Arnold Berk
Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics
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2.8
Overall Rating
Based on 12 Users
Easiness 1.2 / 5 How easy the class is, 1 being extremely difficult and 5 being easy peasy.
Clarity 2.4 / 5 How clear the professor is, 1 being extremely unclear and 5 being very clear.
Workload 1.9 / 5 How light the workload is, 1 being extremely heavy and 5 being extremely light.
Helpfulness 2.6 / 5 How helpful the professor is, 1 being not helpful at all and 5 being extremely helpful.

TOP TAGS

  • Uses Slides
  • Tolerates Tardiness
  • Needs Textbook
  • Useful Textbooks
  • Tough Tests
  • Is Podcasted

GRADE DISTRIBUTIONS

26.3%
21.9%
17.5%
13.2%
8.8%
4.4%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

25.9%
21.6%
17.3%
13.0%
8.6%
4.3%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

25.6%
21.3%
17.0%
12.8%
8.5%
4.3%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

24.1%
20.1%
16.0%
12.0%
8.0%
4.0%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

27.7%
23.1%
18.5%
13.9%
9.2%
4.6%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

19.3%
16.1%
12.8%
9.6%
6.4%
3.2%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

36.7%
30.6%
24.5%
18.4%
12.2%
6.1%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

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Reviews (8)

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Quarter: Spring 2021
Grade: N/A
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
June 20, 2021

Took during the pandemic so I won't say much about the tests or exams since they are very different in-person. Dr. Black is actually a good lecturer, Dr. Berk is complete fucking garbage. Will repeat the same slides 5 times and read text off of them verbatim. Shit could put an insomniac to sleep ngl. The sole TA (Alfredo) was unresponsive and had no clue what was going on in the class or how to support our learning. I actually felt bad for him a little bit because it was clear he was new to the TAing gig, but that doesn't excuse never responding to emails in Week 10. If you liked LS 7A but wish that it was more convoluted and full of rote memorization, then you'll love this class. You have to take it as an MIMG major so if that's the case saddle up and prepare to get screwed.

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Quarter: Spring 2020
Grade: N/A
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
June 15, 2020

132 is a class I was dreading, but ended up enjoying quite a bit. Granted, I took it during the lockdown which meant open note exams. Professor Black had critical thinking questions on his exam questions, while Prof. Berk had random memorization and “check all that apply” questions. I think that summarizes the two instructors well; Prof. Black is there to make sure you understand cool, important concepts about nuclear cell biology while Prof. Berk wants more memorization. I preferred the content from Prof. Black.

The pre-recorded lectures helped quite a bit. I studied by doing all of the reading, taking notes, and then watching lectures. We had reading quizzes which were pretty chill and made sure you stayed on top of the reading (total around 400 double spaced pages for the quarter). You gotta study everyday. Make sure you listen to important concepts in lecture, especially for Dr. Black. This is how I got a top 10% score on the midterm and almost a perfect quiz score. I would also study the study guide questions that the give; those will likely be more relevant in non-online quarters.

Overall, while the examinations and reading can be tedious, the content of this class is necessary to understand molecular biology in depth. I can’t say I had as detailed an understanding of protein structure, transcriptional regulation, translational regulation, genome organization, and cell cycle before this class.

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Quarter: Spring 2019
Grade: A
July 15, 2019

This class was awful. Dr. Berk had paragraphs from the textbook on his slides and literally read them verbatim. Needless to say, his lectures were not helpful. The tests in this class were awful. You get the questions ahead of time, but that honestly makes it worse. Each question is a paragraph and asks 3-5 questions. They want you to draw diagrams for almost everything. Also, their grading is so picky. If you tried to argue anything, they would mention that you had the questions ahead of time so you had no excuse for your work not to be perfect, even though they give you 30 questions and pick like 4 for the midterm. My advice if you unfortunately have to take this course: 1. Start studying the questions ASAP, basically the questions are your life now 2. Lecture is not mandatory, most people did better by studying from the textbook 3. READ the textbook 4. Try not to worry as based off of my grade and my friends' grades the curve was decent.

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Quarter: Spring 2018
Grade: N/A
Dec. 29, 2018

DON'T TAKE THIS CLASS. In theory having all the questions beforehand is nice but the anxiety of having over 60 questions memorized and composed completely and correctly is not worth it as only 3 questions were chosen for the midterm out of a 30 question problem set and 6 were chosen for the final 4 from the new problem set and 2 from the old one. IT'S NOT WORTH IT. The content is molecular biology on steroids where you'll but find yourself memorizing proteins and subunits that don't matter. The class is made up of 4 chapters from a 30 chapter book, covering cell division, nuclear structure etc. This class taught mitosis in detail from subunit to subunit cascade and if you do not like memorizing names of subunits and proteins that all sound the same do not take this class. There were quizzes given in discussion section that the TA's made that were easy points. Also, no one ever went to class because the professors were really dry and I often left more confused than anything, out of a 70+ person class only 6-8 people should up to lecture at BEST. Also, the worst feeling is when you spent hours looking for a particular answer for one of the problems on the set and it not being asked on the exams. That's my 2 cents, don't take this class as an MIMG elective and if you have to take this class as a requirement take Chem 153B instead.

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Quarter: Spring 2016
Grade: B
June 21, 2016

Berk is such a bore. He looks like an angry goblin and snarls like one. This class was dreadful to sit through, so after the midterm I completely stopped doing, which I've NEVER done for a class in my life. The only reason I felt like I could was because the entire class is based heavily on the textbook. You have weekly quizzes over the assigned reading, and they give you the midterm and final questions ahead of time (~29) that you answer from book/lecture. Majority of the information can be found in the book.
Don't be fooled-- just because they give you the questions ahead of time does not mean an easy A. You still have to remember, in depth, 29 detailed answers for the midterm questions, and they only pick 3 of them. Not to mention, just because you have an answer composed and memorized, doesn't meant that it's necessarily right, so even if you perfectly memorize your answer on the midterm/final, it might not be detailed enough for them.
Thankfully Berk (and Black) aren't complete assholes and did pick some pretty manageable questions for the midterm. They didn't pick the obscure experimental ones. But who's to say they wouldn't in future courses, idk.
Overall this class sucked, not gonna lie. It was extremely detailed and the professors did not act like they enjoyed teaching at all. They're definitely just there because they have to be (at least that's the vibe I got). However, I am working in a lab now, and the information I learned in this class is incredibly useful and relevant to what I'm doing (specifically studying prophase in meiosis). All of the details of the cell cycle and how everything is regulated is useful for other classes/grad school, etc. It's just SUCH A LONG 10 WEEK COURSE AND YOU'LL PROBABLY HATE YOURSELF.
Oh and p.s., for the final, they give you an additional 30 questions to memorize, on top of the midterm questions being fair game. So have fun memorizing 60 questions in great detail :) T god I'm done with that

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: N/A
Grade: N/A
Aug. 11, 2014

Dr. Berk did an excellent job of teaching this course. He tells you how all of the details were discovered and the experiments that made it possible. Not only does that make the details easier to remember, it also makes it more like a story. I thought it was really interesting! But I don't think he puts all this into the slides, so I guess that's a benefit of going to class. He's also super helpful if you have questions for him before the midterm or final. And, he really cares about the main ideas. He doesn't think it's important that you know the name of every little molecule he mentions, just that you understand the process and their purpose. I think that's as good as it gets in microbiology!

Helpful?

0 1 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: N/A
Grade: N/A
July 8, 2013

I took Dr Berk's class in 1987. These young people here don't know what they're talking about - He is detail oriented because the topic is detailed. He conveys a fascination for science and that comes out in the details. What you should be doing is writing down and memorizing everything he says because the guy is a Microbiology God. Things I learned in his class still ring true to this day, 26 years later. When I took his class, you had to take notes or die- there was no internet per se. So, I don't feel sorry for students who have all the slides and notes posted for them in advance of every lecture.

Helpful?

0 2 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: N/A
Grade: N/A
June 11, 2011

Let's see... Dr. Berk is a genius. The problem is... he is monotone and very complex. I cannot believe I made it through this class. Ultimately, reading the textbook is extremely useful, although the slides can be pretty useful as well.

I recommend this course, but only if you truly put in the work. Even though Berk and Black give out the questions before MT and final, you will be royally screwed if you do not properly prepare for the questions. This class is EXTREMELY detailed. My god. You will literally learn a new alphabet in this class: snRP, snoRNP, Nmd3, Crm1.
But, if you ask Dr. Berk for help in office hours, he is da bomb.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Quarter: Spring 2021
Grade: N/A
June 20, 2021

Took during the pandemic so I won't say much about the tests or exams since they are very different in-person. Dr. Black is actually a good lecturer, Dr. Berk is complete fucking garbage. Will repeat the same slides 5 times and read text off of them verbatim. Shit could put an insomniac to sleep ngl. The sole TA (Alfredo) was unresponsive and had no clue what was going on in the class or how to support our learning. I actually felt bad for him a little bit because it was clear he was new to the TAing gig, but that doesn't excuse never responding to emails in Week 10. If you liked LS 7A but wish that it was more convoluted and full of rote memorization, then you'll love this class. You have to take it as an MIMG major so if that's the case saddle up and prepare to get screwed.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Quarter: Spring 2020
Grade: N/A
June 15, 2020

132 is a class I was dreading, but ended up enjoying quite a bit. Granted, I took it during the lockdown which meant open note exams. Professor Black had critical thinking questions on his exam questions, while Prof. Berk had random memorization and “check all that apply” questions. I think that summarizes the two instructors well; Prof. Black is there to make sure you understand cool, important concepts about nuclear cell biology while Prof. Berk wants more memorization. I preferred the content from Prof. Black.

The pre-recorded lectures helped quite a bit. I studied by doing all of the reading, taking notes, and then watching lectures. We had reading quizzes which were pretty chill and made sure you stayed on top of the reading (total around 400 double spaced pages for the quarter). You gotta study everyday. Make sure you listen to important concepts in lecture, especially for Dr. Black. This is how I got a top 10% score on the midterm and almost a perfect quiz score. I would also study the study guide questions that the give; those will likely be more relevant in non-online quarters.

Overall, while the examinations and reading can be tedious, the content of this class is necessary to understand molecular biology in depth. I can’t say I had as detailed an understanding of protein structure, transcriptional regulation, translational regulation, genome organization, and cell cycle before this class.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Spring 2019
Grade: A
July 15, 2019

This class was awful. Dr. Berk had paragraphs from the textbook on his slides and literally read them verbatim. Needless to say, his lectures were not helpful. The tests in this class were awful. You get the questions ahead of time, but that honestly makes it worse. Each question is a paragraph and asks 3-5 questions. They want you to draw diagrams for almost everything. Also, their grading is so picky. If you tried to argue anything, they would mention that you had the questions ahead of time so you had no excuse for your work not to be perfect, even though they give you 30 questions and pick like 4 for the midterm. My advice if you unfortunately have to take this course: 1. Start studying the questions ASAP, basically the questions are your life now 2. Lecture is not mandatory, most people did better by studying from the textbook 3. READ the textbook 4. Try not to worry as based off of my grade and my friends' grades the curve was decent.

Helpful?

1 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Spring 2018
Grade: N/A
Dec. 29, 2018

DON'T TAKE THIS CLASS. In theory having all the questions beforehand is nice but the anxiety of having over 60 questions memorized and composed completely and correctly is not worth it as only 3 questions were chosen for the midterm out of a 30 question problem set and 6 were chosen for the final 4 from the new problem set and 2 from the old one. IT'S NOT WORTH IT. The content is molecular biology on steroids where you'll but find yourself memorizing proteins and subunits that don't matter. The class is made up of 4 chapters from a 30 chapter book, covering cell division, nuclear structure etc. This class taught mitosis in detail from subunit to subunit cascade and if you do not like memorizing names of subunits and proteins that all sound the same do not take this class. There were quizzes given in discussion section that the TA's made that were easy points. Also, no one ever went to class because the professors were really dry and I often left more confused than anything, out of a 70+ person class only 6-8 people should up to lecture at BEST. Also, the worst feeling is when you spent hours looking for a particular answer for one of the problems on the set and it not being asked on the exams. That's my 2 cents, don't take this class as an MIMG elective and if you have to take this class as a requirement take Chem 153B instead.

Helpful?

1 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Spring 2016
Grade: B
June 21, 2016

Berk is such a bore. He looks like an angry goblin and snarls like one. This class was dreadful to sit through, so after the midterm I completely stopped doing, which I've NEVER done for a class in my life. The only reason I felt like I could was because the entire class is based heavily on the textbook. You have weekly quizzes over the assigned reading, and they give you the midterm and final questions ahead of time (~29) that you answer from book/lecture. Majority of the information can be found in the book.
Don't be fooled-- just because they give you the questions ahead of time does not mean an easy A. You still have to remember, in depth, 29 detailed answers for the midterm questions, and they only pick 3 of them. Not to mention, just because you have an answer composed and memorized, doesn't meant that it's necessarily right, so even if you perfectly memorize your answer on the midterm/final, it might not be detailed enough for them.
Thankfully Berk (and Black) aren't complete assholes and did pick some pretty manageable questions for the midterm. They didn't pick the obscure experimental ones. But who's to say they wouldn't in future courses, idk.
Overall this class sucked, not gonna lie. It was extremely detailed and the professors did not act like they enjoyed teaching at all. They're definitely just there because they have to be (at least that's the vibe I got). However, I am working in a lab now, and the information I learned in this class is incredibly useful and relevant to what I'm doing (specifically studying prophase in meiosis). All of the details of the cell cycle and how everything is regulated is useful for other classes/grad school, etc. It's just SUCH A LONG 10 WEEK COURSE AND YOU'LL PROBABLY HATE YOURSELF.
Oh and p.s., for the final, they give you an additional 30 questions to memorize, on top of the midterm questions being fair game. So have fun memorizing 60 questions in great detail :) T god I'm done with that

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: N/A
Grade: N/A
Aug. 11, 2014

Dr. Berk did an excellent job of teaching this course. He tells you how all of the details were discovered and the experiments that made it possible. Not only does that make the details easier to remember, it also makes it more like a story. I thought it was really interesting! But I don't think he puts all this into the slides, so I guess that's a benefit of going to class. He's also super helpful if you have questions for him before the midterm or final. And, he really cares about the main ideas. He doesn't think it's important that you know the name of every little molecule he mentions, just that you understand the process and their purpose. I think that's as good as it gets in microbiology!

Helpful?

0 1 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: N/A
Grade: N/A
July 8, 2013

I took Dr Berk's class in 1987. These young people here don't know what they're talking about - He is detail oriented because the topic is detailed. He conveys a fascination for science and that comes out in the details. What you should be doing is writing down and memorizing everything he says because the guy is a Microbiology God. Things I learned in his class still ring true to this day, 26 years later. When I took his class, you had to take notes or die- there was no internet per se. So, I don't feel sorry for students who have all the slides and notes posted for them in advance of every lecture.

Helpful?

0 2 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: N/A
Grade: N/A
June 11, 2011

Let's see... Dr. Berk is a genius. The problem is... he is monotone and very complex. I cannot believe I made it through this class. Ultimately, reading the textbook is extremely useful, although the slides can be pretty useful as well.

I recommend this course, but only if you truly put in the work. Even though Berk and Black give out the questions before MT and final, you will be royally screwed if you do not properly prepare for the questions. This class is EXTREMELY detailed. My god. You will literally learn a new alphabet in this class: snRP, snoRNP, Nmd3, Crm1.
But, if you ask Dr. Berk for help in office hours, he is da bomb.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
1 of 1
2.8
Overall Rating
Based on 12 Users
Easiness 1.2 / 5 How easy the class is, 1 being extremely difficult and 5 being easy peasy.
Clarity 2.4 / 5 How clear the professor is, 1 being extremely unclear and 5 being very clear.
Workload 1.9 / 5 How light the workload is, 1 being extremely heavy and 5 being extremely light.
Helpfulness 2.6 / 5 How helpful the professor is, 1 being not helpful at all and 5 being extremely helpful.

TOP TAGS

  • Uses Slides
    (4)
  • Tolerates Tardiness
    (3)
  • Needs Textbook
    (4)
  • Useful Textbooks
    (4)
  • Tough Tests
    (4)
  • Is Podcasted
    (3)
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