All Ratings and Reviews for Sarah H Tolbert
i only attended a few lectures but she explained concepts very clearly in the lectures that i did attend. Sometimes there is alot of hw but as long as you dont fall behind you should be ok. The written hw is straight out annoying. Her midterms are rushed for time and they're pretty difficult. Studying old midterms helps. The final was long and difficult but time wasnt an issue. Overall, if you read the book, do the homework, and go to lecture, you should do fine.
First off, I learnt so much chemistry from her lectures comparing to the horrible 20A class I took. She makes Chemistry interesting. Even though her tests are difficult they are not impossible. The first midterm was manageable the second one was a lot harder and the final, true to a lot of reviews, was downright difficult. Each midterm composes of 4 cumulative questions with smaller parts. They pretty much put all the knowledge together into one big problem solving question. DO NOT let yourself get stuck on ONE problem and try to be careful of the one that you can do. Whoever grades the test like to take off points on ridiculous details. The cheatsheet helps but the key to study well in her class is pay attention to the OWL type of homework and don't do them mindlessly. Also, study in a group and do the back of the book problems. They are really similar to what she gives on the test. Last and not least, find exams online with the same format and try to do them. For me, those exams help a lot.
she is super awesome. i got a b+ and her tests are pretty hard, but you get credit for the homework (but not very much). The midterms are totally rushed for time and the final is VERY challenging, but she gives the people that get average a solid b. she is a super awesome lecturer and very entertaining. no review sessions before finals or midterms though! i highlyyyy recommend her.
Professor Tolbert is a pretty good teacher. She likes to explain more than just what's on the test. Though she goes over derivation of equations that may be confusing, don't worry because she doesn't test on memorization. That's probably the best part about her. She wants to make her students think and not just memorize. The midterms and final was hard but it was definitely fair. Grades on a curve like all south campus classes. Every midterm you get a notecard to write all the formulas and trust me, you want to write all of them that you used in class because though some are used more often, she will test on some uncommon ones. Make sure you are good at thinking on your feet because that's how her midterms are, you can't spend all the time in the world on one problem. She's pretty difficult, but is fair. Lecture wise, they are worth going to because that's the only way that you will get notes. She writes big and clearly and does not have an accent! (Oh my goshh, like NOOO WAY!) She's also very helpful at office hours so go to those as well. All in all, I recommend her if you are willing to think beyond the formulas and is willing to be tested on your critical thinking and not memorization. Oh yeah, reading doesn't really help cause, well, she doesn't like testing on memorization. :)
Great lecturer. Decent workload. Horrible exams. Lets just say I WAS a chemistry major, but I'm not anymore. Her exams make you question your knowledge in the course. The midterms were actually decent, but the final was difficult. However, compared to Baugh, she's definitely the best.
Tolbert is a pretty good professor by regular standards. Her lectures are well laid-out, and she speaks clearly. She gives time for people to write down her notes and then continues on. However, there is much material to cover, and some of the details are often only discussed in office hours. Students should go to office hours if they want a clearer understanding of the concepts. Homework is assigned weekly, and most people shouldn't have much trouble with them. The first midterm was a little above average difficulty; the grading was nitpicky as small details on graphs could knock off some important points. The second midterm was easier but trickier in some parts. The final was just downright difficult. Tolbert loves to say everything in chemistry is connected, so she slaps down some thermodynamic concepts on every topic covered in class, besides chemical kinetics.
Students who have taken chemistry previously should not have that much of a problem. The class is definitely a step up from 20A, but it's still manageable.
This was a very difficult class, especially since I am not a chemistry major.
However, I thought she was a great professor. She is VERY nice and caring. She was very open towards her office hours. Also, her lectures were very entertaining: she did several lab demos in class.
BUT, the homework and exams were difficult. The solutions to even problems can be found online; that helps A TON for studying and truly understanding the hw. The only way to understand the class is to do the problems. I read almost every chapter, but that doesn't help much. Study, study, study. It's a tough class, but with the curve, it's a fair class if you put in the effort. Make use of ALL your resources.
To sum up her class: Great lectures, difficult homework and exams.
Her class is great for chem majors since it's challenging, but for the rest of us who are just required to take this class I thought the difficulty was a little excessive. Yes I guess I learned a lot but since I have no interest in chemistry and hope to avoid it as much as possible after this class I would have much preferred to have had an easier class where I didn't really learn anything.
Her exams are a lot like the homework problems (although I don't think we ever had a question that was exactly from the homework) so make sure you can do problems like those. I'm hoping the curve will be really good because the averages were generally pretty low on the exams. The midterms really test your time management skills and almost no one finished. The second one was definitely better than the first but it was still difficult. The final was really bad and about 90% or more of the class was still there at the end of the time.
I would recommend her for her lectures, but if you can go to her lectures and take someone else's easier tests then that would be a better option.
The class was well structured and organized. I found her lectures interesting and covering a broad spectrum of topics. I enjoyed taking the class and doing the labs. The introductions given during the lectures were more than enough to write the lab reports. She also very understanding and lets you turn it in a few days late. (just don't abuse this) Very understanding professor and made office hours for us around the time lab reports were due. She is a great professor to take for this class and I highly recommend her.
She does a great job explaining concepts in a way that makes both physical and mathematical sense. The best way I found to learn this material was by thinking hard during the lectures, asking a lot of questions (interacting with the material instead of letting it hit you in the face is much better), and starting the homeworks early.
Tests were pretty time-crunched which made knowing how to get maximal partial credit incredibly important. If you can't get a final NUMBER for an answer, just write something like "the answer to this will be negative because ________ and should be larger than ______ because _______" and do the setup for the problem to show that you know something (presuming that indeed you do...).
I very much enjoyed the lectures and found them extraordinarily applicable to the chosen homework problems.
You'll do well in this course if you have some confidence with algebra and calculus (partial derivatives in particular, but just basic partial derivatives- nothing really crazy) and you take the time to think about the material rather than spending ungodly amounts of time on your equation sheet or memorizing one rote problem solving technique.
I took this course over a year ago and I still knew enough to not study for this portion of the GRE! I think that's a good sign for the professor... ;)
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