Fall 2019 - I never took AP Gov so in the beginning of the quarter I was honest to god lost and had no idea what was going on compared to everyone else. That said I still ended up with an A+! I never really went to lecture after the midterm - Schwartz is a nice guy but I found his slides kind of boring and he posts verbatim lecture notes online, so I stopped showing up and instead took notes on those. For the midterm, the test bank has like 40 past exams to choose from, so I printed two from different years and aced the midterm with no problems whatsoever. The test bank from the final only had 2 past exams from like 2012 and they had 20 less questions on them than our final, so I made a quizlet of info from the hunks instead, spent like three days reviewing those, and did pretty well on it considering the final grade I got :) It is a lot of memorization, but it's not too bad coming from someone who never learned anything about gov before this. Also beware that this prof does not believe in multiple choice so everything is short answer. DON'T BUY THE LOWI BOOK. It's useless and I stopped reading it after Week 1 because it just kinda goes over the same stuff his lecture notes do. The Kollman textbook is pretty helpful for the midterm in-class essay, but after the midterm I literally never opened it again. The readings after that weren't on the final and are just meant to help you with your final essay. The final essay is based on your TA, so I went to office hours to go over my stuff and make sure I was on the right track. My TA didn't require us to reference any books or specific readings so the Kollman book was really useless after Week 5. Overall, this class is really straightforward and easy if you put in some work before the exams. Really good intro course, I'd recommend it as a GE for sure.
Crosslisted as Econ M135. Schwartz is an AMAZING man. If you have the chance, get to know him because he has been involved with many interesting and influential events. Schwartz really enjoys political models... ie voting, bill passing etc. He uses a vague grading scale such as excellent, or not your best, which can be frustrating but in the end he seemed to grade fairly. Assigns A LOT of reading, that he sometimes refers to in class and other times does not. If you can think on your feet you should fare fine. Assignments are well spaced and feel free to chat with him about it if you are confused. He also loves colored chalk and can be quite funny. Overall, you will learn in accordance to the amount of effort you put into it.