Basic Chem or Gen Chem 1?

DoctorDrewOutsidetheLines

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    Yep, pretty much what it says.

    I'm nontrad and haven't taken science since high school except for a required gen ed astronomy in college. I remember high school chemistry was challenging...but I'm the type of person who is gritty and determined.

    I tend to think non-trads have more of a leg up in that department - we know what we want and we go after it, hard.

    So basic chem? Or just go for it? I could do both and ace both, so it'd be a win/win, except for time-wise, taking an extra semester prior to the Gen Chem sequence sets me back.

    Anyone else take a Basic Chem class prior to Gen Chem?
     

    ZedsDed

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      Is "setting you back a semester" really enough of an issue to prevent you from taking the safer, more conservative route? If so, then do what you gotta do. But Gen Chem can definitely be a weed-out class for those who go in unprepared.

      At least for me, college-level Gen Chem was way, way more challenging than it's high school counterpart.

      I would be cautious about underestimating your competition. I'm sure you're a perfectly capable student, but when I was in undergrad I saw nothing but bright and motivated young people. Ditto for my postbacc. The vast majority of premeds work their asses off. I did very well in high school, so ending up near the mean of a group of equally capable students on my first science exam was a humbling experience. What separates the A students from the B students (imho) are:

      1) Study techniques.
      2) Skill.
      3) Time management.

      If the above three things are lacking, all of the effort in the world won't help you.
       
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      willow84

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        I had a 15 year gap between HS chem and my post bacc chem, and I'm very happy that I took Intro to Chem before Gen Chem 1. There is a large amount of expected knowledge in my Gen Chem 1 class that I would be missing if not for Intro. I'm also moving through the material much easier than my classmates who skipped the intro class.
         
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        GreenDuck12

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          Gen chem moves very quickly if you are going into it "dry." Now, you can overcome this problem by either taking an intro course OR doing self-study using a basic chem book (check your library), Kahn Academy, and review college algebra.

          I jumped into gen chem without doing sufficient prep of the content or the math and it definitely hurt my performance on some quizzes. I underestimated gen chem. Do NOT underestimate gen chem. There is a reason why at every major university 2000 freshmen come in as pre med and sign up for gen chem and roughly 400 will continue to organic chem. Gen chem is designed to weed students out. Respect the material and respect your competition.
           

          Eccesignum

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            Second Khan Academy for Gen Chem. I took gen chem not having had a chemistry course since high school almost twenty years ago. Keeping up with the material with Khan Academy helped so much.

            Also second strong math skills. I took college algebra prior to gen chem, which was invaluable. I hadn't realized how much basic math I'd let rot in my head.
             
            Yeah you don't want to dive right into Gen Chem without a primer semester if it's been a while and you thought HS chem was challenging. You will be quickly overwhelmed with the volume and complexity. I'm in Gen Chem 1 (110) right now and we lost 25% of the class to the lower level (101) course after the first week, and an additional 10 or so the week after. As they say in the parlance of our times, this is no effin' joke, yo, this is the real ish right here. My professor takes pride in his 72% class averages and no curve. He is a vengeful god who demands human sacrifice.
             

            Ad2b

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              My son is 24 and a high school drop out but he was getting an A+ in chemistry in high school his sophomore year.

              He is currently taking the basic chem course now. Getting a 100% on all exams. Confidence boosting as well as skill increasing. That coupled with our A+s this summer in physics (we took it together) ... he's on a roll.

              Can only say what the confidence boost has done for him as he moves forward on his own premed path. Why set yourself up for potential failure, when you could set yourself up for probable success?
               
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              My son is 24 and a high school drop out but he was getting an A+ in chemistry in high school his sophomore year.

              He is currently taking the basic chem course now. Getting a 100% on all exams. Confidence boosting as well as skill increasing. That coupled with our A+s this summer in physics (we took it together) ... he's on a roll.

              Can only say what the confidence boost has done for him as he moves forward on his own premed path. Why set yourself up for potential failure, when you could set yourself up for probable success?
              That's awesome. If I were in a physics course with my old man over the summer we probably wouldn't be speaking today.
               

              theriomorphos

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                After a long layoff and a GED, I was placed in a basic chemistry class at my community college. The version that I took was meant for science transfers and was more rigorous than the non science counterpart. Needless to say, it helped me enormously as I transitioned to General Chemistry . General Chemistry moves at a fast pace, hence it might be detrimental if you do not have the necessary foundation. I witnessed it in my class where several folks were dropping out like flies due to the rigor and lack of groundwork.

                Some resources which I found helpful were :

                1) Cliff Notes Chemistry Practice Pack.
                2) General Chemistry as a second language.
                3) Cartoon's guide to chemistry ( for leisure )

                My favorite online resources ( videos )

                1) Tyler Dewitt
                2) Ben's chemistry videos
                3) The Chem Guy
                4) Brightstorm
                5) socratic.org

                My favorite textbook is Chemistry the central science by Brown, LeMay and Bursten which I used alongside the allotted textbook. Good luck.
                 
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                banana_phone

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                  Just to echo what everyone else has said, taking Intro/Basic Chem was my saving grace going into Gen Chem! They do expect a lot out of you going in to that class, and in some ways I found it harder than Organic. I say go for it! I took Intro Chem online at my local CC and it was cheap and I easily fit it into my work schedule before starting full-time post-bacc classes (w/ Gen Chem at a major weed out university) last fall. Best decision I made - I got an A in the course when the average was around a 60%
                   
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