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The fall semester is coming to an end, and course evaluations can come in handy for students that are thinking of taking certain courses next semester or eventually. For these evaluations, the courses will be evaluated on five criteria; the attendance factor, the professor, overall level of difficulty of the class, overall workload for the class, and exam difficulty. At the end, there will be an overall rating for the course as a letter grade (A-F).

This course evaluation will cover MAT 125, or Calculus A taught by Professor William Bernhard.

1. The attendance factor

 

The attendance factor, in simpler terms, is basically how often you need to come to class. For MAT 125, attendance relies on how comfortable you are with Calculus. If you’ve taken Calculus before in high school or in other courses, you may already be familiar with a lot of the material and might not need to come to every single lecture. If you are simply good at math and grasp concepts easily you might not need to come to every lecture either. But if you are new to Calculus, you should really go to each lecture because Professor Bernhard does an excellent job of breaking down the topic at hand into smaller pieces that are more understandable. This is something you won’t get from the textbook, Webassign, or even tutoring. His teaching style and mannerisms really help students understand Calculus, and you should take advantage of this.

2. The professor

 

Professor Bernhard is singlehandedly the best math teacher I’ve ever had. He’s caring, understanding, kind, hilarious, and great at teaching. He makes difficult concepts very understandable and tries his best to make everyone understand the topics we cover. Professor Bernhard explains the content thoroughly, answers everyone’s questions and makes us laugh the whole time as well.

3. Overall difficulty of the class

 

This depends on several factors like whether you’ve taken calculus before, how good you are at math, if you’re new to calculus, and if you’re willing to put in some work. If you’ve taken calculus this class could be a breeze, similarly if you’re naturally good at math this could be easy as well. But if math is not your strong suit or you have no experience with calculus, you’re going to have to put in some extra work (the amount of extra work depends on the degrees of these two factors). Don’t worry, because between the teaching assistants, the tutoring centers, and the professor himself, you have plenty of resources at your disposal. If you put in a good amount of work studying, doing the webassign weekly as well as the paper homework and coming to each class, you will do fine.

4. Overall workload of the class

 

This also depends. Every week a new webassign is uploaded and there is paper homework. All the webassigns are due at the end of the semester, so you can do them whenever you want. The paper homework is not graded and does not count toward anything. Do the webassign weekly so you’re on the same pace with the weekly content of the course and strengthens your understanding of the material. The paper homework can be done if you feel like you need more practice with a certain concept. If you do both weekly, you’d spend around 2-3 hours per week outside of class, which isn’t bad at all.

5. Exam Difficulty

 

Professor Bernhard will release practice exams the week before the actual exam and go over all the questions in class, which is extremely helpful. The actual exams are pretty similar to his practice ones so as long as you study those and practice the main concepts, you should do fine.

Overall, the grade for this course, considering all the factors, is an B+. The only cons for this course would be that there are no answers for the paper homework, and the teaching assistants were pretty not as helpful to me.


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Mehar Bharatiya

Hi, I'm Mehar and I'm an Anthropology Major and Geology Minor at Stony Brook University! I like reading, writing, art, and cats. In my free time I like pondering philosophical quandaries, watching meme compilations, and engaging in political discourse!


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