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Professor Ratings & Grade Distribution Data for Thomas Holder

Thomas Holder
Professor (2010 – 2014)
Mississippi State (MSU)
Biological Sciences
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3.5547***+
Overall rating
Rated by 137 students
2.52
Avg GPA
across 3 classes
Fall 2014 Schedule
No classes for this semester.
All Classes
BIO 1023
BIO 1134
BIO 1144
BIO 2113
BIO 2213
BIO 3104
BIO 3524
CH 1213

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Most Helpful Favorable Professor Review
Most Helpful Critical Professor Review
5*****
BIO 1144 - Biology II
Pros: Very good teacher. Reminded me of a high school teacher as he wrote all his notes when in class and elaborated and answered questions.

Tests were as fair as you can get. Everything in his notes were fair game and anything he didn't go over was not on his tests. The tests were moderate in difficulty and were not bad if studied more than a day in advance.

Frequently draws pictures for you to have in your notes to help you understand what's going on. Explains things in Laymen's terms so you don't have to be a biologist to understand.
Professor rated by: Biological Sciences Student on 12/21/12
Helpful Rating?
YES
NO
+5 Helpful
3***
BIO 1144 - Biology II
Overall this is not an easy class by any means. He gives 4 tests and no drop grades plus your lab quiz grade is a test grade so do good on those quizzes. You HAVE to study AT LEAST 5 days in advance for each of his 75 question multiple choice tests. ...
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Pros: -Everything from the notes will most likely be on the test.
-Notes can be found online
-Check out old quizlets for this class, just search them and they help out a lot.
Cons: -Everything from the notes will most likely be on the test.
-Monotone
-Tests are Hard
Professor rated by: Biochemistry Student on 12/27/15
Helpful Rating?
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+7 Helpful

Student Ratings 1 - 20 of 137

 
BIO 1144
Biology II
3***
Pros: -Everything from the notes will most likely be on the test.

-Notes can be found online

-Check out old quizlets for this class, just search them and they help out a lot.
Cons: -Everything from the notes will most likely be on the test.

-Monotone

-Tests are Hard
Overall this is not an easy class by any means. He gives 4 tests and no drop grades plus your lab quiz grade is a test grade so do good on those quizzes. You HAVE to study AT LEAST 5 days in advance for each of his 75 question multiple choice tests. He gives you a matching section on every test which is very difficult unless you know the information verbatim. He gives random pop quiz clicker quizzes which can count for an extra 5 points to your total grade. Don't expect the clicker quizzes until after you take the first two tests. I got an A in this class by the skin of my teeth. Don't listen to which tests are "supposed" to be easier or harder than the others, to me they required the same amount of preparation. An A is possible, but put in the effort because he is not like bio 1.
Professor rated by: Biochemistry Student on December 27, 2015
Helpful Rating?
YES
NO
 
 
BIO 1144
Biology II
5*****
Pros: Very good teacher. Reminded me of a high school teacher as he wrote all his notes when in class and elaborated and answered questions.



Tests were as fair as you can get. Everything in his notes were fair game and anything he didn't go over was not on his tests. The tests were moderate in difficulty and were not bad if studied more than a day in advance.



Frequently draws pictures for you to have in your notes to help you understand what's going on. Explains things in Laymen's terms so you don't have to be a biologist to understand.
Professor rated by: Biological Sciences Student on December 21, 2012
Helpful Rating?
YES
NO
 
 
BIO 1144
Biology II
1*
Pros: He gives credit for not missing his class... But not enough to make a difference unless you are 1 point from having a different letter grade.
Cons: Boring to listen to.

Disorganized and confusing notes.

Hard tests.

No drop grades.

Only 4 tests all worth the same amount, screw up once and say goodbye to your A!
Do not take him for Bio II!

I am a straight A student and I find that his tests are difficult even if you do study two weeks in advance and know all of the study material. He is not willing to help you do better on his tests or offer you advice. In my opinion, he makes biology a lot harder than necessary. He is really boring to listen to and his notes are confusing and disorganized. If you are in his class, Good Luck!
Professor rated by: Ag. and Bio. Engineering Student on October 21, 2015
Helpful Rating?
YES
NO
 
 
BIO 1144
Biology II
5*****
Pros: Great teacher really knows his stuff
Cons: Goes a little fast

Handwritten notes
I, personally, like the handwritten notes because they go into more detail than stupid powerpoint but some people may find it difficult to understand. He explains everything very well and knows all of this information and can lecture off the top of his head instead of just reading a powerpoint or powerpoint notes. Highly recommend to anyone taking bio II.
Professor rated by: Chemistry Student on April 10, 2012
Helpful Rating?
YES
NO
 
 
BIO 2113
Plant Biology
4****
As far as I know, he is the only one who teaches the class (he was the only one this semester, anyway). Expect lecture every day for the whole class period, and every now and again, he'll keep you a few minutes past class time to finish up. Almost everything relevant he puts on the board, though sometimes he will only read out long definitions, so you have to pay attention to pick things up. If you aren't a Freshman, he doesn't keep role, so he won't know if you miss class; just be SURE to get notes from someone. He also uses handouts sparingly, and ANY information presented in lecture is fair game for test material.







Tests are pretty hard, really, even though he considers it freshman level material. Often times questions are obscure, and those same obscure questions are beaten to death multiple times throughout the test, so if you don't know it, you could miss a lot. I scraped by with a low B, though lab is easy and will pick your grade up (it's worth 25% of overall grade). Also worth noting is that he does not believe in comprehensive finals, so the final will just be another test.







Not bad, and he enjoys the material, but there is a lot of monotony in the lectures (because that is all there is).
Professor rated by: Student on November 10, 2005
Helpful Rating?
YES
NO
 
 
BIO 2113
Plant Biology
4****
Pros: good teacher

tests are from notes
Cons: boring!!

very dry personality

unapproachable
I have had Tom Holder for several biology courses. He is a great teacher. His tests come straight from the notes, so go to class and get those notes!! One weird thing is gives notes just by talking, then he will handwrite key words on the projector. I don't really get it, but either way you just have to listen and write, which helps you remember things anyways. His tests are very fair, you just have to study. He is kind of a genius, so he doesn't have the greatest social skills, which makes him hard to approach. Having him in an 8am was tough because the class was very boring, but overall it was fine.



The lab needs improvement. There is zero communication between the TA's and Tom. My TA's were grad students on a power trip, which was very annoying. Go to the labs and take the quizzes. The weird part is, you are not graded on the lab, so people would just leave after the quizzes.



Not a horrible class if you are looking for a doable biology area course!
Professor rated by: NURS Nursing Student on November 5, 2011
Helpful Rating?
YES
NO
 
 
BIO 1144
Biology II
5*****
Biology II, just like Biology I, aren't meant to be easy, they are made for Biology major and are prerequisites for professional school. One of my favorite things about Mr.. Holder's class is the handwritten notes instead of powerpoint slides. Handwritten notes were more efficient to me than slides because it prohibited him from rushing through the material, and he was able to explain the material well.



The test aren't that hard and are straight forward. If you study for the material as it is given in segments, you should do well on the test.



Attendance is mandatory for the class unless have someone to give you the notes. Also, at the end of the semester if you have missed less than 3 days a bonus will be given to your final grade.



If you have to take Biology II, I would recommend taking Holder, he is one of the best professors in the Biology department.
Professor rated by: Microbiology Student on October 28, 2012
Helpful Rating?
YES
NO
 
 
BIO 1023
Plants & Humans
3***
Pros: Lab is short

Get credit just for completing homework

Homework is easy

Quizzes are only 8 questions
This lab is easy. Even though you have homework and a quiz every week they are short and simple. Everything is virtual and on the computer. You have 15 minutes to do the quiz but everyone is usually done in the first 5 minutes. He is willing to help if you need t
Professor rated by: Criminology Student on November 16, 2011
Helpful Rating?
YES
NO
 
 
BIO 3524
Biol Of Vertebrates
5*****
Pros: The test are not too hard and if you take note and study the definitions then you will be fine. He missed a lot of class and he is real passive.
Cons: The test are all fill in the blank discussion and define and the lab is the worst lab I have ever had just a waste of time and the test are hard
Just study the definitions for his test and you will do great!
Professor rated by: Biological Sciences Student on April 2, 2012
Helpful Rating?
YES
NO
 
 
BIO 3524
Biol Of Vertebrates
5*****
He is a great teacher. He is really into the material. The exams come straight from the notes only, and the occasional handout. Take Holder for as many biology classes as possible. Tests are write-out in this particular class, though.
Professor rated by: Student on May 7, 2008
Helpful Rating?
YES
NO
 
 
BIO 2113
Plant Biology
3***
I took Plant Biology as a required general elective and to get it out the way because I do not enjoy the subject. That said, Holder explained the material well enough for me to do well on his tests, which is all I really cared about. He lectures without using a microphone and by writing general notes on the whiteboard, so sit at the front center of the lecture hall. If you have questions while lecturing, he'll address them and even repeat things you missed. Just ask. Outside of class he is will give suggestions on how to study the material and handle normal matters such as checking a grade or getting a handout, but that's where it stops. Holder is not your warm and fuzzy professor who knows your name major. He's straight business. His tests come directly from his notes. Just study and memorize them before the test. He gives four, 50 question scantron tests. The last of the four counts as your final. Labs are easy also depending on your TA. Each lab has a 10 pt quiz on the last lab and the lab of the day. All labs add up to another test grade, and one quiz is dropped. The videos they'll show are boring, and the activities aren't much better, but it's a alright trade for an easy grade. As for books, you need a lab manual. The book is good if you miss class and don't understand the notes you got from someone. It's also good for charts and the pictures you need for lab (because the slides you make aren't always good). If you're freshmen, he keeps your attendence. If not, he doesn't care. Overall his class is not hard. Just take good notes, study, and don't miss your labs.
Professor rated by: Student on December 19, 2007
Helpful Rating?
YES
NO
 
 
BIO 1144
Biology II
5*****
Pros: Notes are handwritten. Notes are short but make sense. Tests are directly from notes. Willing to work with you outside of class if you need help. Explains things in everyday terms before using a biology term for it. Gives bonus points (pop quizzes).
If you go to class (you should for all your classes) and take notes, you will be fine. Read the book (not absolutely required but will help you know the material better) and look at any figures mentioned in class before exams. Final exam is NOT COMPREHENSIVE but is the last lecture test. Pop quizzes are given in class sometimes and you can earn bonus points from them. Also has an attendance bonus on 1% if you don't miss more than 3 lectures. Some people don't like the fact that he uses handwritten notes and no Powerpoint but I think it is a good thing because he cannot get ahead of you in class. Sometimes he draws things in class to help you understand what he is doing. Great teacher for Biology 2!
Professor rated by: Student on April 29, 2013
Helpful Rating?
YES
NO
 
 
BIO 1144
Biology II
2**
Pros: He loves to explain EVERYTHING.
Cons: He's incredibly boring.
I would say DON'T TAKE HIM, but for biology students, he's pretty much all you've got. The biology department is weak in their professors, so just make the best out of a bad situation. The book is rarely to almost never used. TAKE HIS NOTES! That's the only way you'll get the information needed for his tests. There's no homework and he says he'll give quizzes, but doesn't. He's the most monotone, boring professor out there, so make sure you don't have his 8am or you will sleep. The lab is VERY easy, just pay attention to what he says. He's very willing to work with you no matter what the situation is. KEEP UP! Don't get lazy in his class and study for his tests. They're always 75 multiple choice questions, all which have to do with the material. I don't suggest him, but he's better than nothing.
Professor rated by: Criminology Student on November 8, 2013
Helpful Rating?
YES
NO
 
 
BIO 1144
Biology II
5*****
Pros: -Uses handwritten notes and projector

-Explains everything clearly and thoroughly

-Final is NOT comprehensive
Cons: -Soft spoken

-Only has 3 exams and Final, which means no drop grade
I am currently taking his class, and I really like how his class is "old school". At first, I was really apprehensive about it because I thought I enjoyed power points, but now that I have gotten used to his way of teaching, I have learned more than any other class. Also, BUY THE BOOK. I realize how expensive textbooks and school can be (I take out loans myself), but you will definitely not regret it. If you read the chapters throughout each exam, you should do great in his class. If you absolutely cannot afford the book, you can go to the library and check it out for 2 hours at a time! I hope this helps.
Professor rated by: Biochemistry Student on April 10, 2015
Helpful Rating?
YES
NO
 
 
BIO 1144
Biology II
5*****
Pros: A majority of the exam comes directly from the notes.



The lab is really easy, and you can drop one lab grade. The lab will count as a test grade in the end.



He gives 2 pop quizzes for a possible 5 bonus points.



The tests are matching and multiple choice.
Cons: About 3 or 4 questions every exam will NOT be in the notes.



Sometimes he rambles while you're trying to take notes, and it is kind of confusing.



If you go to his office, he WILL explain anything. He is very willing to help out his students. He is pretty humorous. It is very possible to get an A, but only if you study ALL of the notes he gives( all the notes are free game!) Oh, and you need to start studying in advance, waiting until the last minute is a bad idea.
Professor rated by: Student on October 22, 2013
Helpful Rating?
YES
NO
 
 
BIO 1144
Biology II
3***
Pros: Tells you exactly what he expects

Cons: He expects you to literally memorize everything in lecture

Goes really fast, makes it hard to take notes

Kind of a jerk
This is a pretty hard class, while it's possible to get an A, it requires a lot of work. He gives out 4 tests and 11 lab quizzes that all equal a test grade. That's it, with the only good thing being is that 1 quiz grade is dropped. Do your best on the lab quizzes because those will help your grade tremendously. As for the tests, the first 2 are the hardest and the last 2 aren't that bad. I'd recommend studying hard for at least a week before each test. I don't recommend him but I don't know if the other teachers are any better.
Professor rated by: General Agriculture Student on January 1, 2018
Helpful Rating?
YES
NO
 
 
BIO 1144
Biology II
4****
Tom Holder is not a bad teacher at all, but his style can be confusing sometimes. He does not use powerpoints, but handwrites the notes on a projector. This is the most difficult thing to get used to in the class. Other than this, the tests are fair. Use the online resources that go with the book [brookerbiology.com] to help prepare for tests. He really wants you to understand the material, so if you have questions, ask him. The tests are always graded quickly. Attendance isn't required but if you want to understand the material you should go. Also, he gives bonus quizzes with the clickers and adds 2% of your final average back in if you don't miss more than 3 classes.
Professor rated by: Student on December 13, 2010
Helpful Rating?
YES
NO
 
 
BIO 3104
Ecology
3***
Do not take this man.



If you are expecting an easy A. Everyone i know was expecting an easy A and by the 3rd tests we all got the shock of our lives. Our hopes were dashed because while his class is super boring and straightforward, his tests are misleadingly hard. Study your ass off and understand the material. KNOw the graphs and what they stand for. Know the formulas and know how to do them. PRactice them. Trust me.



I'm only at the 3rd test and I have no hopes for left for this class...i can only hope he curves it,which he said he MIGHT do.



good luck.
Professor rated by: Student on November 10, 2007
Helpful Rating?
YES
NO
 
 
BIO 1134
Biology I
4****
I really liked Mr. Holder. Although the notes kind of skip around, the tests come straight through them. He also gives you the option to look at your test and answers to make sure there are no mistakes. Nice guy and not as arrogant as some teachers.
Professor rated by: Student on January 8, 2011
Helpful Rating?
YES
NO
 
 
BIO 3104
Ecology
4****
Tom Holder is a straight-forward teacher. He gives you exactly what you need to know for every test. If you like taking notes and making an easy A, then I suggest taking his classes.
Professor rated by: Student on May 1, 2007
Helpful Rating?
YES
NO
 
 
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