How to Ace First Year Chemistry (or at least make a high B) Dr. Saundra Y. McGuire Director, Center for Academic Success Adjunct Professor of Chemistry Louisiana State University
Requirements for Acing Chemistry 101/102 • Mastery of Chem Concepts (not rote memorization!) • Realistic Study Schedule • Effective Use of Resources (office hours, Help Desk, etc.) • Managing Anxiety
Why 101/102 is Harder Than HS Chemistry • The course moves a lot faster • The material is conceptually more difficult and cumulative • The problems are more involved • The tests are less straightforward and require you to apply concepts
Judgment: the ability to make decisions and support views; requires understanding of values Evaluation Combination of information to form a unique product; requires creativity and originality Synthesis Identification of component parts; determination of arrangement, logic, semantics Analysis Use of information to solve problems; transfer of abstract or theoretical ideas to practical situations. Application Identification of connections and relationships Interpretation Restatement in your own words; paraphrase; summary Translation Verbatim information; memorization with no evidence of understanding Recall
STUDENTS WITH GPA OF 3.7 OR HIGHER • Studied over 30 hours per week outside of class • Reviewed material prior to class • Stayed 1-2 chapters ahead in the text • Reviewed notes after class • Visited professor/instructor/tutor regularly • Studied in small groups (3-5 people) several times per week • Asked questions, asked questions, asked questions!!!
STUDENTS WITH A GPA OF 2.0 OR LESS • Studied 8-12 hours per week out of class • Did not review material prior to class • Stayed 1-2 chapters behind in reading • Rarely asked questions • Rarely discussed information with instructors/classmates/friends • In effect, were still in high school FOUR YEAR STUDY, R. B. LANDIS, CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY, 1995
So, What Can You Do Now? • Spend more time studying chemistry (at least 9 hours per week) • Aim for 100% understanding • Use the Help Desk and office hours • Use the Continuous Process of Learning and Intense Study Sessions • Study Smarter for Chemistry
Use Efficient Study Strategies When You Study Chemistry ! Study SMARTER, not HARDER
Continuous Process of Learning Phase One: Read or preview chapters to be covered in class… before class (Create chapter maps) Phase Two: Go to Class. Listen actively, take notes, participate in class Phase Three: Review and process class notes as soon as possible after class Phase Four: Incorporate Intense Study Sessions Repeat
Intense Study Sessions • 5 minutes: Set goals for next 40 min. • 40 minutes: Read text more selectively/highlight • Make doodles/notes in margins • Create mnemonics, work examples • Create maps • 5 minutes Review what you have just studied • 10 minutes Take a break • Repeat
Get the Most Out of Lecture • Arrive early • Actively participate • Review notes soon after class • Rework all example problems done in class
Average Retention for Learning Activities (Source: National Training Laboratories, Bethel, ME) 5% Lecture 10% Reading 20% Audio-Visual 30% Demonstration 50% Discussion Group 75% Practice by Doing 90% Teach Others/Immediate Use of Learning
Get the Most Out of Homework • Start the problems early--the day they are assigned • Do not flip back to see example problems; work them yourself! • Don’t give up too soon (<15 min.) • Don’t spend too much time (>30 min.)
Get the Most from the Help Desk and Office Hours • Try to understand the concept or work the problem by yourself first • Come prepared to ask questions • Explain the material to the tutor or professor or study group members
Some other important tips • - Start homework problems ONLY after reviewing, notes, working class problems, reading text. • -Work extra problems!!! • To prepare for tests, go over all problems, • especially those problems you could not solve. • -Review examples from class, and do chapter reviews. • - Keep old quizzes/tests, and ALWAYS correct returned tests.
Special Problem Solving Tips • Work extra problems!!! • When working homework problems, DO NOT flip back to look at examples in the text. Spend at least 15 minutes, but no longer than 25 minutes trying a problem before you seek assistance. • Visualize the problem situation. Draw diagrams. • Use front end – back end problem solving: “What can I get from what I am given?” “What do I need to get what I am trying to find?” - Estimate the answer, if possible. Check you answer to make sure it is in the “ballpark”.
Chemistry 101/102 HELP DESK At TAMU Room 116 HELD Mon – Thurs: 8:30am – 4:30pm Fri: 8:30am – 12:30pm
ON-LINE STUDY STRATEGIES WORKSHOPS at LSU • Time Management • College Reading and NoteTaking • Managing Test Anxiety • Test Taking Strategies • Concept Mapping
FABULOUS WEB SITE AT Louisiana State University WWW.CAS.LSU.EDU • Study Smarter Workshops On Line • Weekly and Semester Planners • GPA Calculator • Great Links • Web Page Development • Study Strategies Sites • Graduate Exam Links (GMAT, GRE, LSAT, MCAT)