Campos is teaching you to think on your own, not simply to rinse and repeat what he has said. Campos teaches you everything you need to know to pass his class, however whether or not you can apply these skills affects how you will do in the class. Exams 2 and 3 are mostly synthesis and mechanism, and often require you to think outside the box. The test averages for our class was in the 60-70's. The class has 3 exams, a final exam (essentially 2 tests, given to you in separate packets), and a quizzes section. Because intensive orgo is so much smaller than the general orgo class, the group worksheet (called WOW) was dropped as a graded section, although he still gave them out. Of these 6 elements ('5' tests and the quizzes), one can be dropped. Overall, Campos is a good teacher and you will learn a lot from him, but prepare to struggle, because those exams are very difficult, and he doesn't tell you what the curve will be until you are looking at your grade for the semester. Tl;dr 3 exams, 2 part final, and quizzes go into the grade Tough but prepares you well
LECTURES: Pretty straight forward. Professor Campos posts his lecture notes on courseworks about 30 minutes before lecture so it's handy to print them out before going into class as the reactions can move pretty quickly. There are times when Professor Campos makes mistakes on the board but the students catch onto it quickly. Professor Campos is also pretty clear on what he wants you to know in terms of reactions and basic concepts. The tricky part is knowing how to piece everything together. QUIZZES: The TA's are extremely helpful. In my semester, the TA's seemed to be working together to make sure the students had a lot of practice and study material. The quizzes can get kinda tough so prepare in advance. I find the worksheets the TA's give are very indicative of their quizzes in retrospect. 5 quizzes total, 1 dropped. Quiz composite grade is 1 unit. GW: These things are called group worksheets. They are essentially a 4 part exam question that you're given to work on with 2~3 other people as a group. He assigns the problem by courseworks and it is due in 24 hours. It's graded kinda like a problem set where everything is standardized. The honor code is used. This problem can get kinda annoying as the group that you work with must be a new group every GW. There are 3 GW's. I found them to be a hassle. GW composite is 1 unit. EXAMS: There are three exams. Difficulty is pretty tough. You need to be able to use the reactions that you learn like you're using lego building blocks thus I suggest getting comfortable with the reactions quickly. Also, practice is key because there are certain patterns that will arise that will most likely be used on the exams. Each exam is 1 unit and the final exam is 2 units. CURVE: That lands us with a total of 7 units. 5 of the 7 units will be counted. One will come from either the quizzes or the gw. The 4 other units will come from the exams. The exams are dropped based on how well you did with respect to the class. If you do average it's likely you'll get a B.
If the gods of scheduling so allow you, take Campos for Organic Chemistry. Unlike many of his colleagues, he cares. He wants you to know and master this material, as opposed to screwing you over. Sure, itâ€™s hard. Of course itâ€™s hard â€“ itâ€™s a brand new way of thinking, and in the same way you learned to read and do your multiplication tables, youâ€™re going to have to learn how to push electrons and predict syntheses. But Campos and his TAâ€™s will work their rear ends off to help you as much as you can, and I for one think they did an amazing job. Some of his exam questions and GWâ€™s (see below) will make you feel like heâ€™s trying to mess with you. Unlike in Cornishâ€™s exam questions though, which test you over material you have yet to learn, you have all the knowledge you need in your hands to find the right answer. Usually, these questions require you to combine ideas that you have learned across multiple lectures â€“ what is pushing an arrow really, in terms of the molecular orbital theory? (Theyâ€™ll drive you nuts.) But at the end of the day, youâ€™ll either find the answer to your problem or smack yourself when you see the key, because really, you know all this, you just didnâ€™t connect it in your head in the exam room. Campos himself is incredibly approachable, and is always willing to answer any questions you have â€“ no matter how complex or simple â€“ in office hours. He respects both your intellect and struggle, and never seems supercilious. Office hours are run in a sort of group setting, in which you can listen to your classmatesâ€™ questions and Camposâ€™s answers. Chances are, they have many of the same questions you do. Each TA has his (or her, but we didnâ€™t have any females my year) style of teaching. All three that he hires, though, will work pretty hard to make sure get this class. In addition to answering your questions promptly via email, theyâ€™ll also share their worksheets and quizzes together as one big packet before every exam. This â€œTA packet,â€ if you will, gives you all sorts of different problems from the various TAâ€™s and makes you approach each topic from all three of the TAâ€™s styles. Itâ€™s pretty handy. The TAâ€™s will also do some pretty cool things for you, like let their office hours run an hour over before some exams. Show up to class. He posts his notes online, but theyâ€™re no substitute for his teaching. Of course, if you fall ill/have some other pressing concern, those notes are lifesavers. He tries to experiment a little every year to improve his teaching â€“ this experimentation includes some new ways of explaining concepts, making Working on Worksheets with your neighbors packets, having students model reactions with costumes and cardboard signs, and â€œscaffoldingâ€ â€“ using the answer of one exam question to help you answer the next. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesnâ€™t, but his experimentation breaks up the blackboard monotony. Group Worksheets, or GWâ€™s, are take home quizzes you do with a group. You can use your notes or textbook, but you canâ€™t consult students not in your group or the internet (honor system). Theyâ€™re ridiculously hard, and will, like I said before, drive you nuts. (â€œItâ€™ll take you 45 minutes.â€ Yeah right. ) Still, they prepare you pretty well for the exam, and force you to struggle together. Take a deep breath, make flashcards of your reactions, and try to keep up. Youâ€™re going to be alright. You might even enjoy yourself a bit.
I left this class with mixed feelings. Professor Campos, while funny and charming, has a teaching style that feels disorganized at times. He makes all of his lecture notes available online, but these notes are scratched out in his handwriting and often unclear. I found it frustrating that he would make mention of things in his notes that were not mentioned at all in McMurry until several chapters later. As a student, I often felt like I had to work incredibly hard just to make sense of the material, especially after the first half of the semester, when the material got more difficult. All of this being said, I did well in the class, and think that it's possible to get an A/A- if you do McMurry problems with regularity and seek out additional problem sets from other sections. A word of caution: the TAs for this particular semester were quite a mixed bag. Some were helpful, responsive, eager to teach, while others were frequently late to section, unresponsive, and unhelpful. If possible, go to a few different sections before settling on one.
Really friendly guy, seems nice... but those tests are not pretty. His tests are insanely difficult, even though the first one and the final exam weren't too bad. The problems he gives you are not enough, McMurray pales in comparison to his exam questions. Some of the TAs were helpful, others no. You need to fend for yourself in this class because Campos does not provide you with the basic grounding that you need in OChem.
Not only a good lecturer, but accessible and friendly. He posts all of the lecture notes online, which is really helpful for studying. When I took Gen Chem I never went to lecture because I never learned anything and found it useless. I went to every lecture for this class because Prof Campos actually helped me better understand what I'd read about in the textbook. He even manages to make us laugh during lecture, most days.