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OSU Chemistry Department

MomofOSUstudentMomofOSUstudent 1 replies1 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 2 New Member
Hello! Anyone having an issue or know of someone with an issue with OSU's Chemistry department? Our daughter scored high on the ACT and was an honors student in High School and is truly struggling with Chemistry at OSU so much that she is now realizing she needs to give up her dream of getting into dental school or attend a different university. The Chemistry on the pre-dent track is ruining her GPA and she is typically one who excels at school……Very disgruntled with OSU and feeling like we are truly 1 in 60,000…..
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Replies to: OSU Chemistry Department

  • Erin's DadErin's Dad 32863 replies3607 discussionsSuper Moderator Posts: 36,470 Super Moderator
    Which OSU? There are at least three.
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  • MomofOSUstudentMomofOSUstudent 1 replies1 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 2 New Member
    LOL you're right!! Hah I should've been more clear....Ohio State University.
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  • whenhenwhenhen 5530 replies111 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 5,641 Senior Member
    What has your daughter been doing to improve her chemistry grade?
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  • lvvcsflvvcsf 2275 replies57 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 2,332 Senior Member
    edited October 2015
    Let me preface my response by saying these are not judgements just observations I have made about colleges and good students. First, tOSU has become MUCH more selective than it was even 10 years ago. It is likely that your D's chem class is full of honors students so the competition for grades is much higher. Second, it is likely that grades are much more likely to be test focused rather than work focused. The difference we have noticed with our D in college is that in HS homework was a significant part of the grade and effort was rewarded, in college homework is designed to help towards understanding, however, it doesn't contribute much to ones grade. Another factor is that the Chem class is probably a very large class with a recitation.

    My D, changed the way she approached learning. She reads the material before the lecture and takes notes while she reads. She doesn't always understand what she read but she has been exposed to it. She spends time during the lecture taking notes, attempting to glean the important points. She then compiles the notes from reading and the lecture. She often does her homework with others. This helps because other students often have insight that my D may not have had and she found many of them were facing similar challenges. If so college professors are more likely than HS school teachers to curve grades. She asks questions of the TA during the recitation and if need be visits the professor during office hours.

    It can be a shock when what was once relatively easy becomes a challenge. Changing universities may be a solution but a more satisfying solution might be to figure out how best to succeed in her new environment. Good luck.
    edited October 2015
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  • gouf78gouf78 7748 replies23 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 7,771 Senior Member
    Agree that when you hit a college chem class you hit as good or better students. Unfortunately chem is often used as a weeder class. Don't know how OSU works but there may be a different track of chem classes she could switch to. There can be big differences between professors.
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  • JustOneDadJustOneDad 5726 replies119 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 5,845 Senior Member
    Has your student made use of the tutoring resources available?
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  • Erin's DadErin's Dad 32863 replies3607 discussionsSuper Moderator Posts: 36,470 Super Moderator
    I had a big adjustment when I went off to college (years and years ago). In HS I could easily retain what was said by a teacher in class and didn't need much outside studying. Not true in college as my first semester grades attested.
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  • Madison85Madison85 10290 replies407 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 10,697 Senior Member
    Did she have AP Chem in high school?
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  • wis75wis75 13853 replies62 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 13,915 Senior Member
    edited October 2015
    Chemistry major at UW (meaning Wisconsin) eons ago- then medicine (ie did not start out with a premed mentality). Hopefully there is more than one general chemistry sequence. But, she is likely in the one that many preprofessional students gunning for A's take. However, it is possible to learn the material well and be one of the A students. I took an Honors sequence and remember how my HS background helped me a lot. It was the preAP course days and our HS did a lot of chemistry problem solving. Perhaps her experience was weak in that.

    General chemistry touches a lot of different aspects of the field but is not just memorization of a new language or vocabulary. Going over problem sets with others is definitely worthwhile. One learns others' approaches and where one is making mistakes. The professor can be a bad lecturer but there should be a textbook . Plus office hours with the TA or prof can be useful. No matter who teaches a course the material to be learned is the same. Chemical reactions have rules. Problems have the same methods in being solved. Huge difference from HS/AP chemistry is the pace. A lot more material. That rule about two hours of homework per credit per week- yes even more may be required. I remember blue book exams where the process counted more than the final answer. I remember helping another woman in the dorm with her prenursing chemistry (she changed majors). With problem solving it is important to go through things step by step- taking no shortcuts. I actually couldn't remember pH in a medical school biochemistry exam but was able to derive it from the chemical reaction. btw- this is why preprofessional reqs include chemistry, to understand things later.

    Strategy. Study, go over problem sets with others. Make use of office hours. Attend any review sessions. Read the book/online relevant material before the lecture. Take notes. Review things the same day after class. Be diligent in step by step problem solving. Practice reinforces memory- I have forgotten so much with decades of non use. Look for relationships among formulas. They mean something physically. A tidbit I still remember is PV=nRT. There are other related equations that one relate those components. I had trouble remembering some of the lingo- such as when -ic and -ous was used because the rules were not simple although very logical once one decoded the system. Hopefully she will have everything gel by the end of the semester- important because future work is dependent on knowing the past coursework.

    Finally- one bad semester course will not crush dreams. Several will. Chemistry is a fun subject even if not all of those teaching it are fun people. Sure beats physics in my book- another hurdle to jump.

    The above was written on-the-fly, not as a college essay.

    I presume your D is a college freshman. Way too soon to give up. OSU admitted her because they felt she could be successful. It is hard to not be a top student. She can make up deficits from her HS background this semester- it will take work but her goal may be worth it. I was lucky in my HS chemistry fundamentals, as I'm sure some others in her class are. But- the material is there. It takes more than the lecture, however.

    PS- you can find people willing to complain about any department anywhere. Need to get over that and deal with the hand dealt. It could be worse, not better elsewhere.
    edited October 2015
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  • tammy21tammy21 22 replies1 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 23 New Member
    Also a lot of chemistry courses use an online submission system for grading homework, and that can have a frustrating learning curve. My daughter went from a C+ her 1st semester of chemistry to a B her second mostly because she finally figured out how to use the online system correctly and stopped losing points for things she knew. So help her figure out why she is struggling and try to address it, it is not hopeless.
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