All Ratings and Reviews for Chris Surro


Overall 4.3
Easiness of class 3.0
Workload 3.4
Not Clear
Clarity of professor 4.4
Not Helpful
Helpfulness of professor 4.5
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ECON 102, taken Fall 2021 Submitted Dec. 9, 2021 Grade Received: A

Chris Surro was a great professor for this class. He explained the material very clearly, concisely, and in an organized manner. He typically responded to questions through Campuswire and held sessions during lecture hours to go over sample problems (because the lectures were prerecorded). The midterm and final were pretty hard. They definitely required a good amount of studying and for you to have a good conceptual grasp of the material (I guess people were mad that the grade wasn't curve more because Surro had mentioned earlier in the course that he would). I'd say it was 70/30 calculation vs. conceptual questions. You basically get free points for quizzes and problem sets if you just put in a minimal amount of effort, which help (partially) offset the difficulty of the exams. There was also an excel assignment for the second half of the course. DO NOT start the assignment too late!!! It took a ton (a ton) of time to figure out how to do it (probably because i am not pRoFiCiEnT at excel).

Overall, pretty difficult course but It was fine, especially if you like macro more than micro. I feel like Surro is one of, if not the best professor to take - he doesn't do bs stuff, just keeps everything plain and straightforward.

ECON 11, taken Fall 2019 Submitted July 13, 2020 Grade Received: B-

the exams were so much more difficult in comparison to the problem sets. he speaks clearly, but his actual teaching can differ in quality. i think it mainly depends on preparedness. this class was super stressful because the exams were unpredictable, and there wasn't a straightforward connection to the problems done in lecture/homework. he is nice and genuinely tries to help students, but this class was just so frustrating.

ECON 102, taken Fall 2021 Submitted Dec. 9, 2021 Grade Received: S

Professor Surro is the best professor ever in econ department. He's organized and clear, and does care about his students.
All of the four problem sets are well-structured and the readings helped a lot in comprehending the economic concepts. The midterm would be dropped if you do better in the final, which is really nice. The exams are probably not easy, but as long as you prepare for the materials in advance, you will be fine.

ECON 11, taken Fall 2020 Submitted Dec. 25, 2020 Grade Received: B+

prof clearly cares a lot about the wellbeing and understanding of students, i think the use of campuswire in particular was an excellent tool for engagement. couldn't attend TA sessions because of time differences so i have no idea how helpful they are. i will say that it is so unfortunate that the exams, while open notes, are much harder than the problem set questions that were assigned. that made exams unpredictable and confusing for me and others!

ECON 102, taken Spring 2019 Submitted June 23, 2019 Grade Received: A-

Chris is an example of what every economics professor should be at UCLA. Not only does he explain everything very thoroughly and clearly, but he also cares so much about his students. He really wants every student to learn the concepts well and his tests are very fair. He did a great job of incorporating how everything we learned connected to the real world and also explained the different economic schools of thought and economists that backed the models we learned which many Econ classes fail to do. He also gives many additional opportunities to cushion your grade if you don’t do well on exams which is pretty rare for an Econ class. You can get bonus points by going to lecture and section, completing quizzes after lecture, etc. There were also 2 problem sets in the class that were decently long but really prepared you for the midterm and final exam. Also, all quizzes and problem sets were only graded for completion. Chris always made sure that he was available to answer any questions students had through a site called CampusWire which really helped me out with last minute questions before exams. He held review sessions before exams as well. All in all, I thought I didn’t like macro but this class made me love it and I really enjoyed taking it. Definitely gonna try to take another class with him. 100% recommend taking 102 with him if you still need to take it. Chris is the man!!

ECON 102, taken Fall 2021 Submitted Dec. 9, 2021 Grade Received: A+

I leave this class feeling very well-informed and satisfied with what I learned. Surro’s Econ 102 was probably the first economics class in which I felt like I learned something new and revelatory about how the world works.

This class is not great for those who are unconfident in their exam-taking skills. It is weighted heavily—around 75%—on only two exams, the midterm and final, which both averaged at the low-to-mid 70’s. There is not much opportunity, therefore, to improve your grade through long-term assignments like homework or projects. Those who are still used to the leniency of online exams should probably rebuild their exam-taking skills before they take this class.

The project requires you to generate data and graphs using one of the theoretical models you learn in class. I thought the project was a great way to get students to understand how the model (probably the most difficult one in the whole class) works. Putting in the time and individual work to complete this assignment is crucial, in my opinion, if you want to understand the nuances of the model.

I will say, however, that Surro is more stingy with grades than your average professor at UCLA. Only perfect (and “perfect” is arbitrary here since the grade is largely based on how your final deliverable looks) projects will get full credit, and I know no one who got full credit. Surro sets a high bar for his students, so anyone should be prepared to meet it when taking any course with him.

ECON 2, taken Winter 2021 Submitted March 25, 2021 Grade Received: A+

Chris is a solid lecturer and he's super accommodating. He does multiple time frames for you to do the midterms and finals which was *chef's kiss*. Last time I had to do a 3-hour Econ final at 4am because my prof told me it was the Econ dept policy to only have one time slot for exams. He's super responsive on Campuswire, holds a ton of review sessions and OHs. There's also a lot of easy extra credit in the class which bump your grade up by probably 5%.
Most importantly, he explains things extremely well. He sometimes takes a different approach to the textbook and his approach is always clearer. He points out common mistakes in his lectures and makes sure we wouldn't repeat them. There are also practice problems for every chapter which I thought was comparable to the problems on the exam.
The data report was a bit of work but pretty easy. He gave out the grading rubric so it was very clear what was expected of us. He also rounds your grade up so that's very nice.

ECON 102, taken Fall 2021 Submitted Dec. 26, 2021 Grade Received: A

I found Econ 102 with Professor Surro to be one of the most interesting Econ courses I have taken so far. He supplements the problem sets with relevant reading about macroeconomics, making sure that students gain a working understanding of applications in the real-world economy, not just a simplified, theoretical model. There weren't many problem sets during the quarter, and each could easily be knocked out in one day if you understood the lecture material. We took one midterm and a final, neither of which were easy A's. Comfortability with math is a plus. There is also a final project that is given after the first midterm. There is plenty of time to work on it, and it isn't too bad if you don't wait until the last minute. The project focuses on working with Excel to help you build valuable career skills. After the final, some people were upset that he promised a curve and didn't deliver. In reality, he promised a score range for the median grade, which was reached without a curve. Surro is a great professor and fun to talk to outside of class. I will definitely be watching for more classes to take with him.

ECON 11, taken Fall 2020 Submitted Dec. 9, 2020 Grade Received: N/A

I was expecting this class to be much harder than it was, HOWEVER you really need to put in the work to do well. Professor Surro is pretty clear in his lectures, however they aren't super engaging and the examples that he does in lecture are much easier than what you will be tested on. The problem sets and quizzes are optional, but DO THEM because they are only graded on participation and they actually help your grade a lot. Also, he never mentions this in class, but be active on campuswire because you get points for that too. Respond to people's questions and ask questions on there if you have any because you get points for that. This class was pretty difficult, but you can do well if you really understand the concepts and are able to apply them to more difficult questions.

ECON 11, taken Fall 2020 Submitted Dec. 23, 2020 Grade Received: A+

I really, really like Prof. Surro. I cannot say enough great things about him. For this class, your TA is extremely important. I had Andrew Hess, and if you can get him, he is amazing. Both Andrew and Prof. Surro are extremely straightforward when explaining content. The class is also graded very easily. There is a lot of opportunity for extra credit. Quizzes and problem sets are based on completion. With that being said, the midterm and final are a big chunk of your grade and are a lot harder than the quizzes and problem sets. Prof. Surro wants you to understand the concepts, not just regurgitate formulas and definitions. What worked for me was watching all of the lectures and going to discussion, most people did not go at all. The lectures are also all typed up in separate notes from the handwritten notes he uploads. Even though the tests are difficult, all of the information is given to you (also open notes). If you use all of the material given and do A LOT of practice problems, this class is manageable.

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