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Chemistry Books

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Karim, Nov 17, 2005.

  1. Karim

    Karim The Egyptian Undergrad
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    I am currently taking General Chemistry I, and I believe that both my professor and textbook are not very helpful resources. I have heard that the best preparation for the MCAT is to know your basic sciences (like Chemistry) amongst other things in and out, so I was wondering if you guys recommend any book that I can go out and buy that does a GREAT job in teaching General Chemistry.
     
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  3. DrBowtie

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    I didn't think Silberberg was bad.
     
  4. Karim

    Karim The Egyptian Undergrad
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    I know that people refer others to "Pushing Electrons" for O-Chem...is there a book like "Pushing Electrons" for general Chem students? I'm also thinking of picking up a MCAT review book specifically for General Chemistry so I can study along with the class...so maybe by the time I'm ready to review for the MCAT I'll be used to it.
     
  5. Karim

    Karim The Egyptian Undergrad
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    Brett, do you think that just going through and being able to do the Sample Problems in the chapter will be enough? I like the highly repetitive approach to learning Chemistry a lot more.
     
  6. fpr85

    fpr85 "newbie"
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    What book do you use?

    Our class uses the 6th Edition of Zhumdahl-Zhumdahl's Chemistry -- it's fairly good.
     
  7. DrBowtie

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    I dunno...I used this book exclusively. I did quite few of the problems. Get the solution manual.
     
  8. Karim

    Karim The Egyptian Undergrad
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    I am currently using the Silberberg book...it's the newest edition.
     
  9. masterMood

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    Listen, in my persional experience, during high school i didnt' bother with the high school teachers or the textbooks. I bought those really awesome Princeton Review review books fro all my APs and crammed for them. Helped me for my exams and for tests .

    However, I refuse to use them this time. Why? Because my philosophy is that I need to learn how to use the textbook. The review books are shortcuts for topics that anyone can learn with the proper mindset. If i have to use a review book for chemistry now, will i have ot use a review book for biochemistry in med. school? Or when i don't understand an journal when I'm hopefulyl a doctor?

    Get used to reading the textbook and the professor more than the reviwe book. The review book is a short-term solution for something tah can become a long term problem. Because ultiamtely, there will be a point in sciences where review books are no longer made because the material is no longer general.

    Just make sure you take time to understand the material step byh step logiaclly. If you don't understand somethig make sure you do, and also use common sense. Tailor your studying to what the professor will test on. Only under extreme cases would you not study something if you know for sure that stuff is too technical/won't be tested for a class. Thus, instead of finding shortcuts for this class, you need to do the plain hard work that is requisite for this class and for many courses to come. They say taht too lmuch stress is a bad thing, but too little stress is bad as well!
     
  10. Karim

    Karim The Egyptian Undergrad
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    Oh wow...there's a solutions manual? Is this for the questions at the end of the chapter? I might just do that.

    My problem with the book is that there is SO much background information and very little problem solving. They only use one example to illustrate each idea (or so far as I've seen), but oftentimes I see multiple variations of those problems and I get lost...I am looking for a book that explains each type of question--how to do it and why.

    If the solutions manual does that, I might just go out and buy it! 1 question though: is it enough just to know how to do the problems, or do I also have to know the background info for the MCAT?
     
  11. DrBowtie

    DrBowtie Final Countdown
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    A lot of Gen-Chem, Math, Physics is knowing how to do a problem and applying it to many of them i.e. plug and chug. I wouldn't worry too much.

    The MCAT can't be too much math problem solving since the numbers would get sticky without a calculator.
     
  12. Karim

    Karim The Egyptian Undergrad
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    I'm not looking for any shortcuts...I'm just looking for a book that does a better job at explaining Chemistry because I am basically teaching it to myself.

    This is my professor's first year of teaching. He's a good guy, but honestly, he can't teach worth crap. He's taking the power-points off of the text's website and he's just going through them. They're the same exact problems that are in the book. He doesn't even know this material all that well, and the way he works through problems is not very logical at all--I pretty much gave up on the lecture.

    I don't like the style of the book at all. Now that I think about it, you were recently complaining about this same exact book, weren't you, Hermit MMood?
     
  13. Karim

    Karim The Egyptian Undergrad
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    I don't know much about the MCAT questions...but I'm guessing that it just asks you questions like "You have 2.00 g of 2M HCL..." and asks you to calculate stuff. Will it ever ask questions about background info like "which of the following examples illustrates diffraction" or anything like that?
     
  14. masterMood

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    Focus on understanding the concepts through the text. The theory behind chemistry. If it takes you 7 hours to compelte a chapter then so what? do it.

    What i like to do is after a section, i do the sample question try to answer it myself and then see hwo they did it. The solution guide is there to show you but not to assist you along the way to the answer. It cannot be used as a crutch for the questions because then you will not be really learning it.

    You'll be better off spending the time NOW understanding the material through the textbook and/or professor, doing the requisite practice questions for the MCAT in the long term. Because everything you do right now will be forgotten in the next year- 2 years before mcats and you'll have to revie wit all over again. Whereas if you focus on concepts you will remember more. If you carry this mentality not onyl will it help you for chem II and mcats but for the other sciences especially physics and organic chemistry.

    One suggestion for many chapters is that you try to visualize what's going on. Since chemistry is a microscopic science you can't see anythign so it's hard to conceptualize somethign that you can't see! Use the textbook's diagrams, your creative mind, your own sketches whatever to understand the respective concepts. One trick for many chapters is to really understand the atom to atom, proton-proton, proton-electron, electron-electron interactions that occur.

    If you need more help with chemistry go on google and type "doing well chemistry" "studying for chem" etc. there ar emany good websites for doing well.

    edit:
    and i was complaining more over the book's dry text than the actual concepts. I realized that the chapters go into detail to help you reinforce the material, to understand the overall concepts than to memorize the little bits and exceptions here and there.

    my main point is that it's better to get used to the textbook early on in the game so by tthe time you take organic chem, physics, biochem, etc. you will be very indepedent and will only need the professor's help only in extreme situations.

    in med. school there just won't be time or shortcuts to getting passed the reading no matter how boring the text is. The discipline that you accrue now will reward you plenty in the next years.
     
  15. Karim

    Karim The Egyptian Undergrad
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    That makes a lot of sense. I'm thinking that this will be the best approach: Read each chapter and understand everything. Then, I'll read through the sample questions and understand them as well. Then I can try to answer them without looking. During the weeks before my midterms, I can then work through the problems at the end of the chapters and use the solutions manual if I can't figure it out. This way, I'll be learning and understanding the concepts of Chemistry and I'll be committing them to long-term memory so when I start studying for the MCAT it will just be review.

    So do you guys think that Silberberg is sufficient?
     
  16. dz88

    dz88 Member
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    wait, you can't use a calculator on the MCAT?
     
  17. Arsenic

    Arsenic posting from the future
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    nope

    you have to do any calculations by hand, its easy though in scientific notation. you can round just about everything since the answer choices are pretty far apart from eachother. so for example, 48,235 kg becomes 5 x 10^4.
     

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