Jeremy Smoak
Department of Ancient Near East
AD
3.6
Overall Rating
Based on 46 User s
Easiness 2.6 / 5 How easy the class is, 1 being extremely difficult and 5 being easy peasy.
Clarity 3.9 / 5 How clear the professor is, 1 being extremely unclear and 5 being very clear.
Workload 2.3 / 5 How light the workload is, 1 being extremely heavy and 5 being extremely light.
Helpfulness 4.0 / 5 How helpful the professor is, 1 being not helpful at all and 5 being extremely helpful.

TOP TAGS

  • Appropriately Priced Materials
  • Uses Slides
  • Needs Textbook
  • Useful Textbooks
  • Engaging Lectures
  • Participation Matters

GRADE DISTRIBUTIONS

31.6%
26.3%
21.1%
15.8%
10.5%
5.3%
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.

29.5%
24.6%
19.6%
14.7%
9.8%
4.9%
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.

30.9%
25.7%
20.6%
15.4%
10.3%
5.1%
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.

29.3%
24.4%
19.5%
14.6%
9.8%
4.9%
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.

25.7%
21.4%
17.2%
12.9%
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.

22.0%
18.3%
14.6%
11.0%
7.3%
3.7%
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.

24.3%
20.3%
16.2%
12.2%
8.1%
4.1%
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.

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.

23.9%
19.9%
15.9%
11.9%
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.

27.4%
22.8%
18.3%
13.7%
9.1%
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.

33.3%
27.8%
22.2%
16.7%
11.1%
5.6%
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.

34.4%
28.6%
22.9%
17.2%
11.5%
5.7%
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.

30.1%
25.0%
20.0%
15.0%
10.0%
5.0%
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.

40.0%
33.3%
26.7%
20.0%
13.3%
6.7%
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.

39.5%
32.9%
26.3%
19.7%
13.2%
6.6%
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.

37.1%
30.9%
24.7%
18.6%
12.4%
6.2%
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.

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Reviews (38)

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1 of 4
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Quarter: Fall 2020
Grade: A
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Dec. 31, 2020

If I was evaluating this class only based on Dr. Smoak, I would be giving a much nicer review. The material in this course centers on Jerusalem and the biblical mythology and history surrounding it, so having prior religious education is advantageous. While I did not find the material in this course particularly interesting, Dr. Smoak was a clear lecturer and always willing to stay on Zoom after class and clarify anything that did not make sense. He was also very understanding of the unique pandemic circumstances; he extended the due dates of several papers and assignments, made the midterm and final very straightforward, and even instituted a generous curve once all grades were implemented, which is honestly the only reason I received the grade I got.
Now, in terms of workload, this course is ludicrous. On paper, it just looks like a few readings twice a week and one short response as well as two 6-8 page essays, one being a literary analysis. For a 5-unit GE Writing II course, that doesn’t seem too bad, but my TA expected an advanced comprehension of each and every article and chapter and turned every discussion section into 50 minutes of regurgitating facts, which disadvantaged anyone who was reading the stories for the first time. He marked off points without specific justification on reading responses and essays. I’m not sure if he has grasped the concept that highlighting a sentence and saying “not clear” is lazy and insufficient feedback.
Anyway, I digress. This quarter was Dr. Smoak vs. the condescending and infuriatingly aloof TAs, and Dr. Smoak won in the end. Do not listen to reviews that say that this class is easy, because it is only easy if you have a very light schedule and are a naturally good writer. I’d prefer death over taking this class again.

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Quarter: Fall 2018
Grade: A
Jan. 11, 2019

The organization of Professor Smoak was kind of difficult to deal with to be honest. He doesn't post the lecture slides online and most of the lecture during class is commentary on the minimal notes put on the slides that he does present, so it was difficult at time trying to figure out what to take notes on and what to ignore. This class is writing-intensive (as it is a Writing II course) including two main papers, weekly reading responses, and an in-class midterm and final.

For the weekly reading responses, they're mostly graded on completion and answering the prompt (I got 10/10 on most of them just writing boring responses). The weekly reading itself is another reason I'd dock the class on being disorganized. I didn't really know how the reading pertained to the class. He assigned weekly reading under the schedule but it wasn't mandatory so no one actually did it.

As for the in-class tests, the midterm was pretty hard and the final was super easy. His midterm had multiple concepts that weren't listed on the study guide (note: he tests on quotes where you need to know specific words to finish sentences/fill-in-the-blank which were pretty hard, so read the passages he puts on the study guide very carefully). I think he realized that the midterm was harder than he had anticipated, so the final was super easy (I got an 88 on the midterm and a 98 on the final, which was much shorter and a lot easier).

For the papers that we had to write, this would probably be my biggest gripe with the class. Professor Smoak and the TA's don't really help that much in writing these papers unless you go out of your way to ask them in office hours to elaborate. During section and lecture, they will tell you what they want to see in the essays, but will hardly give any helpful examples to follow. The prompts for the paper are broad and definitely confused me in the writing process because they had so many facets that I had to narrow down into a single thesis/paper. I eventually went to the TA's office hours to ask for help on this paper and while my writing itself didn't seem that much better/different, I guess it mirrored what HE specifically wanted to see, so I ended up clutching an A.

Helpful?

2 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2020
Grade: A-
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Dec. 31, 2020

Terrible, terrible class with a boring professor and extremely callous TAs. The workload does not look like much when it’s on the syllabus, but once you’re actually trying to dissect what the hell the essay prompts are, you start to realize how intense this course is. Dr. Smoak wasn’t the most engaging person ever; it didn’t help that on Zoom, his more interactive slides didn’t work too well. However, I will give him credit for extending assignment deadlines, curving the class, and making the midterm and final very manageable. To do well in the class, I would recommend that you come in with significant knowledge of biblical stories (especially Genesis and the Gospels) because if you do you won’t waste time scrolling through the Bible when collecting evidence for your essays. Also, do all the readings because your TA may expect you to have read all of them in discussion. That being said, your TA kinda determines your grade in this course, so if you have a bad one, you’re kinda screwed. Don’t sign up for Aaron’s discussion section(s) because if he doesn’t like your writing, he will not give you an A no matter how hard you try. Smoak saved this class from being complete and utter trash. Know what you’re getting yourself into before you sign up.

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Quarter: Fall 2021
Grade: A
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Dec. 21, 2021

Professor Smoak was a great lecturer but his slides weren't the most helpful. It is also rather hard to take notes that will be comprehensible later when studying for the midterm/final. You should also go to every lecture and pay close attention if you don't have time for all the readings assigned every week. I went into this class with little to no knowledge of Jerusalem and I was too busy to do the readings, but I found that the information he goes over in class was super helpful when writing my papers.
There are two papers for this class, one with a pretty strict topic and a second where you can work more freely. The grading for these papers depends on your TA, but in my case, they weren't too bad. The papers are graded pretty fairly, but a lot of people do end up scoring in the low B to high C range.
Overall, the class is very interesting but if you do not consider yourself to be a strong writer and you are looking to score an A, I would reconsider taking it.

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Quarter: Fall 2021
Grade: A-
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Dec. 13, 2021

I would recommend taking this class. The topics discussed are very interesting if you have any remote interest in Jerusalem or its history - however, it does not dive into its modern day dilemmas. Smoak keeps lectures interesting and going to class is not miserable at all. The workload is a lot - a one page "essay" every week, 2 6-8 page essays, a midterm and a final. Its doable - you do not need to read the assigned reading to get a good grade. Grading depends a lot on your TA, I had Bryan and I liked him.

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Quarter: Fall 2019
Grade: A-
Dec. 3, 2021

This class was hands down my favorite class at UCLA. Smoak is an engaging lecturer and the material synthesizes different subjects (space and religion) in a way I hadn't seen before. I have never felt like I learned more than in this class. That said, if you have no interest in the material, this class might not be worth it for you. Lastly, if you notice your TA is a hard grader, switch sections. My TA would take-off points and not elaborate why, so I never got the opportunity to improve on later papers. I would suggest if you have this issue, go to Smoak's office hours because Smoak was more helpful than my TA for paper revisions.

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0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2021
Grade: S
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Nov. 23, 2021

Professor Smoak and TA Bryan are really clear and helful in teaching, and lectures and class materials are well-organized. I took this class as W2 as freshmen and foreigner, and I was literally struggling with papers and understanding of the religious texts. The writing requirement for this class is really high. However, if you are good in writing and have the capability to handle a bunch of English religious readings, please take this class since it will provide with a good opportunity to get to know histroy of Judais, Christianity, and Islam.

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0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Winter 2021
Grade: A
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Sept. 10, 2021

I took AN N EA 12W with Professor Smoak which is basically the same thing as 10W (only with less students in a class). Smoak is very helpful and nice (btw he studied at Jerusalem). The course material is very interesting!! It helps if you have a bit of previous knowledge of religion but even if you don't, you would still do good in this class. Essays are a bit heavy but in general, an awesome class!
-
IM SELLING PDF VERSION OF "JERUSALEM ONE CITY THREE FAITHS" by Karen Armstrong. Shoot me a quick email if you're interested:
andrew87mendez@gmail.com

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0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2018
Grade: A
June 4, 2021

Absolutely loved this class! Fascinating subject and wonderful lecturer. I took two classes with Professor Smoak and I think he was the best professor I had at UCLA, truly knowledgable and passionate about the subject matter.

I will say, however, this class knocks out a lot of GE requirements but its also super work intensive. At this same time...I think I learned how to write college essays from this class. Definitely hard work but in my opinion it was worth it - at least if you are interested in the subject and ready to learn.

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0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2020
Grade: A
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
March 11, 2021

This class was an incredibly fascinating combination of history, biblical literature, and archeology. The class goes through the history of Jerusalem, analyses biblical texts and archeological evidence related to the city, and discusses the relationship between the three Judeo-Christian religions. Being a writing II course, there were a lot of writing assignments (weekly one-page essays plus two 5-8 page papers) but each weekly assignment felt relevant to the class and built up to the longer papers. I would definitely take this class again, and plan on taking another class with professor Smoak in the future.

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: Fall 2020
Grade: A
Dec. 31, 2020

If I was evaluating this class only based on Dr. Smoak, I would be giving a much nicer review. The material in this course centers on Jerusalem and the biblical mythology and history surrounding it, so having prior religious education is advantageous. While I did not find the material in this course particularly interesting, Dr. Smoak was a clear lecturer and always willing to stay on Zoom after class and clarify anything that did not make sense. He was also very understanding of the unique pandemic circumstances; he extended the due dates of several papers and assignments, made the midterm and final very straightforward, and even instituted a generous curve once all grades were implemented, which is honestly the only reason I received the grade I got.
Now, in terms of workload, this course is ludicrous. On paper, it just looks like a few readings twice a week and one short response as well as two 6-8 page essays, one being a literary analysis. For a 5-unit GE Writing II course, that doesn’t seem too bad, but my TA expected an advanced comprehension of each and every article and chapter and turned every discussion section into 50 minutes of regurgitating facts, which disadvantaged anyone who was reading the stories for the first time. He marked off points without specific justification on reading responses and essays. I’m not sure if he has grasped the concept that highlighting a sentence and saying “not clear” is lazy and insufficient feedback.
Anyway, I digress. This quarter was Dr. Smoak vs. the condescending and infuriatingly aloof TAs, and Dr. Smoak won in the end. Do not listen to reviews that say that this class is easy, because it is only easy if you have a very light schedule and are a naturally good writer. I’d prefer death over taking this class again.

Helpful?

2 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2018
Grade: A
Jan. 11, 2019

The organization of Professor Smoak was kind of difficult to deal with to be honest. He doesn't post the lecture slides online and most of the lecture during class is commentary on the minimal notes put on the slides that he does present, so it was difficult at time trying to figure out what to take notes on and what to ignore. This class is writing-intensive (as it is a Writing II course) including two main papers, weekly reading responses, and an in-class midterm and final.

For the weekly reading responses, they're mostly graded on completion and answering the prompt (I got 10/10 on most of them just writing boring responses). The weekly reading itself is another reason I'd dock the class on being disorganized. I didn't really know how the reading pertained to the class. He assigned weekly reading under the schedule but it wasn't mandatory so no one actually did it.

As for the in-class tests, the midterm was pretty hard and the final was super easy. His midterm had multiple concepts that weren't listed on the study guide (note: he tests on quotes where you need to know specific words to finish sentences/fill-in-the-blank which were pretty hard, so read the passages he puts on the study guide very carefully). I think he realized that the midterm was harder than he had anticipated, so the final was super easy (I got an 88 on the midterm and a 98 on the final, which was much shorter and a lot easier).

For the papers that we had to write, this would probably be my biggest gripe with the class. Professor Smoak and the TA's don't really help that much in writing these papers unless you go out of your way to ask them in office hours to elaborate. During section and lecture, they will tell you what they want to see in the essays, but will hardly give any helpful examples to follow. The prompts for the paper are broad and definitely confused me in the writing process because they had so many facets that I had to narrow down into a single thesis/paper. I eventually went to the TA's office hours to ask for help on this paper and while my writing itself didn't seem that much better/different, I guess it mirrored what HE specifically wanted to see, so I ended up clutching an A.

Helpful?

2 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Quarter: Fall 2020
Grade: A-
Dec. 31, 2020

Terrible, terrible class with a boring professor and extremely callous TAs. The workload does not look like much when it’s on the syllabus, but once you’re actually trying to dissect what the hell the essay prompts are, you start to realize how intense this course is. Dr. Smoak wasn’t the most engaging person ever; it didn’t help that on Zoom, his more interactive slides didn’t work too well. However, I will give him credit for extending assignment deadlines, curving the class, and making the midterm and final very manageable. To do well in the class, I would recommend that you come in with significant knowledge of biblical stories (especially Genesis and the Gospels) because if you do you won’t waste time scrolling through the Bible when collecting evidence for your essays. Also, do all the readings because your TA may expect you to have read all of them in discussion. That being said, your TA kinda determines your grade in this course, so if you have a bad one, you’re kinda screwed. Don’t sign up for Aaron’s discussion section(s) because if he doesn’t like your writing, he will not give you an A no matter how hard you try. Smoak saved this class from being complete and utter trash. Know what you’re getting yourself into before you sign up.

Helpful?

1 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Quarter: Fall 2021
Grade: A
Dec. 21, 2021

Professor Smoak was a great lecturer but his slides weren't the most helpful. It is also rather hard to take notes that will be comprehensible later when studying for the midterm/final. You should also go to every lecture and pay close attention if you don't have time for all the readings assigned every week. I went into this class with little to no knowledge of Jerusalem and I was too busy to do the readings, but I found that the information he goes over in class was super helpful when writing my papers.
There are two papers for this class, one with a pretty strict topic and a second where you can work more freely. The grading for these papers depends on your TA, but in my case, they weren't too bad. The papers are graded pretty fairly, but a lot of people do end up scoring in the low B to high C range.
Overall, the class is very interesting but if you do not consider yourself to be a strong writer and you are looking to score an A, I would reconsider taking it.

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: Fall 2021
Grade: A-
Dec. 13, 2021

I would recommend taking this class. The topics discussed are very interesting if you have any remote interest in Jerusalem or its history - however, it does not dive into its modern day dilemmas. Smoak keeps lectures interesting and going to class is not miserable at all. The workload is a lot - a one page "essay" every week, 2 6-8 page essays, a midterm and a final. Its doable - you do not need to read the assigned reading to get a good grade. Grading depends a lot on your TA, I had Bryan and I liked him.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2019
Grade: A-
Dec. 3, 2021

This class was hands down my favorite class at UCLA. Smoak is an engaging lecturer and the material synthesizes different subjects (space and religion) in a way I hadn't seen before. I have never felt like I learned more than in this class. That said, if you have no interest in the material, this class might not be worth it for you. Lastly, if you notice your TA is a hard grader, switch sections. My TA would take-off points and not elaborate why, so I never got the opportunity to improve on later papers. I would suggest if you have this issue, go to Smoak's office hours because Smoak was more helpful than my TA for paper revisions.

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: Fall 2021
Grade: S
Nov. 23, 2021

Professor Smoak and TA Bryan are really clear and helful in teaching, and lectures and class materials are well-organized. I took this class as W2 as freshmen and foreigner, and I was literally struggling with papers and understanding of the religious texts. The writing requirement for this class is really high. However, if you are good in writing and have the capability to handle a bunch of English religious readings, please take this class since it will provide with a good opportunity to get to know histroy of Judais, Christianity, and Islam.

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: Winter 2021
Grade: A
Sept. 10, 2021

I took AN N EA 12W with Professor Smoak which is basically the same thing as 10W (only with less students in a class). Smoak is very helpful and nice (btw he studied at Jerusalem). The course material is very interesting!! It helps if you have a bit of previous knowledge of religion but even if you don't, you would still do good in this class. Essays are a bit heavy but in general, an awesome class!
-
IM SELLING PDF VERSION OF "JERUSALEM ONE CITY THREE FAITHS" by Karen Armstrong. Shoot me a quick email if you're interested:
andrew87mendez@gmail.com

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2018
Grade: A
June 4, 2021

Absolutely loved this class! Fascinating subject and wonderful lecturer. I took two classes with Professor Smoak and I think he was the best professor I had at UCLA, truly knowledgable and passionate about the subject matter.

I will say, however, this class knocks out a lot of GE requirements but its also super work intensive. At this same time...I think I learned how to write college essays from this class. Definitely hard work but in my opinion it was worth it - at least if you are interested in the subject and ready to learn.

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: Fall 2020
Grade: A
March 11, 2021

This class was an incredibly fascinating combination of history, biblical literature, and archeology. The class goes through the history of Jerusalem, analyses biblical texts and archeological evidence related to the city, and discusses the relationship between the three Judeo-Christian religions. Being a writing II course, there were a lot of writing assignments (weekly one-page essays plus two 5-8 page papers) but each weekly assignment felt relevant to the class and built up to the longer papers. I would definitely take this class again, and plan on taking another class with professor Smoak in the future.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
1 of 4
3.6
Overall Rating
Based on 46 Users
Easiness 2.6 / 5 How easy the class is, 1 being extremely difficult and 5 being easy peasy.
Clarity 3.9 / 5 How clear the professor is, 1 being extremely unclear and 5 being very clear.
Workload 2.3 / 5 How light the workload is, 1 being extremely heavy and 5 being extremely light.
Helpfulness 4.0 / 5 How helpful the professor is, 1 being not helpful at all and 5 being extremely helpful.

TOP TAGS

  • Appropriately Priced Materials
    (22)
  • Uses Slides
    (24)
  • Needs Textbook
    (19)
  • Useful Textbooks
    (19)
  • Engaging Lectures
    (15)
  • Participation Matters
    (14)
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