USNCO 2011 Discussion!

<p>It's a bit early, but anyone ready for this? And have any studying plans?</p>

<p>First year taking the exam, what are some good study materials? (books, etc)</p>

<p>Ready to try the exam for sure.</p>

<p>It looks like my local section doesn't even administer the local exam but instead just takes two nominations from each school, so does that mean....directly to the national exam?</p>

<p>Chemical Principles by Peter Atkins is a good study book for the local and national exams. The 3rd or 4th edition is good enough (newer editions are slightly modified but the general material is similar). My AP Chemistry course is already pretty rigorous so I will just learn the stuff that we are not going to learn in time for the local and national exams (such as electrochemistry and more specific acid and base equilibrium topics).</p>

<p>Just found out today that my chem teacher was leaving the entire registration, etc process up to me. Umm, hello ? So now I'm not sure what is going to happen, although I have been preparing for the exam since summer.</p>

<p>This is all taken from the ACS Chemistry Olympiad website directly.</p>

<p>"To register your school (teachers) or home-schooled student (parents), contact the coordinator of your ACS Local Section. If your school will not be registering for the competition, a parent or guardian can contact the coordinator of your ACS Local Section directly. A list of coordinators and associated local sections will be available soon."</p>

<p>Thanks. I have gotten it sorted out. Our local section was also not handling the exams and were quite honestly, unaware of the competition. I would have had to have driven about 5 hours to take it. My mom did have to become involved however :-).</p>

<p>It's getting really close to the local exam. You guys excited for it? Any past-test takers here? I'll be taking the local exam for the first time.</p>

<p>I got a 54 last year.</p>

<p>Do previous tests --> Read Atkins --> Do problems --> Read Zumdahl ---> Do problems --> Do previous Tests --> ?? ---> USNCO Semifinalist</p>

<p>Any advice for the national exam though? Similar strategy?</p>

<p>I read Zumdahl and have taken AP Chem for the past year now. Looking over past exams is excellent for preparing for the local exam however, in order to succeed in the national exam, tell your teacher to set up labs that you can do at home or after school. Also, tell her to compile AP style problems that you can do as practice for the Free-Response Section. Then again, my chemistry teacher is extremely supportive.</p>

<p>Ok, thanks. My friend actually qualified for the top 20 in the chemistry olympiad camp last summer, but he decided to go to the Physics Olympiad camp and went all the way to IPhO. So he's also been giving advice as to what I should do.</p>

<p>What advice?</p>

<p>Prepare a lot with old national exams and make sure that you know every main subject so clear-cut that you can practically teach a course on them (exaggeration here). My friend had a very unconventional path to the USNCO top 20 in that he didn't really prepare for it; he took one practice local exam - that was it. Then again, he's the sort of person who always is learning science for fun, so he already knew everything needed to be known for the USNCO.</p>

<p>Thanks. What score on national exam will be good to make top 20?</p>

<p>I don't know that, but I've heard that you need 55+/60 on the MC, 90+/100 on the Free response, and at least average/above average rating on the labs to attend the study camp. Good luck to everyone! This is my first time and I think I can qualify for semis at least (getting 54ish out of 60 on old local exams). I'll be taking it on March 5 in my local section.</p>

<p>We have on 3/19. First time also. 54ish on old local is first time try or second time try? I heard they do not look at lap part.</p>

<p>I'm taking the local exam tomorrow. Good luck to anyone else taking it tomorrow!</p>

<p>I've taken the local exam, but we can't discuss until all the local sections finish by April 1st. I thought I did very well on it though (58/59ish out of 60). Good luck to everyone else who still has to take it.</p>