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I didn't think that Dr. Martinson was "easy." So, I think I arrived at the conclusion that the class, 153A, is hard no matter who you take. My advice to you, who's reading this, is don't take Martinson just because his review for difficulty is a 7 instead of an 8 compared to bates.
I loved this class, and it was because I thought the material was so interesting and applicable to everything that I have learned in sciences so far. Dr. Martinson is a great lecturer. You walk out of class learning something everytime you attend lecture, but you also have to do your part. You MUST read the book!!! Even though he is conceptual, his so called concepts come right out of the book. It's just that he explains them more clearly than the book does.
It's really really annoying how he spends lecture time talking about how to study. That kind of bothered because I think that he thinks we're stupid. I mean, we're all UCLA students and I think that by the time someone takes chem 153A, he/she knows how to study! But then again, that's just how he is. He thinks his teaching style if revolutionary, but I didn't really think so.
Overall, exams are very tough. But, he makes them that way in order to challenge our learning (sarcastic tone here), and the averages are very low. So in terms of getting an A, it's totally doable.
I liked the fact that he is very patient with students and is available to talk to you anytime. Occasionally, he'll put you down for asking dumb questions, but I wouldn't get discouraged because who cares...it's your grade and he doesn't know you. I'd recommend him but the class is TOUGH!!! Study a little for it almost everyday, do his past exams, read the book, understand lectures, ask him questions...and good luck!