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Advice please! Is this typical for university classes?

I am a freshman enrolling this fall at UCLA

I am currently studying in a community college class

I am history major and right now I am taking Western Civilization class

I want to know if what my professor is doing is typical for all college classes

For the exams he gave us, he never told us clearly where does his exam covers, what he told us was very ambiguous

For example

quote "your final will be everything through the Catholic Church Counter Reformation"

well, the problem with this is

first, the four words, Catholic Church Counter Reformation is neither a chapter name, a section name, nor a sub section name. I searched hardly and finally saw the words that is a part of paragraph end of chapter 14, and also chapter 15 [maybe a referrence, which is of no importance]. so i vaguely knew it is somewhere of chapter 14-15.

second, somehow he didn't cover chapter 13, jumped from 12 directly to 14, didn't mention anything about 13. When I asked him about it, he repeated what he said before, "your final will be everything through the Catholic Church Counter Reformation". i asked him three times in different ways and instead of giving a straight answer of yes and no, he just said the same thing that i am confused with.

the book does not have a clear chronological order, more like, for example, talk France 800-1000, then jump back to Germany 600. So chapter 13 covers an era both before and after the Catholic Church Counter Reformation.

i remembered from the midterm, which he said "covers through Byzantine Empire" The word Byzantine Empire is the title of the section 2 in chapter 8; section 1 is Islam, which he didn't cover. I asked him, he repeated again, "covers through Byzantine Empire". During the test, I found out the ""covers through Byzantine Empire"" means the one ending chapter 7

I tried to ask him what chapter does it end with, he said "I don't care about chapters, the test covers through "blah blah blah" "

so every test, which he only gives 2, i always ran fear of not study the part of book that his test covers, while fear that i waste time on things that i don't need in that test. [i have other classes, limited time]

also, if i tried too hard to ask him to clear my questions, he gets annoyed

the lecture notes does cover the time frame of the test, but the problem is

one, if i follow the lecture notes, then i could not study a chapter until after the class is over, i cannot read more when i have time, and during exam time when i have multiple exams, i ran out of time

two, since this is summer and he has 2 hour classes, and he only needs 1 hour to give us the exam, he lectures at first hour. Problem is, the lecture of the testing day shows up at the test. btw, he does not cover everything in the book assuming we read everything.

is this typical?

or is it typical for professors to say things like :"your test will cover chapter 1-7" or "your test will cover through 'CHAPTER NAME' "?

and if the first is typical? how should I prepare for these kinds of tests to make sure that I study everything covered [and possibly covered] while waste least amount of time studying things that will not be on the test?


2 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Hi a,

    The short answer to your question is... No, what you're experiencing isn't typical of university [or community college] classes. You'll find all kinds of teachers during your years in college. Some will be vague and disorganized, not seeming to much care how difficult that makes it for students. Others will be very student-oriented and do their best to help you understand what's expected. Some will be in between. I was a college teacher for 35 years. I always created syllabi for my classes that spelled out what was expected from my students. I wrote behavioral objectives that I shared with my students and used those to create the exams students took. Regardless of whether course content was from a textbook, a lecture, or some other source, what students were required to master was made clear. I made it a point to keep office hours and meet with students who were having difficulties or needed clarifications about course content. I recommend that you shop around, especially within your major field to identify faculty who are at least somewhat interested in teaching vs. being primarily researchers/writers. Talk to other majors and get their recommendations about which faculty to take. Best wishes.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Depends. He might just be one of THOSE professors. By that i mean people who like to trick you on the exam and make everything has incredible hard as possible.

    Every college has one of THOSE professors. They should be avoided. But since your in that class. He wants you to read everything, to make sure your not reading the part just on the test. Get him on the evaluation. You need to plan better. (he is one of THOSE proffesors). Work 3 times as hard as you would in any other classes. Make an outline. write everything he says.

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