Those of you taking Chemistry in college, how much do you study?

Discussion in 'Odds & Ends' started by ogruskie, Jan 24, 2010.

  1. ogruskie

    ogruskie Professional

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    This semester I'm taking Introductory Chemistry. The title alone brings back painful memories of my high school course. I severely struggle with this subject and I'm really intimidating about doing it this semester...

    So those of you who are taking any sort of chemistry class in college, how much do you study per day in order to get good grades? Also do you have any good advice/tips to help me understand the concepts of chemistry?

    Thanks.
     
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  2. VGP

    VGP Legend

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    You should study as much as you need to to get through the class.

    Don't worry about what other people are doing.

    I hope your college professor (or teaching assistants) are good. Chemistry shouldn't be painful as you described about your high school class.

    BTW, what is Introductory Chemistry? When I took the subject in college, we had two semesters. General Chemistry I and General Chemistry II, plus lab classes for each.
     
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  3. ogruskie

    ogruskie Professional

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    Well, I'm shooting for 2 to 3 hours of study time per day. So roughly 14 to 21 hours of studying per week. I need to do really well in this class.

    Intro Chem teaches you the basics of chemistry. You need to take it in order to advance into General Chemistry. Even then it's a challenging class.
     
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  4. Vyse

    Vyse Semi-Pro

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    What?! Don't take intro, just go straight to general. That seems like waste. I am in General Chem 1 right now. I study quite a bit but at the moment I am wanting to be a pharmacist so I am pretty motivated to do so. I also need an A. My first test hasnt come up yet but it is soon and I am studying an hour or two a day (usually while watcing the AO at night). First lab is also soon and that takes a couple hours to do the prelab stuff/ and post lab. Quite a bit of time but it is 5 credit hours so its suppose to be
     
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  5. ogruskie

    ogruskie Professional

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    I can't, Intro is a prerequisite to get into General. General builds off the material from Intro, so I'd be shooting myself in the foot even if I could skip the intro class.
     
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  6. Vyse

    Vyse Semi-Pro

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    Seems weird. Guess you don't have a choice. Do you have labs? Your introductory course will probably be pretty easy so I wouldn't worry about it too much. I doubt you'll have to study as much as you think.
     
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  7. ogruskie

    ogruskie Professional

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    Yeah, a 3 hour lab per week.
     
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  8. jim e

    jim e Hall of Fame

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    Although it has been a good # of years since I was in school, I believe most science college professors teach similar, as I found out whether it is chemistry,organic chem., biochemistry, microbiology, anatomy, physiology, etc. ( The list of sciences can go on and on that I took over the years as have taken my share of them), most professors lecture to you on what they want you to know. They already know the questions you will be asked before they speak,so when they lecture to you they make sure that they cover the materials that you are required to know. If you do not understand what is lectured that is what you concentrate on the readings. Most will assign massive readings, and I just concentrated on the lectures, and read the sections that you have questions about. Take good notes, as that is the key, even the insignificant things said inbetween topics, things like that usually come up on their exams. (I have only had a few sob's that would question you on material that was not covered in class and not in the book, but that is very rare.)If you end up with a poor instructor, you can usually get what you need on your own with a good textbook, just read the parts that are lectured. Good luck! Make the most of it, as the time goes by real fast!
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2010
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  9. El Diablo

    El Diablo Hall of Fame

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    Strange thread. If you have trouble with chemistry, what does it matter how much other people spend on it? You devote the time YOU need to it.
     
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  10. Kobble

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    Chemistry is a pain in the ass to take in school. I didn't start doing good in chemistry until my third one. Chem. I, I got a C. Chem. II, I got a D, and had to retake it to get a C. Very depressing atmosphere. Chem III I got an A. Biochem I averaged a B+. Orgo I and II, a B average. All I can say is put in the hours, and always review. It helps to re-read the material one day later. I hated chemistry because all we did was calculations. I really didn't have a clue as to what an atom really was. All they cared about is if we could calculate moles, balance equations, redox, gas laws, and more. Now, I study chemistry for fun, in bits and pieces, and it makes so much more sense to me. I still can't say I have mastered it. Meaning, I couldn't walk into a class without studying and kick ass, but I believe I will master general chemistry someday. It is a beautiful subject, which lousy and bitter people make terrible.
     
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  11. Kobble

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    Another tip, use online tutorials and animations. That can help you get concepts which make visualization easier. This helped me for biochemistry, because all the stuff that you simply have to know had a tutorial. Search Youtube for videos. They know how to dumb it down well, and condense it so the idea is manageable. You can also search the library for videos on the subject.
     
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  12. coyfish

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    Im a medical student so I have done gen chem 1/2, organic 1/2, biochem1/2 and the MCAT of course. Good times.

    The time you need to spend greatly varies depending on your own aptitude. Gen chem 1/2 is a mix of math and problem solving with some basic/fundamental theory. Some people grasp this much more easily than others.

    Push comes to shove though Gen chem I is a freshman level class. Unless you struggle you should be fine putting in an hour of quality study everyday. If you put in the effort you will do fine. That seems obvious but when if you get into the thick of the sciences (biochem 1/2) sometimes everything isn't enough.
     
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  13. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    What don't you understand about chemistry? I have started teaching my son chemistry at home, so I can relate.
     
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  14. Puma

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    You have recieved some good advice here. I think a big point here is if you have to take general chemistry taking the intro now will definitely help assuming you are in the same school. This will help you keep your grade point up.

    The best advice I can give you is to assert yourself and seek out tutoring if need be. Not everyone has the same skill sets. Yours may not be chemistry. Don't fret over this. Realize it and get busy!

    If you have to take advanced classes you will need to learn HOW to assert yourself and attack the challenge of having a subject like chemistry that is not your cup of tea.

    Thats one of the great things about college. The info is there, go get it!

    Good luck. I wish I were doing that again.
     
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  15. Puma

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    OH, and don't let people get you down when they say, "Ah, chemistry is easy, why are you having trouble with it", like something is wrong with you. Bullsh$t on this. Different people have different skills sets. What is simple for one person may not be for the next. This is one thing hopefully you will learn about yourself. You will learn your strenghts and weaknesses. We all have them.
     
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  16. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    When I took Chemistry 101 in college, I only studied for maybe 8 hours before each exam. Homework and attendance were optional, so I did neither.
     
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  17. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    You need to have studied from the right book. When I was my son's age, Chemistry school textbooks were big on verbose descriptive material and learning equations by rote. Now I have gotten my son the latest books and they focus more on fundamentals. You can say I am learning Chemistry again for a second time the proper way.
     
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  18. YULitle

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    It's been said at least twice before in this thread but it's worth repeating. Put the time that YOU NEED into the class to get the grade that you want. This is a skill any good college student must learn. Some classes take more work, some take less. Determining how to divvy your time up amongst your courses takes practice but anyone worth their salt gets good at it by the end of their first semester.
     
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  19. raiden031

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    Yeah this is I think the most important lesson you learn in college...time management.

    I was a computer engineering major, which was one of the tougher majors with alot of higher-level courses. Alot of engineering majors will be lucky to be done in 4 years flat (took me 4.5 years).

    Anyways I didn't have time to study for intro-level classes like Chemistry, so I did the bare minimum. I had a couple of high-level computer/engineering courses (VLSI design, Data structures) that I would spend countless hours in the computer lab. I remember many sleepless nights because these classes took everything out of me. I actually bombed a few intro classes because of time management issues (I got a D in History 101!)
     
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  20. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    But usually the higher level courses start after you are done with the general intro ones in the earlier semesters?
     
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  21. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    Well not really...my major required like 90 computer science/engineering credits (out of 120 to graduate). There were alot of layers of prerequisites so I was hitting the 100 and 200 level computer science/engineering courses from my first semester on. I was still working on the Core science/social science/math/language requirements pretty much through my junior year.
     
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  22. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I see. I can understand the 100 level in the freshman year but not the 200.
     
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  23. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    I took Computer Science 201 my first semester, and Computer Science 202 my 2nd semester. This was because I had prior computer experience so I could bypass like 1 or 2 100 level courses. Some of the required engineering courses don't even start until 200s, like I had to take Electrical Engineering 206 as my first circuits course.

    I started Physics at the 200 level as well.

    Chemistry was an elective to fulfill my required science requirements, so I took Chem 101 either my sophomore or Junior year.
     
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  24. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I see. These days many students come into college with programming experience. There is even an AP Computer Science now!
     
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  25. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    I took the AP Comp Sci exam back in HS in 1998, but I failed so I didn't actually get credit for it. :( Its not my fault though, the class was not taught properly to us because the teacher didn't know how to write code!

    Surprisingly alot of the CompSci majors when I started had no computer experience, and at least 50% of them dropped out of the major by the 2nd programming course. In my later years I worked at a tutoring center for C and C++ programming projects for these classes, and you wouldn't believe some of the people who came in asking for help. They would literally get the tutoring team to collectively do their entire projects when all is said and done. It worked for the first couple projects, but as the projects get harder, they would end up dropping the course (and changing their major).
     
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  26. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I tutored 8 semesters of CS juniors back in the day and in those days very few had any knowledge of computers outside the classroom.

    I just took a look at the APCS syllabus, and boy do they have a lot of stuff covered. They could easily skip the freshman year intro courses.
     
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  27. ogruskie

    ogruskie Professional

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    Thanks a lot for the advice guys. Very insightful info.
     
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