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I am reviewing the edX class, 7.00X Introduction to biology Secret of Life with Eric Lander, the EdX class from MIT. The class is not for beginners as advertised. It assumes you have a Lot of preexisting knowledge. They do not factor in all the right questions you get after watching lectures by Lander, towards your certificate. There were two additional final exams besides part I and II for a total of four exams (this came as a surprise), and they are labeled as “ungraded” yet if you skip them you can’t “unlock” the next exam. The interface is broken. It told me I wasn’t able to receive a certificate but if you refresh the page, it suddenly “counts” your progress and lets you proceed. MANY questions on the final exams were related to things never mentioned in class and I have documentation with screenshots. I also have documentation of other online classmates leaving comments that the questions being asked assume you aren’t a beginner even if the class is advertised as for beginners with no existing knowledge. The class should prepare the learner for the questions, meaning, the amount of preparation should equal or exceed the level of difficulty of questions, but in this class there is a great disparity between the preparation given and the style of questions.

The only reason why I am giving two stars instead of one is because Eric Lander is an engaging professor in the lectures.

They deal you low blows with redundantly worded questions, questions about stuff which was never discussed in class, and the final exam part 2 focused way too much on fruit fly genetics which, (I have documentation), were explained quite superficially and explained in passing several months before the final. They screw you over. The style of questions and how to solve them was never shown in class regarding fruit fly genetics. They again assume you’re “already” some expert scientist with fruit fly knowledge. Like, they give you some formula for calculating the progeny of fruit flies but don’t explain in depth. They don’t really give you the tools to succeed. They throw you in the ocean and say “swim!” without first taking you through the kiddie pool with flotation devices. Like, the style of questions in the finals were not shown in class!!
Overall, the difficulty of the questions and the preparation given in class are MILES APART, a TOTAL DISPARITY.

Finally, They know the class is brutal even for an 3.78 Cumulative GPA student as myself, yet they take an “average” of both finals rather than add the total of one to the total of the other. I had near 100% answered correctly questions in all the segments after lectures, so you’d think after I spent $450.00 in total for the class, that I would have a certificate but they dealt me dirty and I learned a lot but have no certificate to show! A complete waste of time they took my money and I have no certificate even though I see no reason as to why. I am an excellent, hard working student and independent researcher with her own STEM CELL PATENT in biology!!! There was Way too much emphasis on the fruit fly genetics, with poor preparation given to students. Not everyone will go work with fruit flies, hahahaha. screw this class. Also, there were several segments that could EASILY be an entire CLASS in and of itself. Save yourself don’t take it. 9 months later and -$450.00 less in my pocket, I have no paper in my hand to show for my hard work. I am extremely disappointed and feel cheated out of my money. I could go on on and on with how ripped off I feel! I have no comfort for my broken heart. I deserve that certificate!