Vollhardt, K P on Ninja Courses

Average Ratings based on 78 ratings

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
54 58 53 49 67

Course Filter

Instructor Ratings

CHEM 3B (Fall 2014)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
14 21 14 0 71

CHEM 3B (Fall 2014)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
74 77 100 50 75

Comment: Vollhardt is super charismatic, he is a great professor but you need to study by yourself too. Do the book problems!!!! Remember he wrote the book! You need to invest a lot of energy and time to even get an A-

CHEM 3B (Fall 2014)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
76 50 100 50 100

Comment: You can tell that Professor Vollhardt has been teaching Chem 3B for a while; his lectures are always very well planned, rehearsed, and clear. Many will complain about Vollhardt, but I actually liked him as an instructor. Powerpoints are never a good medium for communicating the facets of organic chemistry, though at least his are color-coded and he will show the important mechanisms on the board ("low-tech" as he calls it). He offers mechanism and synthesis practice problems before his powerpoint slides start in lecture, and there are often similar questions on exams. Vollhardt did not assign any mandatory homework, though he recommended problems from Marsden's summer problems and his textbook; I did none of these and still pulled an A+. Vollhardt's exams are very predictable, as you get seven exams from previous years with repeated questions and obvious trends. If you study hard and learn the material, the exams are extremely doable and fair (somehow, averages will still be 50-60%). To succeed in this course, I recommend making flashcards in order to commit all of the reactions, reagants, and mechanisms to memory, especially once the roller coaster of carbonyl chemistry begins and the course really takes off. Do all of the practice exams at least once or twice and understand your mistakes, and you're golden. Had a great semester, one of my favorite classes so far at Cal, though I am an organic chemistry person!

CHEM 3B (Fall 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
68 50 31 56 77

CHEM 3B (Fall 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
26 50 3 17 55

CHEM 3B (Fall 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
36 36 3 58 69

CHEM 3B (Fall 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
41 36 60 38 74

Comment: Very straightforward class—in the sense that if you put in as much time as you can reading the book, studying, doing practice problems, and attending SLC study groups, you'll be able to pull at least a B. However, as great as his personality is, Vollhardt doesn't really help in making the material digestible. Seems like a lot of people had to rely on GSIs and SLC to understand what was going on in class.

CHEM 3B (Fall 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
20 100 10 39 33

Comment: He was AWFUL. I understood nothing and I'm generally good at organic chemistry

CHEM 3B (Fall 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
54 100 21 29 93

Comment: Vollhardt is super excited about chemistry, and I loved the fact that there was no homework. HOWEVER the exams are really really hard, and the pace of the class is crazy! Don't get behind or you will never catch up! I struggled to understand the concepts because he uses a PowerPoint to teach chemistry.

CHEM 3B (Fall 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
86 100 84 70 77

Comment: Really enjoyed his lectures despite the fact that powerpoint mechanisms (necessitated by the webcast unfortunately) aren't ideal. He tries to add additional fun-facts to keep lecture interesting and on occasion has fun anecdotes to share. Exams are very straight-forward and follow the same template. Do practice exams and you will be fine because questions tend to be very similar. Homework optional is a little dangerous but if you can stay caught up on reactions and mechanisms it is really awesome. Definitely will miss coming in to class to his variety of music!

CHEM 3B (Fall 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
81 74 87 75 72

Comment: Everyone says that Volhardt isn't as good as Pederson, but I think he wasn't that bad. Just make sure to consistently go to lecture or webcast it and keep up with the material. The SLC study groups and the head GSI review sessions are a lifesaver! He's a funny, interesting professor who tries his best to teach. The powerpoint slides aren't ideal, so make sure to take the time to practice and review all of the mechanisms on your own time. As long as you work hard and keep up with the material throughout the semester, you should be fine. I also found 3B to be much more interesting than 3A with lots of application to biology. Also, his tests are very fair, and as long as you make sure to keep up with the material each weak and DO THE PRACTICE TESTS, you should be able to get an A, or a B.

CHEM 3B (Fall 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
86 85 85 58 79

Comment: I went into this class hearing terrible things about Vollhardt, but honestly he really isn't too bad. It's true that he uses powerpoint, which makes it harder to follow in lectures, but I found that it was pretty helpful when going back to review. Each powerpoint is just a summary of one chapter in the book, so there's no point in reading it. Exams are very, very straightforward. If you do all the of the practice midterms, even the mechanism and synthesis problems should be fairly simple. A huge chunk of it is just basic memorization of reactions.The grading is 2 midterms (25% of the grade each) and a final (50%).

CHEM 3B (Fall 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
90 94 78 57 94

Comment: Vollhardt is a pretty cool guy. He's funny and really charming. Lots of people make him sound scary... he's kind of intimidating because he knows so much about the subject but he does really do his best in making sure you understand chemistry so it's not just random drawing but actually fundamental in your thinking. His exams are extremely fair game and they're always the same format so it's easy to predict what will be on there. I agree his powerpoint method is kind of ehh, and the fact that he doesn't answer questions is something that's kind of weird but it's fine. In the end, I think he's somebody worth taking a class with. He's not as bad as it sounds, just work hard and it ends up being fine.

CHEM 3B (Fall 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
71 64 79 65 86

Comment: I liked Vollhardt and his tests are super straightforward.

CHEM 3B (Fall 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
23 50 20 34 72

CHEM 3B (Fall 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
23 50 35 33 50

CHEM 3B (Fall 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
50 50 21 34 70

CHEM 3B (Fall 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
60 100 42 25 67

CHEM 3B (Fall 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
71 50 73 38 58

CHEM 3B (Fall 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
46 49 29 56 49

Comment: Exams is too hard.

CHEM 3B (Fall 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
69 60 65 84 72

CHEM 3B (Fall 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
50 50 50 50 50

CHEM 3B (Fall 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
45 50 50 33 50

CHEM 3B (Fall 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
74 76 68 77 94

CHEM 3B (Fall 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
50 50 50 50 50

CHEM 3B (Fall 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
77 68 60 75 98

CHEM 3B (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
83 73 100 50 71

Comment: I agree with everyone that you CANNOT teach o chem via powerpoint, however, he REALLY knows his stuff and it's pretty amazing being taught by him. At first I regretted taking his class, but I'm actually glad I did because although vollhardt teaches some concepts that aren't necessary for the exams, and although he doesn't SPOON feed you, that's what makes you a knowledgeable chem student in the end. Also, I think his midterms are easier compared to pederson. He's not too helpful, but there's SLC! :D and the head GSI

CHEM 3B (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
75 75 73 78 68

CHEM 3B (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
74 50 37 77 77

CHEM 3B (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
33 100 38 31 33

CHEM 3B (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
100 99 28 99 99

Comment: After our second midterm, Volhardt got up in front of the class and told us a story about how one year he put an extra credit question at the end of his test to boost peoples' grades. The question was: "Make your own question and answer it! The best question will be read in front of the class." The GSI's got together after the test, voted on the best question, and handed it to Professor Volhardt who then read it aloud the next day: "Volhardt and his GSI's are flying in a plane at 20,000 feet above the ground. They jump out of the plane and start falling. Who hits the ground first?" And the answer was: "Who the hell cares?" To the bemusement of our class, after reciting this story, he muttered, "Bastard," and then started to lecture. Volhardt is a fair teacher. His exams are difficult but not astronomically so. Work hard, memorize your reactions and mechanisms, and a good grade is guaranteed. O-chem is about memorization. Memorize ftw.

CHEM 3B (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
74 50 50 73 87

CHEM 3B (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
50 50 50 50 50

CHEM 3B (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
50 50 50 50 50

CHEM 3B (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
68 50 52 50 50

Comment: Same format as your typical Cal ochem class with 2 midterms and final. Vollhardt lectures using powerpoint and the slides are basically pages out of his textbook. However, his textbook is pretty good. He posts old midterms, which are good tools for studying.

CHEM 3B (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
50 50 43 50 73

CHEM 3B (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
56 86 50 50 77

CHEM 3B (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
75 77 86 68 75

CHEM 3B (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
26 63 21 23 30

CHEM 3B (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
58 50 60 40 83

CHEM 3B (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
69 64 71 50 77

Comment: Vollhardt is a very funny person but he is a pretty bad lecturer. He just lectures of the power point slides and his lectures are straight from the book (although it makes sense since he was the one who wrote it!)

CHEM 3B (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
58 55 60 50 58

CHEM 3B (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
80 100 100 51 100

Comment: People don't like Vollhardt because his powerpoint lectures are too fast and kind of useless when compared to the blackboard teaching styles of Bertozzi and Pedersen. But watch the webcasts carefully, then read the chapter to fill in any blanks, do suggested problems, then do the PRACTICE MIDTERMS. With this formula, though it's tedious and hard work, you are guaranteed an A. Vollhardt's exams are very formulaic, but they test you very evenly on the material covered. Know the material and know the question formats that will be expected of you and you're golden.

CHEM 3B (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
50 50 21 63 89

CHEM 3B (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
50 50 65 50 65

Comment: vollhardt teaches on a powerpoint which isn't the best method for ochem. however, his tests are fair and resemble past exams a lot.

CHEM 3B (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
83 96 63 50 91

CHEM 3B (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
50 50 62 35 75

CHEM 3B (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
75 51 76 100 100

Comment: No tricks on his exams. They're nearly identical to the ones in the past year (actually easier because no NMR). I've had Pedersen and Vollhardt as my Ochem professors and I personally like Vollhardt more. (doesn't put me to sleep). Ochem is all about practice : guys, just because he uses powerpoint to teach doesn't mean you learn any less and it doesn't make him a terrible terrible professor. You need to do the practice problems -_-

CHEM 3B (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
72 74 78 52 80

CHEM 3B (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
71 50 34 43 80

Comment: I was personally really excited to be studying under Vollhardt just because he's accomplished so much and seems to be very well respected in the Chemistry department. His exams seemed harder than the past ones he put online, but that's probably because he omitted all the NMR questions. I love his enthusiasm but I wish he would gear his lectures a little bit more towards questions on the exam. Also, the reactions he gave us were a lot more complex than anything we really needed to know. He doesn't utilize the blackboard as much as he should, the way Bertozzi did.

CHEM 3B (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
34 60 40 51 47

Comment: Did not like his teaching style as he teaches ochem through powerpoint slides rather than drawing structures on a blackboard. His lectures seem to last forever as his class is very boring and easy to fall asleep in. If ochem is not your thing and you're just taking it as a prereq for pre-med/MCB/IB, then I suggest you wait for Pedersen to teach.

CHEM 3B (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
69 50 70 50 70

Comment: His tests are actually not too bad but he's really boring in lecture. Since he wrote the book, he pretty much just copies and pastes from the textbook onto his lecture slides. Definitely go to SLC study group. They explain the things that you learn a lot clearer and simply.

CHEM 3B (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
57 100 46 46 35

CHEM 3B (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
5 11 50 16 81

Comment: Teaches solely from Powerpoint because he wrote the book. Anything he does on the board or models is reduntant. Speaks with a very thick accent. Tongue-tied with the most basic words. Talks WAY too much about unrelated topics like the theory authors and HIS OWN LIFE to pad out lectures. Very difficult exams. Means will be 50-60 percent. Had the nerve to send an email out to everyone saying whoever got below average MUST have never gone to lecture or webcast. First teacher EVER to insult students' intelligences.

CHEM 3B (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
50 50 33 33 88

CHEM 3B (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
20 20 17 0 84

CHEM 3B (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
42 0 15 9 59

Comment: First midterm wasn't too bad; the second midterm was very difficult.

CHEM 3B (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
25 33 38 30 50

CHEM 3B (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
26 28 69 58 72

Comment: Powerpoint slides are NOT the way to teach organic chemistry... He knows his stuff, but he covers the material very quickly and it's easy to get lost. Exams are straightforward if you go over the practice exams and remember the patterns.

CHEM 3B (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
2 3 90 21 100

Comment: he's enthusiastic, but sucks as a professor. true, he wrote the book (bravo! amazingly written nevertheless), but he fails to explain things well during lecture. powerpoints... like everyone else has said... Is. NOT. the. way. to. teach. organic chemistry. WE WANT BERTOZZI.

CHEM 3B (Fall 2010)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
100 100 100 100 100

CHEM 3B (Fall 2010)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
70 50 78 50 78

CHEM 3B (Fall 2010)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
50 50 50 50 50

CHEM 3B (Fall 2010)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
65 82 63 42 77

CHEM 3B (Fall 2010)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
34 38 21 50 40

Comment: Though I heard he was great when he did everything on the board, he now does everything on powerpoint and moves way too fast. Unless you are in love with chem and have photographic memory, his lectures won't help much. The books Organic Chemistry as a 2nd Language (parts 1 and 2) are a real lifesaver for the beginning material, and will teach you better than him in a shorter amount of time. The ending material however, you are on your own.

CHEM 3B (Fall 2010)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
50 42 41 59 69

Comment: Study and memorize a lot!

CHEM 3B (Fall 2010)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
17 73 50 50 50

CHEM 3B (Fall 2010)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
48 50 59 40 63

Comment: Do practice problems in the textbook and you'll be fine on the exams

CHEM 3B (Fall 2010)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
59 50 68 58 61

CHEM 3B (Fall 2010)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
84 50 100 81 80

CHEM 3B (Fall 2010)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
7 50 3 59 50

Comment: HARD CLASS WITH THIS PROFESSOR! omg I had a nightmare of a time with this class! Lectures pretty boring - taught with powerpoint. hard tests

CHEM 3B (Fall 2009)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
50 50 50 50 50

CHEM 3B (Fall 2009)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
50 45 55 56 41

CHEM 3B (Fall 2009)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
48 70 81 22 26

CHEM 3B (Fall 2009)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
61 99 83 55 72

Comment: Vollhardt had very fair and predictable tests. In order to do well in his class you have to keep with the material and do a lot of practice problems.

CHEM 3B (Fall 2008)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
50 33 20 35 36

CHEM 3B (Fall 2008)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
12 49 11 18 17

Comment: Lecture is totally useless...how can you teach ochem w/ power point slides?! The arrows just fly everywhere on this useless animations. Definitely one of the worst profs ever

CHEM 298 (Spring 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
50 56 50 53 50