Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.
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.
Other reviews have said it already, this class was not easy but Surro was a great prof in making himself available. Getting an A in this class is hard and not something I was able to do, but i still feel like I learned a lot and I'm looking forward to Econ 11. If you want an easy A for your GPA, don't take this class. If you want to learn a lot, take this class. Depending on what you want to do after your time at UCLA, I may recommend not taking him and taking an easier professor instead. If you're a math/econ major, being good at math wont really help you in this course and its way more conceptual, so keep that in mind!
Note this is a COVID-19 review
Grading: Higher scoring midterm worth 200 points, lower scoring midterm worth 100 points, final worth 400 points, data report worth 200 points, discussion forum worth 100 points. Total of 1000 points, and if you complete the short quizzes after each lesson, those points become "extra credit" by adding points to both the numerator and denominator of your score (e.g. if you initially got 800/1000 and got 100 points from the quizzes, your score would become 900/1100). The quizzes were pretty easy extra points, all multiple choice. He also rounded grades that were within 0.5% of the next grade.
Chris is a good teacher, but not an easy one. The exams are not plug-and-chug or simple filling in the definition of vocab type questions, you really need to understand how to apply the concepts to a given situation. Even being online with open book exams, the book, notes, and internet are only marginally helpful, you must understand the fundamental concepts. He gives provides questions after each lecture to demonstrate how to apply the concepts and before exams he releases versions from previous years to practice. Use these to your advantage! Practice them a lot and make sure you really understand when certain variables will move and why. All exams are multiple choice.
Participation in the discussion forum was easy, just research a recent news article related to macroeconomics, post a summary and analysis with your thoughts, and comment on at least 2 other people's posts. The data report was also relatively easy, but a bit time-consuming. You're basically taking some raw data of macroeconomic variables for the US and another country, making graphs of them (using something such as Excel, Google Sheets, or R), and observing any noticeable trends you see. If you don't already know how to use a program to make graphs from raw data, he provides a tutorial on Excel. Just put a decent amount of effort into making the graphs look nice, write a decent amount of observations and you're good to go.
With covid, lectures on the material were pre-recorded and the live sessions were dedicated to first going over the end of lecture questions, then answering student questions - it was basically flipped classroom. This format felt good to me though, not like flipped classroom in other classes like the LS 7 series - it provided flexibility and made it easy to seek help on anything you were confused about. It may not be for everyone though, but as long as you’re keeping up you’ll get by fine, and it likely won’t last after Covid. We also had a campuswire that made it easy to ask questions even if you couldn't make the live session.
Overall, Chris' lectures were pretty clear, he was very helpful in answering students' questions, and the grading was fair. A solid choice of class to take. Just don’t automatically expect an A just because it’s an introductory course, you’ll need to work for it.
To be honest, this class was brutal. It's not one of those classes where are you have to do is watch lectures and you'll get an A. It's one of those where you have to do a lot of self-study and going to office hours a lot. He did post-practice exams, questions, and quizzes that all help with fully understanding the material that'll help you with the test. The quizzes are extra credit so that'll also give a boost to your grade. My advice for this class would be to fully understand the material, not just memorize equations and graphs, that'll help in the long run.
PS: Textbooks help for a deeper understanding but you don't need it for the class, lecture notes should be enough
Disclaimer: I took this class in a summer session in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a few words, Chris does not make it easy for you to succeed in this class. He makes you work for it. I initially started the summer session with a job and two classes, but I decided to drop one class since I couldn't balance all of those commitments at once. The content was a lot to swallow all at once during the five-week summer quarter, but I'm sure it's pretty manageable during a regular quarter.
Although many students commented that the exams this quarter were extremely hard, I have to disagree. I found them pretty manageable given all of the study materials he gave us, to be honest, even though they were all high-difficulty application problems (during non-COVID quarters, there is a mix of definition and application problems). I have no doubt that the exams would be no problem during a regular quarter with the simple definition-recollection problems. Nonetheless, you can't just sit back and review the slides/read the book and hope to do well on the exams. You need to build the proper graphical intuition and problem-solving skills before going into each exam. Some hard work and intention is required for this class.
Grading scheme: [100(discussion board grade)+175(midterm grade)+175(data report grade)+350(final grade)+100(optional quiz grades] / (800 if you completed no quizzes or 900 if you completed every quiz)
Fascinating professor! Professor Surro explained things in an engaging and clear way, always being ready to help, and he is extremely accommodating as well. Would definitely take again.
Chris is an all- around great professor. He knows how to make his lectures and explanations clear, and he is always available for help when you need it. I felt like Chris did a really good job in making himself available for students in that way. That being said, make sure to use that resource because his tests are quite difficult. Like the other reviews said, just knowing the notes won't get you a decent grade in this class. Don't just know how to do every problem he gives you to practice, but always try to figure out ways where he can change/reword the questions to ask you something different and test different concepts. He likes to do that often during the tests. Other than that, I can confidently say that I learned a lot in this class despite it being tough. I'd say it is worth it to take it with Chris.
Lectures drag on. After the first week, we were getting about 2++ hours of lecture time (including "homework" problems after lectures) on T and R. Look, there isn't any homework in this class, but if you want to know how to take Surro's tests you gotta do them. The midterm was tough. People generally did better in the final. You're gonna see other people saying that Surro grills us on application-type problems, but he did that just to prevent any sort of cheating. Generally, know the math and know how S&D graphs work and shift. — it gets more interesting when you look at LR and SR shifts. Surro says you don't have to read the textbook bc he tests on the stuff in his lecture. I found myself taking more notes from the textbook than his lectures, expect for like one chapter. I feel like either way works.
*taken during covid; online course*
Surro was very helpful. He held multiple office hours and used Campuswire to answer questions. Good communication.
His exams were fair, but since the course was online, he made them application based rather some based on definitions (his words). No doubt if this class was in person it would’ve been easier to ace the exams. I didn’t do so hot on the midterm - average was C - but I got it together for the final. I did have to dedicate a lot of time to the class. I found it helpful to create a master study guide - handwrite them with different colors, it helps a lot!
Grade breakdown included: discussion posts, project, midterm, final. There was also extra credit.
I think that Chris did a decent job teaching Econ 2. Granted, it was online and set over 6 weeks rather than 10 which made the class fast-paced and boring. I feel that Chris didn't have enough time to go over each topic to its full extent because of how rushed the class was. His lectures were very boring, but watching on 1.5x speed made it go by a little faster. A lot of the class was confused on many topics, but Chris would provide problems he would go over after every lecture which covered the topics he taught in the associated lecture video. Chris' exams were not easy, the class average was 69% for the midterm and around 75% on the final. He does provide extra credit quizzes (which really don't add much, maybe a percent or two), as well as a discussion post assignment and data report assignment that were basically easy points to boost your grade. Exams were open note, but Chris made them difficult in that they were almost all application problems rather than definition type problems.
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