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sistahnik

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hey guys!! I just wanted to see if I could get some advice. I am in the last portion of gen chem I and I'm trying to use the best method to study for the final exam. In the beginning I had a hard time grasping the concepts but I am better now. we had a total of 3 lecture exams and I passed 2 and bombed 1. our teacher is a first time instructor so there was some issues with understanding their teaching approach. anyhow, I am only holding myself resposible for my lack of knowledge in chem I, but I plan to make up for the failure on this final exam. please help, I need some tips. I believe I have over 2 weeks to relearn what I need to know :( :( but if I have some type of plan I know that I can do it. thanks in advance.
 

traumamonkey

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practice problems. the practice some more problems. turn them upside down and try again.
i guess it depends on the prof, but with classes like chem and physics you need to make sure you can do the problems cold. does s/he provide you with any sample tests? i guess if it is a new instructor you can't really see old exams--i found those the most useful in figuring out what the person thought was most important.

is it cumulative? you could use your previous three exams to review that stuff.

i'll see if i can dredge up any old knowledge from chem. good luck!
 

DMBFan

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Do the challenging problems in the book. I remember my book had a special section for the hard problems, and the teacher never gave any problems that were harder than those problems. If you can do those, you should be fine! Also,should you run out of problems from the text ask the prof, if there are other books he/she recommends..I used Schaums...
 
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sistahnik

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thank you very much for those replies. no, we don't have access to any old exams b/c of the fact that he's new, but thanks for the suggestion. I guess that's where I fell short, I didn't really get in full gear with the problems from the text. I guess I was more intimidated than anything. the final is cumulative and I planned on reviewing the questions from those three tests. but like I said I didn't really know how to approach the work with a certain method of studying. thanks a whole bunch!! ;) P.S. I will definately check out schaum's.
 

logos

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I'll just echo the practice problems thing...its really the only way to really learn the chemistry. Stressing the problems over just reading or memorizing is a skill that will serve you well in organic chemistry also.
 

sistahnik

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thanks guys! I guess if I would have just tackled every aspect of chem I, then I would have been in a better position. actually what you guys are suggesting for me to do is what I already knew to do. so thank you for confirming my gut feelings. now the only other problem was that the instructor told us not to memorize anything, but some stuff had rules that you had to remember so that you knew when to apply them to certain problems. that was the biggest problem in our class!! thanks again.
 

Rose122

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You could try studying for the Gen Chem MCAT style. I remember studying for the MCAT and thinking, man, if only my prof had broken it down systematically like this I could have used the basics and applied them to the tough problems that the prof really wanted us to be able to do. So if you grab a Kaplan or Princeton Review book you can flip to the appropriate section and get a narrowed and concise presentation of the material and then get example problems that examine the concept from many angles.
 

Luke

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Originally posted by sistahnik
the only other problem was that the instructor told us not to memorize anything
Yeah, science profs love to say things like this. What I think they're intending to get across to you is that to do well one can't simply have facts memorized; one must understand the material and be able to apply it.

For me, part of the road to understanding is memorizing, so I have to take the "don't memorize" advice with a real big grain of salt.
 

sistahnik

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thanks rose122 and luke. I never even thought of using the kaplan or princeton review books, actually I never knew that the books broke down the material that way. I think I will give it a try. luke, I agree with you on the memorization tip. thanks again guys!! :thumbup: :thumbup:
 

Amy B

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I will also suggest you get the Kaplan big comprehensive guide book and use it to study. It will also help you prepare for the MCAT as you take the classes you will need.

The practice problems in the book that your prof uses are more than likely going to be your best bet. It is really bad when you get a new prof. I went through that with calculus and I know... it is a nightmare.

Do you get your old tests back? If so I would try to rework the ones you missed on them. Get a group of students together and compare your tests to see what you weren't understanding. That can be a big help.

Go through all your notes to see if can grasp what you did wrong on the test you did badly on. Go back to the textbook and compare your notes to what is in the book and make sure your notes aren't in error. No sense in studying something that is incorrect.

As much as you may not want to... I would suggest meeting with the prof and having him go over the stuff you bombed to see if maybe one on one he can do better and clear up some things. Sometimes when they can't teach a group, they can teach one on one.

Good luck.
 

HooahDOc

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Gen chem is like a physics class -- very math heavy. The only way to "study" for math is to do practice problems, right? This doesn't change for gen chem or physics.

Luckily we used an online-homework thing called, "CAPA" at my school. CAPA for gen chem was great and really helped me in the class. CAPA for physics sucks ass. Luckily I took the professor who doesn't require it :)
 

sistahnik

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hey amy b! yes we do get the exams back after he grades them so I plan on going over all the exams to redo the problems I got wrong and make sure I understand why I got them wrong. the worst problems I had in the beginning were the oxidation states and charges, but now I understand how to do these problems because I reread the chapters. as for meeting with him, he only has office hours on the day that we meet for class which is just 1/2 hour before class meets.

hey jkdmed I agree that you have to do practice problems but sometimes its just the concepts that are difficult to understand. I will just try and do more problems. thanks!!
guys you are great. :clap: :clap:
 
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