John Ondov

25 reviews
Average rating: 2.64




Information Review
CHEM271

Anonymous 04/21/2018
IF YOU HAVE THE CHANCE, TAKE HIM! I'm about to get my first A in chemistry. :)
CHEM135

Anonymous 04/03/2018
Amazing professor. Love him
CHEM131

Expecting a B+
Anonymous 04/02/2018
Had him in the fall. He's friendly and talkative. Lectures are cool he tries to make jokes and stuff.
CHEM271

Expecting a B
Anonymous 04/01/2018
I love him. He's adorable. Carl is the best!
CHEM271

Expecting an A
Anonymous 03/24/2018
Underrated. One of the best and nicest profs out there. Actually wants students to succeed.
CHEM135

Expecting a B+
Anonymous 03/01/2018
I think a lot of people exaggerate. Ondov's class is a nice introduction to college, where learning is taken into your own hands. He is a nice guy, just misunderstood. The biggest problem is his lectures are quite boring/can put you to sleep. But honestly, If you study on your own and do some practice problems, there's no reason you shouldn't get a B or higher in the class. This semester he gave out a messy exam (wasn't hard, just way too hard) but he rectified that by giving a MASSIVE curve. Even his final was easy. Honestly, the other chem135 teachers have exams that are just as bad or worse, he's not the worst you can do.
CHEM135

Expecting a B+
Anonymous 01/23/2018
Atrocious lecturer. Utterly incoherent and disorganized. Avoid at all costs.
CHEM135

Expecting a B+
Anonymous 11/30/2017
Professor Ondov is known as one of the worst professors that teach CHEM135. This is mainly due to the fact that his lectures are incredibly boring and cover way too much content. The exams are bearable but you definitely need to be prepared for a decent grade. Beforehand, he gives you a study guide, which is nice, but unlike most professors who give you their exams from the previous semester, he only provides you with exams that are from other professors. He even informs you that there is content on these practice exams from other professors that will not be on his own exam. This makes absolutely no sense and it is super annoying. However, he does curve the exams by at least 7% (the class average on the exams has been curved to around 75%). In general, CHEM135 is passable as long as you are committed to learning the material from the textbook. However, if you cannot, for whatever reason, get another professor to teach you CHEM135, I recommend that you just have to suck it up and attend the incredibly painful lectures because it can be somewhat beneficial to hear him in the background while getting work for other classes done. And if you ask me, Ondov is not a terrible professor, but I would not recommend his class to anyone that I know.
CHEM131

Expecting a C
Anonymous 11/11/2016
This professor cannot teach. All Ondov does is ramble on and on and on. Most of my daily sleep probably happens in his lectures--"Thank you for my beauty sleep, but no thank you for the mediocre teaching." His monotonous rambling only circles around his own thoughts. And he spends LECTURE time trying to figure out what he did wrong or what information he got wrong. He just doesn't have it together at all. Very unprepared and awkward. Just thinking about his lectures makes my blood boil. Sometimes, I just leave and take the tophat quizzes from my dorm or somewhere else because he predictably gives them either at the beginning of class, or at the end. So, yea... don't have Ondov. He will harm you more than help you. Just saying.
CHEM135

Expecting an A+
UMDStud 07/07/2014
I did well in the class, but no thanks to Dr. Ondov. He's not a bad guy, and you can tell that he's trying, but his lectures are all over the place. He makes mistakes a lot and his thinking is hard to follow. His tests really aren't too bad, but if you're expecting to learn the material from lecture, you'll do poorly. Luckily, I took the AP in high school so I already knew most of the material.
CHEM135

Expecting a D
Anonymous 04/05/2014
This is supposed to be an introductory course for students seeking to enter the engineering program. Unfortunately, the majority of this class will most likely need to retake this course. His lectures are terrible; he reads off of power points that are impossible to logically follow, and any time that there is something you want to write down he glosses over the subject and launches into another incoherent rant. The home work is way too advanced, and the book isn't much help either. For the most part, students are on their own. "His" tests usually consist of half of another professor's test and a few problems that would take a good 15 minutes to solve alone. You'll also probably only get about half an hour for the exams because he screwed up the seating chart or something stupid like that. Our last exam was about a 57% average. The takeaway: look for another professor. If there isn't another one available, hold off for the next semester. One more thing; if you intend to be a civil engineer, just know that he especially despises civil engineers.
CHEM131

Anonymous 03/09/2013
I love chemistry, and all the gen chem stuff I learned in high school is the reason I became a chem major. However, if I were paying 100% in Dr. Ondov's lecture, I would be constantly depressed every time I attended. I don't believe Dr. Ondov is a bad person, but I agree with the reviews that as a professor with an intent in imparting information to his students, he's not doing it right. It's more like his throwing information at you instead of challenging you to think about why things are the way they are in chemistry. Without constantly asking his students questions, they aren't being engaged in the learning. There's also the problem of students not being sure what the take-away/main points are after listening to his lecture. A student can do well in his class if they're keeping up by reading the textbook and learning concepts as they do the online homework. The exams aren't particularly difficult and are for the most part fairly straight forward. He'll throw in one or two trivia questions that no one ever told you but you might be able to make an educated guess. Students probably struggle the most with understanding when to use certain equations or interpreting the meaning of the question. As for the homework assignments, I have some issues with the type of problems he picks to be assigned. Often times, the level of understanding goes beyond what I would expect an introductory student to grasp. My second complaint is since the homeworks due weekly, there are times when he does not get to cover concepts which students are expected to know in order to complete the homework. I think this goes to show students are really on their own and struggling to learn by this method. TL;DR: If you want to enjoy learning science, look for a different professor.
CHEM474

Expecting an A
skinter 05/21/2012
Solid professor but not without flaws. Knows his subject very well but not a natural teacher. Needs to spend some time organizing his lectures better. Still, he explains the concepts well, and is extremely happy to help you or answer questions - sometimes to the detriment of his lectures, as he can get sidetracked. Friendly and a bit talkative. Best in a smaller class, like the one I took - I probably would not recommend him for a big lecture.
CHEM131

Expecting a C
krun 05/17/2012
Ondov is a pretty poor teacher and kind of a jerk. He knows what he is talking about for the most part, but no one else in the lecture hall does. If you've taken Chem before you'd probably understand, but he doesn't really teach anything. He just does examples, which he screws up half the time. Reading on my own and doing the homework was the only way I learned anything. He doesn't use any lecture slides, but uses a bunch of blackboards, so you can't go back and visit the notes unless you spend the whole class writing them down. But I'm finally done with the class and when I asked him about the curve he had a sassy reply and reminded me how happy I am to be done with him. Overall chemistry is a pretty hard class and you don't need to take this prof to make it any harder. Avoid him if you can. Oh, and the average exam score was about a 60%. I did better than the average overall and still got a 73%. There's not much grade padding, so don't expect a B if you get the average or even better.
CHEM131

Expecting a C
Anonymous 05/09/2012
DO NOT TAKE HIM. don't do it unless he is the last teacher available. even then you might want to wait a semester. i took ondov because the other teacher taught at 8 am which i did not want but i would have so much rather been in that class. he sucks. his lectures are him writing in a disorganized mess on the board and its hard to follow along. the only way you learn is the book. then when he gives exams the averages are about 54% and he either doesn't curve them or curves them 1% point. and he has told us he will not be curving our end grade. compared to other professors for chem131 who curve 10% or more for an exam this is horrible. he is so disorganized, doesn't show up for office hours, and doesn't respond to emails. i spent 3 times more time on this class than any other and still might not be able to get a c. just don't take him and maybe the department will fire him and save everyone their money.
CHEM131

Expecting a B-
Anonymous 04/05/2012
Pretty much what others have said. He's not a bad guy from what I've seen, although I haven't interacted with him much. I'm in the class now so I'm not sure what my final grade will be - currently I'm hovering around an 80%. The curve on the first exam was about 4 points out of 100: not terrible, but as the class average for the first exam was a 55% it certainly could have been better. Let's get something straight: I was an excellent student in high school and in other science classes at UMD, and have no problems with science in general. But Ondov is one of those teachers who manages to make the subject ridiculously, hideously complicated even if it's simple to begin with. He goes off on long tangents about material that's more suited to graduate students than to an intro course, constantly makes mistakes and corrects himself, and just generally makes a mess of everything he's trying to teach. I ended up not going to classes at all except for exams because my grades went UP that way instead of down, even with the extra credit clicker questions at the end of class. Studying out of the book is much more manageable than trying to decode the gibberish he's spouting at the front of the class. Even the exams themselves routinely have multiple mistakes on them, and he reads out corrections as people point out the mistakes, which is extremely distracting and very unprofessional. The one good thing I can say about his teaching is that he clearly lists the topics covered by each exam, making them easy to study for. It's clear that he's a doer instead of a teacher - not a problem in and of itself, but he REALLY shouldn't be teaching an introductory course. I realize that yes, this course is for science majors and thus is going to be difficult, but there's no reason to make the material more confusing than it already is. jcp5383 below says "he knows what he's talking about," and that's the problem. HE knows what he's talking about, we don't. That's why it's a class and not a discussion. He's supposed to be TEACHING us the material, not confusing it further. He might be a professional, but he's certainly not a professional teacher except by definition. Let's face it, we have to judge teachers on how well they teach the material, not how well they know it, and while Ondov knows his stuff he's an absolutely terrible teacher. Definitely not recommended, one star.
CHEM131

Expecting a C
mchives 03/27/2012
Honestly if I had not dropped this professor for another I probably would have failed. He is aging and it clearly shows when he starts rambling during lectures in like a whole nother language. Nobody had a clue what he was saying! If you read the book then you could kind of understand him, but really who has to time to read so many chapters before the next lecture? Also his slides sucked! I was willing to drop this class for an 8AM, that's how bad it was. Avoid this professor at all costs, chemistry is hard enough as it is.
CHEM131

Expecting a 65
Anonymous 05/13/2011
Let me start with this, I have never been motivated enough to review a teacher or class in my life. The fact that Ondov was such a pathetic excuse for a professor is testament to his ability to inspire righteous anger in even the most uninterested students like myself. Where to begin? First, his lectures. Allow me to sum up every Ondov lecture you will ever attend: He will use a combination of powerpoint slides and blackboard work to teach. The powerpoint slides are ripe with mistakes and errors that students point out merrily every class, as finding one of his ever-present screw-ups usually results in extra credit. This is also known as "bribing students to not talk about how many times I mess-up" When he turns to further explain the complicated problems on the blackboard, you might as well turn off all your senses because he is about to start sprouting gibberish and incoherent nonsense for about 5-10 minutes. Whenever you see him turn around, rest assured he is actually entering his own little world where everything he says makes perfect sense and unicorns fly across the sky on rainbow bridges. Trying to follow his thought process is almost as challenging as mustering your will to go to his class at all. In addition, his droning monotonous voice combined with the difficulty of following his spastic "teaching" results in the lecture essentially becoming a way to catch up on sleep. I'm telling you right now, the only reason to ever attend his lectures are for the clicker questions that his TA will give at the end of class as a quiz grade. Thank god for those TA's. Although some of them are extremely incompetent at grading your exams (which results in you having to meticulously go over your every test to get back your much-needed points) they literally carry the class on their backs with their discussion sections. Pray for a good one. His office hours are really great if you love being talked down to and falling asleep in a chair. Here's a personal experience from me: I emailed him after the second exam asking to go over it with him. He responded a speedy month later. When I went there to learn how I made my mistakes, he assumed I just wanted him to look over his test for mistakes the TA's made when grading (a testament to the number of problems they cause and his disinterest in helping his students). He looked over my first couple problems and determined that my TA had actually given me more points then I should have. He then proceed to LOWER my grade on the exam on his computer when I came to him for HELP in UNDERSTANDING THE MATERIAL. A more obnoxious thing to do to a student who comes to you for help I cannot imagine. I shouldn't end this review without saying at least one positive thing about him as much as he deserves it. Unfortunately, I can't think of one yet. Another one of his great habits is changing the classroom and not telling the students until the last minute, or not at all. As much fun as going back and forth across the campus is, I just want to learn Chem. I don't want you to think I took this class with no effort on my own either. It was the second time I was taking the class, and I have had a private chem tutor for a year and a half. I still was getting 60's on his exams. My best advice for taking is class is this: I hope you are good at teaching yourself material because he sure won't. Read the textbooks, do the practice problems and maybe you won't be completely lost. That guy who posted beneath me may have the right idea about it not being high school anymore, but that doesn't really help when you're professor is incapable of getting the material across to you. He is right about another thing too, Ondov knows his chemistry. Unfortunately, that doesn't mean jack when he might as well be teaching the class in another language due to his total inability to teach. Also he might be Ondov himself. Don't take him unless you are a natural at chem who can teach yourself the entire class.
CHEM131

Anonymous 05/02/2011
Professor Ondov is a brilliant guy but should not be the general chem professor. I have no idea what is going on in class because HE knows what he is talking about but WE don't. He goes on these tangents about an equation and does not explain what he is doing clearly. I recommend getting a tutor early in the semester if you find yourself drowning in chem. Once you have someone explain the concepts, his lectures are easier to follow and make sense. Clicker quizzes on Thursdays are great for bonus points. You can talk to your neighbors about the answer. Overall, it's an obnoxious course with a lot of studying but if 131 is necessary for your major go for it, and get a tutor.
CHEM131

Expecting an F
Anonymous 04/14/2011
honestly i have never seen a worse teacher...hes adorable dont get me wrong but his lecture is like another language. he starts a problem without explaining what it is and continues to talk about other things as he solves problems...if your good at chem you might be able to just teach yourself...but if youre as bad as i am youll fail if you wanna learn it
CHEM131

Expecting an A
aralchen 12/20/2009
Giving him three stars is a little too kind considering his bad teaching. His lectures are incredibly dry and poorly put together. He frequently makes mistakes but does offer extra credit if you catch him. I missed more than a few lectures (I had him at 8 AM), but read the textbook and did practice problems religiously. That said, I'm definitely not advocating skipping class. But, if you'd rather not go, read the book as I did, and you'll likely get an A. He gives a small curve at the end of class only, so you never really know how well you're doing until the end. The online quizzes are meant "to help you" rather than "hurt you," so I guess they're like an extra credit.
CHEM131

Expecting a B
qa197 04/29/2009
I have Ondov at 8 am for an hour and 15 minutes. It is nearly impossible to stay awake during his lectures because he has such a monotone voice. In addition, he makes lots of mistakes on the blackboard; we are continually correcting him - - although he does offer extra credit for that. The class in itself really isn't that hard. Going to discussion is more helpful for me than going to lecture, because it is so hard to pay attention. The book is slightly confusing, but has all of your needed information. Read it. If you manage to pay attention in lecture, power to you. I suggest not taking it at 8 am if you don't go to bed before 11 pm.
CHEM131

Expecting a B
PossePrincess 04/12/2009
Professor Ondov may not be the most interesting lecturer, but you will come away knowing what he was talking about. His powerpoints are well done, and he moves at a good pace. His tests are a fair mix of concepts, applications, and difficulty levels. He is open to questions, and will give you extra credit if you catch a mistake.
CHEM131

Expecting a B
jwhite89 11/10/2008
knows what he is talking about....mainly because hes been teaching this course for a while. uses powerpoint alot. expect a decent curve.
CHEM131

Anonymous 03/16/2008
Makes very good, understandable slides, but his explanations are a little awkward. It is not necessary to attend class if you can understand what's on the slides, though if you can't his explanations can clear things up. He seems a little out of it and has trouble with technology and understanding questions, as well as answering them. He's worth it, though, because the material is understandable