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Best Way to Study for General Chemistry (weed out course)?

gotmilkgotmilk 417 replies112 threads Member
edited July 2013 in College Life

I am going to be a incoming freshmen and I heard general chemistry (for engineers) is a weed out course. Any tips as to how to study and be successful in this course?
edited July 2013
24 replies
Post edited by gotmilk on
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Replies to: Best Way to Study for General Chemistry (weed out course)?

  • jim123jim123 37 replies3 threads Junior Member
    Chemistry is the course where each topic related to it's previous one. For getting success in chemistry you need to start with basics. Once you feel comfortable in basics then you face no trouble in further. Making notes and regular follow up is also necessary in this.
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  • tseliottttseliottt 126 replies21 threads Junior Member
    10 characters.
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  • Big10ChampBig10Champ 147 replies1 threads Junior Member
    Do your homework and pay attention in class (especially discussion section). If your bookstore sells past tests, buy them and share with a friend in your class. Often times the tests will be set up the exact same way from semester-to-semester. Go to office hours. Professors reward office hours students by explaining things more clearly and giving precursor test problems (which they often don't have time to do in class).

    And don't get behind or wait until a few days before test time to cram. This stuff compounds, and even if you scrape by in Gen Chem I, the same themes will appear in Gen Chem II (if you have to take that). Better to just learn it the right way the first time.
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  • BCEagle91BCEagle91 22635 replies127 threads Senior Member
    Get the chemistry book now and, start reading and doing the exercises.
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  • johantheduckjohantheduck 1 replies0 threads New Member
    Basically study at least 2 hours a day, review material before and after lecture. Do all assigned homework problems, take practice midterms etc.Start reviewing for midterms and finals 1-2 weeks before. Don't cram the night before. Attend every lecture and pay attention and take dilligent notes. Overall, just go big or go home. I did this and i got an A-.
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  • noimaginationnoimagination 6953 replies101 threads Senior Member
    Read the text once before lecture. In lecture, write down everything your professor says, then rewrite your notes in your own words after class. Work every assigned homework problem, and then extra if you feel uncomfortable with a topic. Do all the practice tests.
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  • Charlie87starCharlie87star 160 replies12 threads Junior Member
    I have an old study book that I'm going to read through before school starts, if you can't find a used sat or ap book it won't teach you everything but I think having a general knowledge before you get to the class can only help
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  • idonotknowidonotknow 42 replies10 threads Junior Member
    I already have AP Credits for Chem (I got a 4 on my AP test, junior year). Since Gen Chem is such a weed-out course like that, and since I plan to be a pre-med, should I skip a full year of Gen Chem and jump right into Org. Chem? But I also heard that I might get an easy A in Gen Chem because basically I am repeating that class. If so, it would be a nice GPA booster for me... I am really confused now. Folks, please help me as the school year is approaching. Thank you very much.
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  • punnetofberriespunnetofberries 14 replies0 threads New Member
    @idonotknow: The advice I've been given is med schools want that grade. They want an A or an A-, not a 4 or 5. They will accept it however. (Math ap scores are the exception, with most not caring if you only have an ap score) In the end the decision to retake or not is yours. UC med schools accept no ap credits
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  • ptontiger16ptontiger16 - 568 replies12 threads Member
    @idonotknow, I am in your same situation (though I have a 5 and was awarded two full semesters of Gen Chem credit). I heard that Orgo is really hard, especially since I'll be taking it alongside calc-based physics and calc 2. But I think I'll still take Orgo because I'm a ChemE major and I love chemistry!
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  • radioactivemintradioactivemint 42 replies0 threads Junior Member
    Read the chapter before lecture, and do as many book exercises as necessary until you feel comfortable with the material.
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  • ThisIsMichiganThisIsMichigan 814 replies11 threads Member
    Lol, gen Chem isn't a weed out course for engineers. If you don't do well in it you have no business taking what lies ahead.

    I guess it's a weed out class for the 40% of freshman that think they are pre med. Then they realize they can't even do basic math or chemistry. Even if they scrape by gen Chem, Orgo would probably take them out.
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  • ChandiChandi 319 replies3 threads Junior Member
    ^Yeah, pretty much that.

    I had A+ grades through the general chemistry sequence and ended up switching out of engineering and into chemistry. That was mostly because I found the later engineering courses challenging but boring while I found the upper level chemistry courses challenging but still intensely interesting, but I digress.

    At any rate, if you want to be an engineer, general chemistry shouldn't be that difficult for you. It had a 50% or so rate of grades of C- or below and withdrawals at my undergraduate institutions, but the majority of those were from wannabe premeds.

    I would recommend starting out studying a couple of hours every day, both by yourself and with a group, then increase that time if you feel you are struggling with it. If your university has a tutoring center that is free to students, like the one I worked at, be sure to use it. The students I worked with who achieved the best outcomes tended to come several times per week rather than spending all day in the tutoring center the day before the test.
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  • BriannaelisabethBriannaelisabeth 1 replies0 threads New Member
    For anyone preparing for General Chemistry II, here is my advice.
    Don't mess around when it comes to equilibrium. Attend and pay attention to every lecture, and do all of the practice problems. Everything else in Gen Chem II basically stems from equilibrium, and if you can do equilibrium you can do the rest without even really having to try. It will be the same formulas and processes, just solving for different "K"'s. Sure, thermo and gas law is tough, but once you're done with those, you don't even have to think about them anymore. But don't ignore equilibrium, because it's about 60%-70% of the class.
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  • FastNeutrinoFastNeutrino 808 replies23 threads Member
    If you remember any chemistry from high school, see if your college has a database of past finals. It's a good way to see where you stand, and maybe what you can look over a bit until school starts.
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  • baktraxbaktrax 2561 replies2 threads Senior Member
    The best way of studying for gen chem is the best way of studying for any course. Do the reading, go to class, take good notes, ask questions. If there are problem sets, do them. If there is homework, do it. If there are practice exams, do them. If there is a discussion section, go to it and ask questions. If you don't understand something, go to the professor's or the TA's office hours. Make sure you understand how to solve problems--don't just memorize the solution. If you don't do well on the first exam/quiz, go to the professor and ask about it. Figure out where you went wrong, and do better next time. If you need extra help, figure out if there is a tutoring service on campus. At my school, there was free tutoring or workshops for many of the first year classes (gen chem, bio, calculus, physics).

    If you don't have time to do all of the above, for chemistry, I would focus on going to lecture and doing the problem sets. If there's something specific you don't understand, do the reading for that particular section. Make sure you can do the problems on your own without help from the book/TAs/professor/solutions, and make sure you understand each step.
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  • HaphazardHaphazard 555 replies74 threads Member
    Does anyone have any suggestions for Chemistry lab for first years? I'm an incoming freshman and I don't really know much about how heavily the labs are graded.
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  • frugaldoctorfrugaldoctor 1153 replies2 threads Senior Member
    Do every problem in the book. It works, I did it myself, and my DS has done so to great success. The labs become easier when your brain has completed so many problems from so many different angles. Eventually, you will require less practice with chemistry problems as your brain develops the ability to efficiently learn and process chemistry.
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  • tomi65463tomi65463 28 replies8 threads Junior Member
    I personally thought gen chem 2 was cake compared to 1. To do well in gen chem all you have to do is know the terms and the problems. There will be some definitions/laws that you must know (memorization) and working to derive answers from info (problem solving). And obviously the more problems you do , the more comfortable you will be with the material. All there is too it. I recieved A's in both semesters.
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