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Chem 2 vs Chem 1

Beandog

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Mar 10, 2011
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    2.5 years ago (when I first started premed, later going to a business discipline) I took Chem 1 at my community college. After graduating in that business major, I'm now enrolled in the University at Buffalo for fall classes and they do not offer retakes for fall or spring Chemistry - summer retakes only. I'm therefore going to sign up for Chem 2 and take chem 1 if I need to at a later date
    My question is:

    I'd like to take Chem 1 retake for grade replacement and refreshment. I have been self-studying and am relearning the material confidently. Still - how much of a jump is it from 1 to 2? Is this course more expansive, or will it be building off of chem 1?
     

    NightGod

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    Jun 10, 2011
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      For me, at least, Chem 2 was 10000% a build off from Chem 1. We actually had a quiz on day one that covered topics from the first semester. Honestly, the class would have been all but impossible without a Chem 1 base-it's not like Anatomy & Physiology where they are completely separate classes. It's more like Calculus 1&2.

      That said, with it only being 2.5 years and you spending time refreshing on the material (you might also want to check out Kahn Academy, they have their own web site or check YouTube-the videoes are great-honestly, with the videos and a chem book you could learn everything they teach you in the first year of chem) you should have no real issues with the class. Unless you a) got some completely awful grade the first time around and want to retake to grade replace and go DO or b) only took the single semester chemistry class for non-science majors, you should really have no reason to retake Chem 1, especially after taking Chem 2. In fact, it would look very odd on your app if you did.
       

      Beandog

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        Good to know. I got C's in both lab/lec(after being sick and missing 3 classes of each:thumbdown:) I'd retake for grade re-up alone, as I'm focusing on DO. I would retake if/only I got rejected and needed to bump the GPA.

        I've hit most of Kahnacademy in the chem area and hitting my chem 1 book 2-3 hrs a day. I feel ready, just trying to get a feel for what I'll be up against. Thanks



        For me, at least, Chem 2 was 10000% a build off from Chem 1. We actually had a quiz on day one that covered topics from the first semester. Honestly, the class would have been all but impossible without a Chem 1 base-it's not like Anatomy & Physiology where they are completely separate classes. It's more like Calculus 1&2.

        That said, with it only being 2.5 years and you spending time refreshing on the material (you might also want to check out Kahn Academy, they have their own web site or check YouTube-the videoes are great-honestly, with the videos and a chem book you could learn everything they teach you in the first year of chem) you should have no real issues with the class. Unless you a) got some completely awful grade the first time around and want to retake to grade replace and go DO or b) only took the single semester chemistry class for non-science majors, you should really have no reason to retake Chem 1, especially after taking Chem 2. In fact, it would look very odd on your app if you did.
         
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        NightGod

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        Jun 10, 2011
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          Yeah, I see no reason you should have any issue with that kind of time being spent on getting ready. The best piece of advice I got for Chem II was from our professor who told us after the first test (which was pretty universally bombed I got a 72 which was 19 points lower than any Chem I test). Same effort as Chem I = one grade lower. In other words, it was time to get a bit serious about the class and stop gliding ;)
           

          kwantiko

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          Oct 15, 2010
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            how comfortable are you with calculations?

            chem 2 for me was really a semester of learning different calculations (equillibrium, handerson-hasselbach, nernst, etc...)

            if you consider yourself a math person, should be no prob
             

            Beandog

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              how comfortable are you with calculations?

              chem 2 for me was really a semester of learning different calculations (equillibrium, handerson-hasselbach, nernst, etc...)

              if you consider yourself a math person, should be no prob


              I'm not exactly a math person...Bio and Ochem are easier for me than regular chem. However, my goal between now and Aug 29th is to become as competent as possible with the fomulas, calculations, etc. I would assume you build off of the basic calculations in chem 1 such as pv/nrt, molecular fomulas and things with the calculations you metioned?
               

              kwantiko

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                I'm not exactly a math person...Bio and Ochem are easier for me than regular chem. However, my goal between now and Aug 29th is to become as competent as possible with the fomulas, calculations, etc. I would assume you build off of the basic calculations in chem 1 such as pv/nrt, molecular fomulas and things with the calculations you metioned?

                gen chem one was important for gen chem 2, but the depth was entirely different. i mean in gen chem 1 we learned what pH is an indicator of, but in 2 we learned how to calculate it in multiple scenarios given different variables.


                practice problems are key. get a solutions manual, and do problem after problem.
                unsure of your understanding of a concept, do more problems.
                when in doubt, do more problems.

                follow this formula and you will be fine
                 

                NightGod

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                Jun 10, 2011
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                  I'm not exactly a math person...Bio and Ochem are easier for me than regular chem. However, my goal between now and Aug 29th is to become as competent as possible with the fomulas, calculations, etc. I would assume you build off of the basic calculations in chem 1 such as pv/nrt, molecular fomulas and things with the calculations you metioned?
                  PV/nRT only came up again on our cumulative final. Really, the only thing you had to know, math wise, from the first semester was the various conversions to/from moles. Everything can be worked out if you can get it worked out to moles because from there you can take it to basically any unit you need to. Beyond that, it was important to understand things like electronegativity, molecular size, (and these last two weren't so much critical to passing the class as they were to truly understanding the theory work behind how chemical reaction work) and balancing formulas. Knowing WHY the physical properties exist and act as they do adds a deeper layer to understanding chemistry, which just makes everything else more logical, at least it did for me.

                  Second semester was mostly ICE reactions, Red/Ox and titration for us. If you go in knowing mole conversions cold then the rest will fall into place pretty quickly. Having a basic understanding on strong vs weak base/acid can help with titration a lot, too, depending on how your professor approaches it (ie: will the tests state that HF is a strong acid or will you just be expected to know it), but that is basically pure memorization work if it becomes important, and it's only a handful of compounds anyway.
                   

                  Beandog

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                  Mar 10, 2011
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                    practice problems are key. get a solutions manual, and do problem after problem.
                    unsure of your understanding of a concept, do more problems.
                    when in doubt, do more problems.

                    follow this formula and you will be fine

                    Copy that.

                    PV/nRT only came up again on our cumulative final. Really, the only thing you had to know, math wise, from the first semester was the various conversions to/from moles. Everything can be worked out if you can get it worked out to moles because from there you can take it to basically any unit you need to. Beyond that, it was important to understand things like electronegativity, molecular size, (and these last two weren't so much critical to passing the class as they were to truly understanding the theory work behind how chemical reaction work) and balancing formulas. Knowing WHY the physical properties exist and act as they do adds a deeper layer to understanding chemistry, which just makes everything else more logical, at least it did for me.

                    Second semester was mostly ICE reactions, Red/Ox and titration for us. If you go in knowing mole conversions cold then the rest will fall into place pretty quickly. Having a basic understanding on strong vs weak base/acid can help with titration a lot, too, depending on how your professor approaches it (ie: will the tests state that HF is a strong acid or will you just be expected to know it), but that is basically pure memorization work if it becomes important, and it's only a handful of compounds anyway.

                    Thanks - you're very helpful.
                     
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