Contrary to what most people here are saying, Sakai was excellent as an instructor. Yes, the tests can be hard but the quality of instruction matches up to the expected level of performance. I got an A plus on this class. It helps to have past papers and other materials which I'm selling for $20. Email at *************
*This review is actually for Physics 1B Sakai was a good professor to take, her review scores are unfairly deflated. You should attend lecture, because she likes to write solutions to selected problems on the board, and these problems are similar to the ones used on her exams. She's not the best at controlling the powerpoints, but she does post slides and the content on these slides is both relevant to the course and the midterms. Attend lecture, she's personable and is really good at answering specific questions you have at the halfway point in one on ones. Don't be afraid to point out errata, she isn't always right and she sends out and makes corrections if you do. Attend office hours, she knows what she's talking about and is better at explaining concepts in small settings. Exams are half computational, but you're going to want to really understand the mechanics of what you're working with; since the other half the problems could be described as curveballs or "concepts with a twist". You get a notecard of equations and notes if you want one, but if you need it for anything but double checking, you're not going to do well; her exams are timed aggressively. Her exams sometimes are occasionally poorly worded, ask for clarifications before beginning work if you're not sure exactly what's desired. All in all, good professor, put the time in and you'll enjoy it too.
Fall 2019 - Professor Sakai graded our class on a straight scale, where an 85% is an A-, 80% is B+, and so on. Grades were made up of labs (15%), midterm 1/participation grade (25%), midterm 2/participation grade (25%), final exam (50%). One midterm grade can be replaced with your participation grade which is made up of pre-lecture assignments, homework, clickers, and discussion sections. It's not too hard to get full points on the participation grade, but if you are confident in physics you could just gamble on doing well on the midterms and avoid doing a lot of busy work. The two midterms are free response, 50 mins long, and in class. I found them to be very straight forward, and Prof Sakai's practice problems and the LA's review worksheets were helpful for the exams. The final was harder in my opinion. It was about twice as long as the midterms, with a multiple choice section and free response questions. The multiple choice questions wasn't too bad, but I found the free response to be a lot more challenging and had questions I had no idea how to solve. Prof Sakai is a pretty bad lecturer since she gets confused in class and would often ask the students if she was doing a problem correctly. She's a nice person and easygoing, but sooo disorganized. I didn't take physics in high school and I got really frustrated bc of how confusing she is. However, I did well in the class by doing a lot of practice problems and going over lecture slides. If you are confident in your ability to learn material without much guidance from a professor, I would recommend taking Sakai since her tests and grading scheme are reasonable.
Physics 6A: Sakai was a decent lecturer. Everyone gets perfect or near perfect scores on the homework and labs, so your grade is basically determined by the two midterms and final. Her tests were all very straightforward, and if you did the homework and the study guide you'll do well on them. However, because of this the average on the tests were very high, so the curve was useless. I got perfect scores on both midterms, did slightly above average on the final, and ended up with an A-.
Winter 2016 - Prof Sakai was really nice and caring but she wasn't very clear some times. She would make mistakes and some times it seemed like she didnt really know what she was doing. Her tests were really fair but the final was definitely harder. She was pretty easy compared to the other physic professors so if I had to take physics again, I would take it with her.