Slide 54

UCLA is a place that offers  wide range of course selections to  suits everyone’s  interests. MCDB 50, Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology, is not only a course that satisfies a General Education (GE) requirement, but also satisfies the mandatory Diversity Requirement. Talk about killing two birds with one stone! MCDB 50 is an interesting course that covers the topic of stem cells and the ethics surrounding it. The following are tips to help you aim for that A.

1. Read all the discussion readings

One of the most important things to do to excel in MCDB 50 is reading and comprehending the provided Discussion Readings. The topics in these readings will be the focus of that week’s discussion and is relevant to what you’ve learned already and/or what you will learn in upcoming lectures. Also, there is no better way to rack up those participation points than understanding the readings so you can provide insightful comments and questions.

2. Pay Close Attention In Discussion

Discussion is crucial to understanding and comprehending the course work. The TAs do a fantastic job when it comes to reviewing details and leading the discussions. They really put some topics to focus and are extremely helpful in explaining information. In addition, the information taught in discussion will be heavily utilized when completing the weekly Discussion Assignments, so pay attention!

3. Obtain An iClicker And Bring It To Lecture Every Day

Even though iClickers are not the cheapest thing, it is well worth the investment especially if you are a STEM major. Yes, there is an app, iClicker Reef, that you can use rather than purchasing one, but there have been issues with joining the class or not begin able to view the questions. The clicker questions serve as lecture participation points and are a way for the professor to grasp if the students are understanding the class.

4. Attend Lectures

Although it should be obvious, it is not the most clever thing to skip lectures. The professor allows each lecture to be BruinCasted, but there will be a risk of missing clicker questions, resulting in a 0% for lecture participation for that day. Each lecture is filled with important and interesting information that will be tested on in exams.

5. Review the PowerPoints

Most of the information that are covered in lectures are mainly taken straight from the PowerPoint slides. Reviewing these slides will be helpful when studying for upcoming exams as the slides are dense in useful information. However, the professor does elaborate more on the topics on the slides, so make sure youare familiar with those too.

Even though the class grades are not curved, it is fairly easy and doable to get an A if you follow all the tips provided above. Although some may look at the syllabus and think this class is a lot of work, it is easier than it looks. Most are class or discussion projects, can be done in about five to ten minutes or all the information is already given during lectures and discussions and just need to be written down. Good luck and anyone who is taking this class enjoys it!


Jody Yang

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