Class Review: Chemistry 101

 

This is a class review of the Chemistry 10100-10200-10300 sequence, by current 2nd year student Jade Avery (email).

Which course are you reviewing and when (year/Quarter) did you take it?
Introduction to General Chemistry 101(2009-2010; Autumn, Winter, Spring)

Why did you take it?

I took this course because it was said to cater to students with a limited background in chemistry. Coming from a public school with absolutely no prior knowledge in chemistry, this was a wonderful course for me to take so that I could learn the basics while still being a successful pre-med student.

Can you describe the course content and whether you still remember anything you learned then?

In terms of course content we learned everything that a normal chemistry course would learn throughout the year. Nevertheless, because we were an introduction course we moved at a slower pace than the Comprehensive Gen Chem course. But otherwise we still covered the same material and learned all that there is to know about General Chemistry.

How time consuming was the class and how did you manage to juggle it with your other responsibilities?

Be prepared to have weekly chapter readings, problem sets and lab reports, plus three exams and a final.
But don’t fear the class was only time consuming if you let it be. It was not an overwhelming course, but if you did not do your work often it most certainly could be.
I juggled my assignments with other responsibilities by doing work as often as possible, which meant working on a few problems a day and not leaving my lab report to the day before. Consistency and organization are the keys to being successful within this course!

Were the exams exceedingly hard, or did you feel adequately prepared from class notes and textbook?

The exams for this course were not that difficult at all. Most if not all of the material was either covered in either class notes or the textbook.
But one important piece of advice! Pay attention to your CLASS NOTES. There were many instances where my professors would take problems DIRECTLY from the notes! So do not mistake the class notes as being unimportant. They are extremely vital!
Otherwise the exams were very doable and the textbook was great!

Knowing what you know now, would you take it again if you could and do you think you would do better in it?

Yes I would definitely take the course again! I have no complaints about the course, it did what it set out to do and I gained a lot from it.
And knowing what I know now I most certainly KNOW that I would do better in it. If only there was a time machine (sigh) =).

Advice on how you got through the course for students currently entering the course. Specifically your study methods, and anything special you did (note-taking styles, and using other resources like Harper Tutors, TAs, etc.) that helped you very much.

Okay, I like lists so here is my Top 10 Pieces of Advice for the course 🙂

1.) TAKE THOROUGH NOTES: Yes I know its early, sometimes the lectures are boring, whatever, make sure you take very thorough and legible notes! Taking good notes will ensure you a good score on your exams.
2.) GO TO OFFICE HOURS: Go to office hours if you have ANY questions or concerns! Teachers love helping students, that’s why they are teachers. So GO to the office hours you will be happy you did.
3.) GO TO HARPER TUTORS: Harper Tutors are a valuable resource, please utilize them. Make sure you take the time to go to them throughout the quarter!
4.) ASK YOUR TAS and GO TO DISCUSSION: If your professor isn’t around and your having trouble ask your TAs! Also, GO to Discussion!! Yes it’s annoying sometimes and very tempting to skip but GO to discussion! If you don’t utilize them, you are not only wasting their time but also yours.
5.) WORK HARD ON….Lab Reports, Problem Sets, etc.: Yes Problem Sets are only worth like 5-10% of your grade but that 5-10% is something so do your best! And PLEASE do not wait until the day before to begin your lab report. They are longer then they may appear to be and staying up all night to type up some reactions when you have a million other things to do is not fun, trust me.
6.) STUDY GROUPS: Find a few friends who are willing to work on problems throughout the week! It will save A LOT of time.
7.) DON’T STRESS: So you didn’t do that well on that last exam or you completely forgot about the problem set that was do yesterday, DON’T STRESS. When you do poorly on something the best thing to do is to a.) talk with your professor or TA if it is serious and b.) reevaluate your time commitments and study habits. Chemistry is HARD. You are not going to ace every exam and you are not always going to get the grade that you like but if you keep a positive attitude and always give your best effort.
8:) STUDY EARLY: Chemistry is a very dense topic, and there may be more information to learn then it actually appears, SO Don’t wait until the last minute to begin studying for your test! You are only putting yourself under unnecessary stress.
9:) DON’T SKIP CLASS: It’s very very tempting to SKIP, I know. Don’t do it. Missing class not only reflects poorly on your grades, but also on how your professor views you. If you never show up to his class, no matter how good you are doing in the course if you need him to write a recommendation or something else it will be very difficult for he or she to do so if they don’t even know who you are…=O. Even more, it is very difficult scrambling to get ALL of the notes that you missed at the end of the quarter to study for finals. Plain and simple, don’t do it.
10:)Lastly, HAVE FUN: THIS IS YOUR FRESHMAN YEAR OF COLLEGE (for most people), ENJOY IT!!!!!!! Yes Chemistry is hard but don’t let it take over your life!!! There is SO Much fun to be had during the school year so make that you work hard but also play hard!! Enjoy yourself!!! Taking Gen Chem should NOT be the end of your world! HAVE FUN!!!! You will thank me.

Anything encouraging you have for students entering the course?

Work hard and Give your best! That is all you can do! Believe in yourself and your abilities and you will be fine! 🙂
And if you ever need help or have any other questions please come to me, I am more than happy to help you!
GOOD LUCK!

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