the easier one. If you do, it's not the end of the world.
Quizzes are freebies. Spend time studying for it as you know exactly what she's going to ask you.
Perusall is a waste of time. Get your points and never go back to that reading assignment.
Re-listen to her lectures, if you find the time. It is almost impossible to get everything down in lecture cause she talks extremely fast. The more you get down from those lectures, the faster you are able to complete and understand those study questions.
Come to lecture and get your clicker points.
Do the extra credit surveys and assignments.
For the Pymol protein assignment, spend some time on it. It's worth a lot points and it can really help your grade. Check answers with other people.
Okay, that doesn't seem so bad right. Okay now for the harder part of the class: The final is unpredictable. You have to study everything and I mean everything. The study guide she gives is only useful for things to specifically pay attention to, but you should know everything. There is a lot of material to review, so start early. About 15 pages long and 3 hours long. Yeah.
But amount should never bother you in this class. Its the quality of your answers on the exams (or better yet the quality of your knowledge of the material) that matters.
Overall, stay on top of the material, do the study questions many times (first understand then memorize the answers), and get those freebie points.
This class was by far the most difficult class I've taken at UCLA. The concepts are not that hard, but the amount of material you have to learn and be able to apply is immense. I did under average on both midterms, and studied my ass off and did relatively well compared to the rest of the class on the final to make an A. That being said the average on the final was 120/200 so it was really hard. Tension though is one of the best teacher's i've had at UCLA. I can definitely say that i've learned more in this class than I have in any other at UCLA. Tienson is really clear in lecture and is helpful at office hours. TLDR: this class is a huge workload, probably one of the more challenging in the life sciences, but she is a good teacher and if you dedicate a ton of time to the class you can do well
I understand why a lot of people don't like Tienson because her class is definitely tough. You have to keep up with the materials every day since she expects you to not only understand the facts, but also know how to integrate them in the exams. This course includes the basic foundations of biochemistry, so it contains great amount of information. However, I like her teaching because she is very clear in explaining concepts and in what she wants you to know. If you go to her office hours often and master the study guides before exams, you will get an A for sure. Personally, I think Tienson has a generous curve at the end and her final is really tough, so don't slack off even when you get good grades for midterms.
So many people have told me to avoid Tienson but she's usually the only professor teaching 153A. I actually enjoyed her class a lot. The material isn't that difficult. It's a lot of what we've already learned from LS and the Chem series but more in depth. As long as you go over all her slides and study questions, you'll do fine in the class.
Her curve is very generous. I struggled in a lot of my lower divs but still got an A in 153A (meaning it's definitely possible to do well if you don't slack off). The discussion forum was also really helpful, since Tienson is always active on that. Overall, I really liked her :)
Project (30pnts), participation (20), quizzes (100), MT1 (100), MT 2 (100), and Final (200) So, total of 550. Mean for MT 1 was 68; MT 2 was 63.
A+: Above 495
There were 10 extra credit points for just giving her feedback and survey.
Do the study questions and understand them. She is a very nice professor and a bruin for like 10 years. Go Bruins!
I worked my ass off and tried Addy for the first time because of this class. It definitely paid off, but I would have preferred another professor. I found Tienson impersonal and struggled to keep up with the material. I spent the entire quarter catching up on the material. I found my TA (Kyung) very helpful, however, and it helps to review LS2/14A-D beforehand.
I hate chem with a passion and am a slacker so those often don't go well together but overall, Tienson is actually pretty good. I don't know about other people, but for me she seems to be very nice and understanding. If you let her know about problems with your grades (through email) she'll take forever to get back to you (3+ days!) but she WILL get back to you. My class was based on: Project (30pnts), participation (20), quizzes (100), MT1 (100), MT 2 (100), and Final (200) making it out of 550 for the whole class. She lets you miss quite a few days of participation while still getting full credit and the project has a couple of extra credit points tagged on at the end. Same for the midterms and final. There's extra credit offered throughout the course. Overall she curves to a B (I got slightly below the class average and still got a B!) Extremely generous curves but don't let that have you slack off. Do her study questions and try not to procrastinate (like I did). As a lecturer she lectures really fast so the podcasts saved my life. She speaks clearly though and puts up a lot of resources that she finds may help you on the website. There are forums where you can ask questions (more convenient than office hours in my opinion) and reviews by the UAs (which in my opinion were useless). Her tests are really hard so the averages were generally in the 60s for us but that doesn't really matter since there's the curve. Study hard for this class and you should at least be able to pull off at least the average. Good luck!
I enjoyed Dr. Tienson's class. It was tough but she grades on a curve which helps a lot. The best advice I can give is to do the study questions. Do every single one and know them well. If you do that you can get an A in the class!
she is not a bad professor, you can do great in the class if you study the study questions and her slides
Professor Tienson is a solid professor with lots of experience behind her belt and plenty of tools to allow you to be successful in her class. Seriously. It's no surprise that 153A is a difficult class, but Tienson has been teaching it for so long that she has TONS of study questions to help guide your learning, and her tests are very consistent with previous tests AND THE STUDY QUESTIONS. If you do all of the questions and review them before the exam, you should get at least the average. I think what makes this class difficult for people is not so much the concepts, but the shear workload/pace that it is at. It's only a four unit course, but meets four times a week plus a discussion section. So it does require time, but I believe that Tienson did an excellent job of presenting the material to us and answering questions in office hours (even ones she had been asked multiple times). YOU CAN BE SUCCESSFUL IN THIS CLASS, I PROMISE YOU. My proof: I received a C- in 14a, C in 14B, C+ in 14C and (finally!!!) a B in 14D. So it's obvious that chemistry is something I have always struggled with, but I got an A- in 153A with Tienson!!! I contribute this mainly to a) my growth as a student, but also b) the amount of materials/resources she gives you to be successful. Just like every other post says-- DO THE STUDY QUESTIONS. Be prepared to have a shitty quarter with a larger workload. The subject itself is pretty interesting and I think most people tend to actually enjoy 153A. Don't let the nay-sayers discourage you otherwise!
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