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Ask questions about Cal Berkeley here!

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Replies to: Ask questions about Cal Berkeley here!

  • StrykurStrykur 1731 replies28 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Are EECS students competitive to the point where they won't help each other? Are study groups prevalent?

    I've heard some hidious things from MCB majors (Molecular and Cellular Biology/Pre-Med; not relevant EECS necessarily, but still competitive as such). It's basically this: if you need study notes, ASK FROM MORE THAN ONE PERSON, and be careful about study groups. Because the competition can becomes outrageously stifling, people will go to lengths such as creating "fake" (ie. factually incorrect) study sheets to give to other students to lower their grades and throw them off the curve, and even create "fake" study groups, to knock off even more students and help the perpetrators further. If you ever need any help in a competitive major such as MCB (not EECS as much, because the difficulty of the EECS material matters more than the curve), ASK A PROFESSOR/GSI in office hours for the best responses. In EECS, you're pretty much on your own, because the material is so difficult that a curve is secondary to course difficulty.

    As for Physics 7A, the material is not too terrible, but the curve is pretty ridiculous (I've seen test results where students will score in the high 90s on midterms, because they have studied to extreme lengths to throttle the curve). An average grade is a B- in the class, but the curve is made so that it's actually impossible to fail outright unless you are at a total loss for the class material. Curved classes I'm aware of where failure is routine are weeders such a Math 1B, Chem 1A, etc. Chemical Engineering is insane - 50+ percent of students will get failing grades, AND NO CURVE IS IN PLACE FOR INFLATION!
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  • royrules22royrules22 639 replies54 threadsRegistered User Member
    royrules22 - Do you have any control on who your roommate(s?) is, or is it completely random?

    Well you and a friend can request to be roomates and you will get in. In fact if you request a roomate you are more likely to get a room you want. Or if you want a random roomate you can answer a few questions to narrow down the potential canidates (i.e. non-smoking, etc).
    What specifically are you finding hard about the EECS program (How, or in what ways is it so difficult?)? Was the transition difficult going from high school work load to EECS work load?

    Well the classes are hard. Also I was just not prepared for the work load. For me (except for a select few) all my classes in High School were effing easy. I really didn't have to study and even if I did it would be last minute. There is no ****ing chance you can do that at Cal. You better be prepared to study your ass off here. Firstly the topics are covered more indepth here, and atleast for my classes there is a lot more theory than just number crunching. Be sure to understand the WHY and HOW of things. If you just memorize formulas (which you mostly never have to do anyway thanks to the invention that is the cheat sheet), and learn how to plug it in you will be royally screwed. Do your homework... thrice. Do all your worksheets. Go to office hours (I kick myself for not realizing this sooner), ask help. Usually though unless you are in a weeder course the curve won't hurt you that much if it does.
    How do you learn what all those numbers and letters that you add to courses mean? I mean, I'd get something like Lit 101 but how do you know what to take first semester and is it possible to find, say, a first semester workload that is relatively simplistic, to ease yourself into this new life? I'm not a slacker, but I am not interested in getting through college with great speed. I want to be able to enjoy it. Thanks!

    Well you have to look through the schedule and your college's website (i.e for cs go to cs.berkeley.edu) and they should have your requrements. They'll teach about CCNs and stuff at CalSO so don't worry about it.
    I am in for EECS and a RCSA sheet recommends me to take Physics 7a the first semester first year.

    Is that class hard? Which professor would you recommend (preferably easy but still teaches something...)? And my current high school AP Physics class is a joke; so will I be screwed when taking Physics 7a?

    Are EECS students competitive to the point where they won't help each other? Are study groups prevalent?

    Thanks a lot.

    Well I found it hard... I got a B- and just blanked out on my final *doh*. Or maybe I'm just an idiot. We never had AP Physics in my school, only Honors. And the class was a joke, and I took it even less seriously. Really the kinetics part you should be able to do (esp. if you had AP). It's when you get to Rotational, waves, pressure (I effing hated this part) that it gets tough. It's more or less the fact that the tests are hard and pretty effing long. Learn the concepts and you should generally do fine. Also don't forget to do the homework (looking at the answer key from DC++ doesn't count), the worksheets, and RTFB (read the ****ing book).

    As for the teacher, well I can't really tell but mostly they are generally the same. Except some are harder than the others in terms of their tests (but the curve's usually pan out).

    As for being competitive, I have not seen that. Than again none of my CS classes had a curve that could hurt the others (in fact I don't even think it had a curve). So I can't tell for certain, but while everyone is competitive they're not cut-throat.... so far.

    Study groups... yea I've seen them. But I'm not in one, and neither are some of my friends. I guess it would be useful if you actually study together (and not all of you are dumb).
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  • MechRocketMechRocket 1759 replies216 threads- Senior Member
    how far is san francisco from berkeley? is it an easy commute? do you take a bus to get to SF? THANKS.
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  • fiskelovefiskelove 85 replies50 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    The "F" bus comes right to campus. Just hop on and take it directly to the Transbay Terminal in San Francisco -- about 30 minutes. From the Transbay Terminal, you can walk to Chinatown or catch another bus that will take you to Union Square in about 5 minutes. Transportation is great!!
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  • punkdudeuspunkdudeus 1199 replies27 threads. Senior Member
    the BART is even faster, you can get to downtown SF in 15 minutes. although it costs like $6
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  • EastBay107EastBay107 60 replies36 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    How hard is it to get an A in English R1A and R1B? Our school is on a block schedule and I had AP english last semester so I don't know if I will be able to prepare for that exam.
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  • MechRocketMechRocket 1759 replies216 threads- Senior Member
    should i bring a bike to berkeley (if i get in haha)? i've heard bikes get stolen all the time there though.
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  • punkdudeuspunkdudeus 1199 replies27 threads. Senior Member
    if you bring a bike, bring a crappy one, expensive ones get stolen, get a good lock. you won't really need one your first year as the dorms are close to campus anyway, and most people walk.
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  • Golden BearGolden Bear 1008 replies6 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Re EastBay107:

    The R&C classes at Berkeley have differing difficulties mainly depending upon how easy/hard the teacher grading is. Typically, English and Comparative Literature's R&C classes have the hardest graders, while Scandinavian and German have some of the easiest R&C classes.

    I can personally attest to the easiness of German R5B, which I am taking this semester.
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  • riyamriyam 288 replies37 threadsRegistered User Member
    one thing to add to strykr's comment,
    physics 7a for boggs section is kinda ridiculous at this point. the first midterm was so ridiculously easy that the mean was 86 / 100. i got a 100 and that still doesn't guarantee an A because of the limit of how many As the professor can give out. the second midterm is in about 3 weeks so unless that one turns out to have a mean of 30 or so, getting an A will be very hard.
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  • StrykurStrykur 1731 replies28 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Typically, English and Comparative Literature's R&C classes have the hardest graders, while Scandinavian and German have some of the easiest R&C classes.

    No kidding. I learned this the hard way (B- in English R1B). Keep in mind our English department is ranked 1 nationally.
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  • StrykurStrykur 1731 replies28 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    i got a 100 and that still doesn't guarantee an A because of the limit of how many As the professor can give out.

    I'm in Physics C10 right now (Physics for Future Presidents for those who don't know - a class I HIGHLY RECOMMEND), and curiously, that class adheres to the same grade scale - which is probably a worse case than Physics 7A because the material in PfFP is not supposed to be difficult! However, my current numerical score in the class is 38 (currently tied with 25 or so other people for the only A+'s in the class), so I'm content right now. The fact that your section right now is not difficult is troubling - an easy class where only 30% of the class gets As is not a good thing.
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  • dskybsundskybsun 11 replies15 threadsRegistered User New Member
    Strykur, I dunno about those other classes you listed but they curved Chem 1A last semester....I believe 86% was the cut-off for an A- and they do it pretty regularly from what I hear. I haven't actually observed ppl handing out factually incorrect study notes and I'm MCB.
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  • royrules22royrules22 639 replies54 threadsRegistered User Member
    Comp Lit is hard. I took Comp Lit R1A last semester and I survived with a B. Idiotically I'm taking Comp Lit R1B now.. Didn't do so hot on my first paper. Also be prepared for a lot of reading in this class more than others.

    As for Physics, I'm taking 7B (the 7 series is for engineers) and the lecture is sad to say useless. Haven't been to it in a few days. Discussion/Labs are a lot more useful thanks to the worksheets. Our midterm this semester was way too long. 6 Questions, 2 hours. Towards the end we didn't have time to finish up. I got a 76/100 with the mean being in the low 70s and the 75%ile (i.e. 25% got better than this) being a 83.
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  • lostincodelostincode 2005 replies57 threads- Senior Member
    how painful is 17 technical units in 1 semester?
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  • riyamriyam 288 replies37 threadsRegistered User Member
    17 technical units depends a lot on which classes you are actually taking. physics/math/chem/bio classes are 4 units, but almost all engineering classes are 3 units or less (or at least almost all of MechE classes). For example, engineering 28, 45, 77 are 3 units, and engineering 36 is 2 units. These are MechE lower-div pre-req classes. Upper div classes are no different in terms of units. And yes these classes actually take more time than other classes. For example I'm spending more time on engineering 45 than math 54 and physics 7a combined. e45 = 3 units, m54+p7a = 8 units
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  • SQLSQL 234 replies5 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    I still don't fully understand the humanities requirements. Do I have to take English, or will, say, Scandinavian R1B/R1B, fulfill my R&C requirement and therefore remove my need to take English?

    Basically I'm wondering if there's a way to get out of English without taking the AP test.
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  • StrykurStrykur 1731 replies28 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    You can fulfill the R&C requirement by taking R&C classes from any language department; you can sidestep the English R1 or Comparative Literature series, which I highly recommend, and I've heard great reviews about German R1.
    Strykur, I dunno about those other classes you listed but they curved Chem 1A last semester....I believe 86% was the cut-off for an A- and they do it pretty regularly from what I hear. I haven't actually observed ppl handing out factually incorrect study notes and I'm MCB.

    I must have confused Chem 1A with another class then (Chem 3A maybe); I made a mistake I think when I listed Math 1B as curved, I was just listing weeders in general. I've heard in general some nasty things from chemistry majors anyway. MCB majors have told me some pretty ridiculous things regarding student competition, so take it for what it's worth, who knows what's being exaggerated.
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  • lostincodelostincode 2005 replies57 threads- Senior Member
    can undergrads register for 200+ classes on telebears if they meet the prerequisites?
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  • TheRighteousTheRighteous 332 replies15 threadsRegistered User Member
    They always curve Chem 1A, Chem 3A, and Math 1B at the end of the semester. It is irrelevant what overall percentage you end up with in the class since the cut off is based on the performance of the entire class.

    This is just my speculation, but the breakdown for Chem 1A last semester is somewhere along the lines of 20% A's, 35% B's, 30% C's.
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