Chemistry Study Guide for College | Laboratories | Test (Assessment)

Chemistry Study Guides

HOW TO STUDY CHEMISTRY by Ronald Ragsdale, University of Utah
Listening to Lectures

Read assigned material before coming to class. You will be sufficiently familiar with the material so you will more readily understand the lecture

Taking Notes
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Try to capture the ideas and concepts of a lecture. Don't recopy your notes. You don't learn while copying material. Don't use a tape recorder. It takes too long to review the material. Take notes and review them immediately after class. In some research, a group that reviewed material immediately after a class recalled more than a group that didn't. Remembering what you have heard is usually more difficult than remembering what you have read. Therefore, take class notes so that you will have something to read. Don't do your remembering by memorizing. We need to be selective in what we memorize. William James said, "The essence of genius is to know what to overlook." Memorization should only be done with material that is understood. It should not be used as a means of escaping the effort to understand. Do not learn by memorizing what can be learned by reasoning. Use the five R's of note taking (the Cornell system): 1. Record: The meaningful ideas and concepts 2. Reduce: After class, summarize the main ideas and concepts 3. Recite: Say out loud in your own words the main ideas of the class. 4. Reflect: Take a few minutes to ponder over the main ideas of the class 5. Review: Once a week, review the ideas of all the semester's lectures.

Asking Questions
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During class, ask questions of yourself. It helps to keep you mentally alert. It helps you to look for answers in class. Always have at least two questions that you would like to ask each time you go to your class.

Making a Schedule
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Schedules are crucial to student success. They are a means of gaining extra time by making you more efficient and by helping you use small blocks of time that usually are wasted without a schedule. Schedules also hep you prevent avoiding your study.

Studying
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Use daylight hours. Research shows that each hour used for study during the day is equal to one and a half hours at night. Study before each class. The material will be fresh in your mind. Study each subject in a one-hour block of time. It makes you more efficient. You don't become bored. Longer blocks of time lead to a waste of time. Allow time for sleep.

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Set realistic goals for yourself. You can reward yourself for being successful. If you waste all afternoon and then set a goal of studying chemistry from 6:00 p.m. to midnight, you may not be realistic. The chances are that you won't be successful; you will become frustrated. Study at a desk. Recite why studying. If you will recite while writing, you will be learning while using your eyes and ears. If you can't say it, you don't know it.

Study Tips for Chemistry Students by C. A. Liberko
(What I Wish They Had Told Me As An Undergraduate) The following is a bit of information that I have found helpful both to myself and to my students. I hope that It helps you. Getting good grades in Chemistry is really based on having good performances on exams and assignments. Everything that you learned about performing well in athletics or music applies to having a good performance in chemistry. As in music or athletics, you must practice regularly and develop a lifestyle that does not get in the way of your performance. Here are a few examples of how to obtain better performance skills in your courses. Remember that each person learns a little differently. What works for others may not necessarily work for you. You need to find out how to maximize your performance. The tips below should help most students. Write everything out. It would be foolish for a musician to watch someone else play a piece or to glance at a piece of music and say "that doesn’t look too hard, I can do that". The concert would be a very bad place to realize that they couldn’t play it. You don’t really know how hard it is until you try it yourself. In chemistry, you must work it out for yourself in writing. Solve the problem on paper or write out your explanation before you are being tested. What you think you know and what you can successfully write down may not be the same. The test is a terrible place to find this out. Practice daily. Wouldn’t it seem ridiculous for an athlete to put off practicing until the night before the competition and then stay up all night "cramming" for the event? Not only is there insufficient preparation but the problem is compounded by not getting enough sleep. Several shorter practices spread out over a period of time will do much more good than a marathon session where your progress is impaired by fatigue. When studying, don’t be afraid to take a short break and then return to your work. Don’t forget that the quality of your study time is as important as the quantity of your studies. If athletes put on their gear and spend two hours standing around drinking Gatorade, they should not claim to have practiced for two hours. Likewise, a student sitting in the library with the book open but socializing should not kid themselves into thinking that they are studying. Find a place where you can work without being interrupted. Being a full time college student is a full time job with lots of overtime involved. (And that does not even include the extracurricular activities). It takes a lot of effort, but the rewards are enormous. Do your best work. Have you ever heard the expression "how you practice is how you will play the game"? Just as sloppy play will often lose the game, and sloppy playing will ruin the best piece of music, sloppy work habits will ruin a good academic performance. The only way to avoid a sloppy performance is to practice not being sloppy. When working a problem, neatly and clearly write out your answer. Be sure your drawings and figures are clear and labeled. Write out explanations in clear and complete sentences. Check to make sure you chose the best words and that they say what you really intended them to say. Being close to the right answer may not get credit just as being close to the basket will not score the points. Indeed, many points have been sacrificed for inexact or unclear answers. Think about the material all the time. Loving what you do and being good at it often go hand in hand. People who love what they do think about it all the time and relate it to their everyday lives. Good athletes seem to talk about their sport all the time and always seem to be looking for a way to do it better. Even when you are not formally studying, think about the concepts in the course. While going for a walk, showering, or before you fall asleep, think about the concepts and how you might explain it to someone else. Relate the concept to what you see in life. This can be done formally by thinking about phenomena in your daily life such the fizzing of a glass of soda and thinking about what gas pressure and solubility properties give rise to it. This can also be done less formally by relating some

abstract concept to a silly analogy such as relating the concept of limiting reagent to making sandwiches. Don’t forget that underneath the details is a topic that you used to find interesting. Learn the material in small chunks. There may seem to be an overwhelming amount of material and students have a tendency to go over all the material many times. With so much information, very little is really learned even after several repetitions. When learning a complicated piece of music, it is fruitless to struggle all the way through a song day after day. Instead, break the material into little pieces that you can concentrate on until they are mastered. You may feel like you are spending a lot of time to learn a small amount, but if the material is really learned you will know it the next time you see it, and then, more can be added to it. You may also find that once you really know a few concepts well, the rest is easier to learn because it is related to what you already know well. Athletes do not learn every play by running through all of them quickly day after day. The plays are best learned one at a time, step by step, until they become second nature. Don’t be afraid to invest the time to learn it right. Take it one day at a time. Concentrate on your work and let the grade take care of itself. The best performances in music or athletics require total concentration. Paying attention to the score of the game or what the audience is thinking takes away from you doing your best job. When studying or taking a test, give it your complete attention. There will be plenty of time later to think about the grade. The students who seem to do the best in class give their full attention to learning the material and, in the end, are often surprised by how good a grade they get. Prepare for class. Before coming to class, it is important to adequately prepare. You should read the material several times if necessary. It may be helpful to quickly scan the chapter to get an overview and to get a feel for how the material will be presented and then go back and read more carefully. Don’t forget to read the assigned questions as well. It is always helpful to see what kind of skills you will be expected to have so you can pay attention to the most important information. The reading may be difficult and you may feel that you don’t get much out of it. Remember that a chemistry book is not a novel that can be read briskly but must be read slowly, several times, and digested as you go. One of the most important skills that you will get from your college education is to learn how to teach yourself. That is what you will take with you when you forget most of the course material. By reading technically difficult material and struggling through it, you improve your reading skills and your ability to learn on your own. Take an active part in class. Don’t forget the value of each class. With current tuition rates, this course is costing you (or someone else) approximately $50/hr, so pay attention! Coming to class overly tired or with a hangover can be quite costly, especially if you remember that this is probably the only time you will have to devote yourself completely to academic pursuits. If you are able to convince yourself that this is important to you, being involved will be easier. You should be involved enough that you have an answer for each question posed during a lecture, even if it is a wrong answer it is better than no answer at all. You should be relating the lecture to the material that you read in the book and thinking about whether it is consistent. You could also be asking yourself the questions "does this make sense with what I know from everyday life?" If you are really tuned in to a lecture, you will often anticipate the next step of what is being presented. Re-read the material. Now that you have gone to class and have some familiarity with the material, it is important to re-read the chapter. This gives your brain another chance to go over the material and it develops your ability to read technically difficult material. Remember that your reading skills are one of the most important things you will take with you when you leave college. A musicians ability to read music is enhanced by reading through a piece which is known well so that the brain can make connections between the symbols and the ideas behind them. This helps you to think in terms of those symbols. The material must be read again when it will make sense. You are learning the language, you need to practice reading it. Write out everything you know. Reading and working problems are an important part of learning chemistry. It is also important to take a blank piece of paper and write out what you know about the topic as if you had to teach it to someone else. This will force you to sift thought the mountain of material and pull out the most important parts. Write out what you think are the most important parts of the material and give examples, draw pictures, make up a

problem or think of an analogy to some other topic. This is a great learning exercise as well as a confidence builder. You need to practice facing a blank page so that you are familiar with doing it before you get to the exam. Work the problems without looking back at the chapter. Many students have a tendency to read a problem, find the relevant section in the book, take the approach the author used and apply it to their problem, quickly write down an answer and think that they are done. Working problems in this manner gets students good at finding answers in the book and perhaps recalling key words or recognizing correct answers when they see them. The problem is that exams do not usually ask you to find a section in the book or relate a few key words. You need to be able to generate the answers on your own. Again, "how you practice is how you will play the game". Being able to play the chemistry game well, means a student can generate correct answers without assistance. This skill is required on an exam, so you will need to practice it. When you read a problem and you do not immediately know the answer, resist the temptation to look back in the book. Close the book, take a blank piece of paper and write out anything you know about the problem. Try any way you can think of to solve the problem. Many ways may not work, but try something. Some people who are perfectionists have a very difficult time with this. They do not want to write down wrong answers so they don’t write down anything at all. By not writing anything down they can not solve the problem so they get stuck. When you get stuck, start writing. When you first try this you may feel like a rat crawling through a maze and you will make a lot of wrong mental turns and bump into a lot of walls. But after going through this maze several times you will be able to travel it rapidly and get back on track even after making a wrong turn. This maze that I am referring to is your thought process and it is different for everyone. Only you can figure out how to get through yours. The sooner you do this the better you will perform. Study offensively rather than defensively. In sports, it is often said that the best defense is a good offense. If you are only concerned about defending yourself on an exam, you will make very little forward progress in your education. Many students look at the material and say "I better go over this in case it is on the test". With this attitude the student has already determined that the only value this material has to them is that it may be on the exam. The chances that the material will truly be learned, much less retained, is small. Instead, try studying offensively. Say "I am going to master this topic because it is important (and maybe even interesting)to me. If I see it on the exam I will know it". See the exam as a challenge and an opportunity to score some points, not as a defensive play in which you may lose the game. It is important to be balanced here because being too confident may also be detrimental; don’t celebrate until after you are in the end zone because you may still drop the ball. In short, attack the material and avoid overconfidence. Check your answers. Many people think that they can sing quite well, until they listen to a recording of themselves. It is only then that they hear what they sound like to others. You can’t sing well unless you learn to listen to yourself. The same is true in academics. Many times, students think that they have a good performance on an exam and put down answers that make sense to them at the time. After getting the exam back they realize that their answers didn’t make sense. Each student needs to learn to be critical of their own work. Again, this takes practice. When working the problems, before you check your answers with the book, take a minute and ask yourself "does this make sense?" "Is this as complete as I could make it?" Double check your answers and make sure they are perfect. It is important for you to be more critical of your own work than the grader will be. Also go back and make sure that you answer the question which was asked. Get in the habit of correcting arithmetic, punctuation, spelling, grammar, and clarity since these elements are essential for good communication (i.e. full credit). Relax on the test. The superstar athletes are the ones who perform the best under pressure. Those who become anxious, go down in flames. Anxiety destroys your concentration and detracts from you showing what you can really do. And when you think about it, what good does worrying do anyway? Remember that in a few million years the sun will blow up and the Earth will be destroyed and then it won’t really matter how you did on one little exam. Seriously though, instead of worrying, take the attitude that you have worked your hardest to prepare and that you will just concentrate on doing your best and that you will accept what you get on the exam. Just do your best and stop worrying that you are not good enough. You wouldn’t be here if you weren’t.

Here are a few suggestions to help you relax on exams: - Realize that being a little bit nervous is a good thing. It means that you care enough to want to do well. -Get a good night’s sleep. A sharp mind does a lot more good that an overused memory. More than one student has stayed up late studying and then slept through the exam. -Don’t consume more caffeine than usual. Caffeine is not known for it’s ability to make you relax or to clear your head. -Arrive early and relax. You don’t need the added stress of getting to the exam and fumbling though your stuff while everybody else has already started. Besides this is not fair to them. (How many good athletes arrive just as the game is starting and then scramble to get their equipment ready?) -Stop worrying about how everybody else is doing. You only need to concentrate on doing your best. If seeing the other students makes you worry about how they are doing, sit up front so you won’t have to look at them. -Work the easiest problems first. This will get you warmed up for the more difficult problems and give you a little confidence. -Don’t get stuck on one problem. If you are not making progress, move on. There is no sense in missing five easy questions while struggling with one difficult one. -Learn a few relaxation techniques. A slow, deep breath or a quick muscle stretch can go a long way in helping you relax. -Stop and think before you write. This will allow you to give a more clear answer. Think of key words and make a rough outline of the points you will talk about in your essay answer. Make a rough sketch of the picture you will draw. -Ask if you don’t understand a question. You have a right to know what is being asked. -Don’t forget to check your answers to make sure that you have answered the question which was asked. It is difficult for a grader to give full credit for a correct answer to a different question that what was asked for. -Block off enough time in your schedule for the exam. Don’t miss points because you need to hurry to catch a plane or move out of your dorm room. This sounds ridiculous but it happens. Learn from your mistakes. Many students have a tendency to get back an exam, look at their score, get upset and use that energy to make them more nervous on the next exam. This is missing a very important opportunity to do some serious learning. When you get an exam back and after you have gotten over the shock of the grade, it is time to look at your mistakes and ask yourself what went wrong. Were you concentrating? Were you nervous? Were you clueless about the material? Did you know the answer but have trouble writing what you thought you knew? Did you think that all your answers were correct until you got the exam back? Would you give the same answers if you took the exam again? Most of these situations can be remedied with the advice above. A bad exam score is trying to tell you something, stop and listen to what it is. If you can truly say that you did your best, then you need to change the way you study. This is a golden opportunity to improve your performance next time. Get help when you need it. The responsibility for learning the material is yours and no one else’s. Talk to the instructor, or find a tutor. If you are having trouble understanding the material from the reading, find another source such as a different textbook that may present the material in a different style. Find a student who has had the course

in the past. There is a tremendous amount of assistance out there, but it won’t help you unless you ask for it. This is your education, you should care enough to take the initiative. Decide if you are willing to "pay the price". Getting a superior grade is like winning an athletic or musical competition, it takes some talent and a lot of hard work. Very often, this comes at a price and those who do the best are typically the ones who consistently work the hardest. Each student needs to determine the importance of their academic performance and make the necessary adjustments in their life. I point this out so that you at least become aware of the importance of your studies in your life. If you are honest with yourself about the importance of your academic career and make the necessary lifestyle adjustments, your life will be much less stressful. Think about your long term goals and decide what value your academic performance, extracurricular activities, and social life will have in the long run. Make the necessary adjustments in your schedule. Balance does not necessarily mean equal time for all. Remember, there is no room on your transcript for excuses. Remember that you are here for more than a grade. One of the most important things that you can learn in college is to learn how to teach yourself. Most of the material from the course will eventually be forgotten unless it is regularly reviewed. What you will take with you will be your education; the ability to independently gather and analyze information, make informed decisions and communicate them clearly. The course material is the medium by which we exercise these abilities. The course material is important and interesting on its own, but it is also a vital part of a liberal education. Learning the material is important but not as important as the process of learning how to learn. Finally, don’t forget that you are training for the real world. It is important to practice things which are valued in the real world, such as showing up on time, doing consistent work, getting along with others, taking initiative, working independently, being motivated, mature, and responsible. These skills are so important to future employers, as well as graduate and medical schools, that they are the main concern in letters of recommendation. You are being evaluated on far more qualities than just your academic grades. You are taking far more than a diploma, a transcript, and a sizable debt with you when you leave.

HOW TO STUDY CHEMISTRY EFFECTIVELY by MARION BRISK, Ph.D (The City College of New York), STEFAN BOSWORTH, Ph.D. (University of California, San Diego)
Introduction Every student would like an A in chemistry. Many students, however, first need to learn the techniques that will help them earn high grades. If you were successful in high school without ever thinking about how to study, you might not be prepared for the fact that college courses require a great deal of independent learning, and that you have to integrate material from lecture, textbooks, handouts, and problems with what seems like little guidance compared to what you may have been used to. The techniques described here will help you study chemistry and other sciences more effectively. They will not only improve your grades but will give you more confidence as well, so that learning chemistry is a pleasure rather than a chore.

How to Read and Understand Your Textbook Many students make the mistake of reading a textbook like a novel; they read an entire chapter once and then attempt to do the problems. It's not surprising that the problems appear too difficult and seem to belong to some other chapter. To learn the most from a textbook, you must actively read; that is, you must constantly be thinking about what you are reading, pausing to relate it to what you have just read before, and making sure you understand its applications. Ask yourself questions to make sure you are understanding the main ideas of the paragraphs; turn section headings into questions and then relate sections to each other and to the main topic of the reading assignment. Asking and answering questions helps you to not only concentrate on the main ideas but also increases your retention of the material. Your textbook provides you with learning objectives for each section; use those objectives to focus your attention on what you need to know. The process of self-testing is a skill that scientists at all levels use to learn new concepts. For the student, it is particularly helpful since it is also a form of exam preparation; answering questions on exams will be less anxiety producing when you have been answering questions all along. To help yourself read actively, you can also underline or, even better, take notes in outline form on the text material. Your outline should include main ideas, important formulas, and their applications. Survey chapters before you begin to actively read. That is, note the main headings and subheadings, read the introduction (previews in your text) to see how this chapter relates to previous chapters, read the lists of learning objectives, turn to the key terms and important formulas at the end of the chapter; these will all direct your attention to what you must learn from the text. Read each paragraph first, and then go back and outline or underline only the important material. Review your notes after you finish, briefly going over main ideas and examples. Make an effort to understand and retain the material by engaging as many senses as possible as you actively read. Try to visualize many of the principles and examples described in the text. Remember chemistry describes the world in which you live, so that much of what you learn you can apply to familiar objects and situations. Make sure you spend a significant portion of your study time doing problems. Your textbook provides you with many clearly worked-out examples followed by practice exercises. The only way you can be sure you really understand the problems is by doing them yourself. Even if you follow the solutions in your text, this is no guarantee that you understand the problem well enough to do one like it on your own. By doing the practice exercises, you will not only ensure that you really understand the examples, but you will increase your chances of solving similar problems on an exam. After completing a section, try to do the exercises assigned to you for that section. Keep in mind that chemistry is a problem-solving discipline, so that the more problems you solve, the better you will understand the material. As you read, make a note of the parts of the text that are not clear to you and also of the examples and exercises you are not sure of or can't do at all. Consult I) lecture notes, 2) study guide, 3) instructors, and 4)

classmates to clear up what you don't understand. Never let your questions go unanswered; if you do, you not only decrease your chances of doing well on exams, but you jeopardize your future understanding of chemistry since new topics very often depend on your understanding of past topics. 1. Survey the chapter. 2. Outline or underline as you read actively. 3. Do practice exercises and final exercises. 4. Keep a record of questions and any problems you don't fully understand, so that you can consult instructors, classmates, textbooks, or lecture notes for answers.

Getting the Most Out of the Lecture In listening as in reading, you must be actively involved to get the most out of it. If you actively listen to the lecture, your notes will be accurate and complete, and your time in the lecture room will be well spent. Read the assigned material before you come to lecture. If you don't, much of your lecture time will be wasted. Without some idea of the topic being discussed, you will find it difficult to focus on the important ideas of the lecture. Your notes will be incomplete, and you won't be able to ask questions; the lecture will not help you to learn the material. On the other hand, if you arrive prepared, you will be able to determine and record the important information so that your notes will be useful for studying and for exam preparation. Make sure you record all information written on the blackboard or overhead projector (except for tables and figures taken from your text). Try to take notes in an outline form that shows major topics, subtopics, and relationships between them. Pay close attention to the examples that were worked out in class and try to re-do them after class, perhaps changing values for practice. Read over your notes as soon as possible, preferably the same day. Rewrite what is unclear. If you are uncertain about parts of what was said, compare your notes with those of other students or ask your instructor. Then go back and include that material in your notes. Think of your notes as a handwritten book and strive to make them accurate and complete. 1. Read the assignment before the lecture. 2. Try to take notes in outline form showing major topics, subtopics, and their relationships. Include examples. 3. Read over notes the same day. Rewrite, change, and add to notes where necessary. 4. Make sure your notes are complete. If you missed part of the lecture, find out what it was you omitted and fill it in.

Solving Problems Most of your time in chemistry should be spent solving problems that are applications of concepts and formulas learned in lecture and from the text. You can improve your ability to solve problems by learning how to think about the examples that are solved for you in the text, study guide, and in the lecture, and also by learning how to think about the many relationships (formulas) used in the problem. Understanding relationships and formulas is crucial to learning chemistry. Many students memorize relationships and formulas without taking the time and energy to think about them. This often leads to inappropriate applications and incorrectly solved problems. Ask yourself the following questions whenever you learn a new formula.

1. What system or change does this formula describe? What do the variables mean and what are their units? 2. When does it apply? 3. What are some examples of its application? What is its significance? Formulas are listed for you at the end of each chapter. Ask yourself these questions for all of these relationships. In the study guide, these questions are answered for you for some of the formulas you need to understand. Read these "Important Formula" charts carefully and add to them. If you actually think about relationships as you learn them, it will be easier to see how to apply them. Note carefully which concepts or relationships are used in the worked-out problems in the text, study guide, and solutions manual. Why was this formula used and not one of the others in the chapter? What information given in the problem indicates that the problem should be solved in this way? You will find answers to these kinds of questions in the "Problem-Solving Tips" given in the study guide. When you start to work on a problem, it is critical to first write down the information that is given (along with units) and to identify the unknown. Use a diagram whenever possible to show what is being described in the problem, and indicate the given and unknown values. Then try to plan out your solution before you start doing any calculations. If you aimlessly calculate values, you may generate superfluous data that may be confusing. To solve a problem, you must determine which relationships are relevant out of all those you have learned. Think of relationships that involve your unknown. Which ones include all or some of the given data? Be sure the relationships you use apply to the system as described in the problem; for example, don't use formulas for gases in a problem about liquids. If you still can't see a method, think about relationships that involve the other values given in the problem. For example, if the volume and density of a solution are provided, then the mass is also known (d = m/V). If you now include the mass with known information, the solution may become apparent. Think about the example problems you have studied. Solutions to previous problems may provide hints to solving new problems. After you have planned the solution, then do the calculations. Use a calculator to save time and eliminate arithmetic errors. Be sure that the values you use have the appropriate units for the formula you are applying. Check your answers for the following: 1. Make sure your answer is what the problem asked for. 2. Make sure your answer is reasonable. When you study example problems in your text and study guide, think about the magnitudes of the answers so that you will have some concept of reasonable answers. If you calculate that the mass of a molecule is 10 kg, it is clear that you have made an error. However, if you calculate that 106 kJ/mol of heat are released by a reaction, you will not realize that you have made an error unless you have previously noted reasonable values for heat being released from chemical reactions. 3. Make sure your answer has the correct number of significant figures.

Problem-Solving Tips: 1. Identify the known quantities and the unknown quantities asked for. 2. Plan the solution: What do you know about the unknown that might link it to given information? 3. Perform calculations. 4. Check your answers.

Managing Your Time Learn to manage your time. This skill will be invaluable, especially if you plan a career in science. Learning chemistry takes time and energy, and you should try to study some chemistry nearly every day. Devise a study schedule at the beginning of each week so that you will be studying chemistry throughout the week. Include periods for textbook reading before lecture, review of lecture notes, problem solving, and review for quizzes and exams. Make sure that your study schedule not only includes enough time to study chemistry, but also allocates sufficient time for other activities that you must complete during the Course of the week. Be specific in constructing your schedule; indicate which chapters or sections you plan to study, which set of problems to work out, and which topics to review for an approaching exam. Try not to schedule very long blocks of time for studying chemistry: a 1- or 2- hour block of time interspersed with other work from different courses is best. Devise your schedule at the beginning of each week by first looking at all of your assignments and then allowing enough time to complete them. Students tend to complete their assignments more often when they schedule chapter reading and problem solving at the beginning of the week and reviewing towards the end. Always allow yourself more time than you think you will actually need to complete the assignment. It is always better to overestimate the time you will need than to find out that you are short of time later. It is critical that you follow your schedule and don't permit yourself to be distracted. If you carefully construct and follow your schedule and make necessary adjustments to accommodate each week's requirements, you should find that your free time may actually increase. 1. Construct a study schedule at the beginning of each week. 2. Be specific as to what you plan to do during your study sessions. 3. Overestimate the time you will need to complete each assignment. 4. Be sure to include in your schedule enough time to complete all other necessary tasks as well as time for leisure activities.

Tips on Creating a Study Area To help your concentration, create a study space. Study in an area where lighting is adequate and distractions are few. Try to create an environment that is pleasant but without items that might divert your attention such as a radio, stereo, television, or telephone. Make sure that everything that you might need for studying is in your study area. This should include: paper, pens and pencils, calculator, computer, notes, outlines, and completed assignments as well as all textbooks and reference books that might be needed. Try to use your study area solely for the purpose of studying. By creating a study space, you make your studying more efficient. You will reduce wasted time searching for needed material and minimize distractions, thus improving your concentration. 1. Study in a comfortable but efficient area minimizing distractions. 2. Make sure that your study area is equipped with all the items you will need for studying.

Using Study Groups The effective use of study groups can be an important part of an overall study program that will lead to success in General Chemistry. However, many students have tried to use study groups, only to find that they were not helpful. Generally, study groups fail when students either do not know how to form an effective group or do not know what tasks a study group is best suited to perform. Study groups should consist of three to six members who are serious chemistry students and committed to making the group meetings effective. It's generally a good idea to establish a

consistent study time and place: 2 hours at the end of the week (with more frequent meetings as an examination approaches) at your college (a study area of a dormitory usually suffices). Study groups are most effective for reviewing material that each student has previously studied on their own such as assigned chapters, problems, and old exams. If members do not individually prepare, the group meetings will not be helpful. Each participant should be assigned a specific task to complete and present to the group. These tasks include solving specific problems, explaining sections of a chapter or of a lecture, preparing a chapter outline, etc. Each member being responsible for covering different aspects of the material assures the group is covering all of the assignment. In addition, each member is accountable to the group as a whole, which has the effect of encouraging students to keep up with the course work. Study groups acquire particular significance when preparing for a chemistry exam. While they are not a substitute for the review that should normally take place before an exam, they can be an important addition to that review process. Usually, it is a good idea to increase the amount of time a study group meets about 2 weeks prior to a major chemistry exam (usually from 2 to 4 hours a week). The additional time should be used for a general review of the material and for problem solving. Remember chemistry exams usually emphasize problem solving so that the group should spend most of its preparation seeking and understanding solutions to problems. Each member of the study group should prepare and explain to the group a section of the material that is to be covered on the exam and also to develop a set of problems and answers that encompasses the same material. Problems should be distributed to the rest of the group without the answers, and group members should complete the problems during the study group meeting. Group members who have difficulty with certain problems can rely on the member of the group who developed the problem to explain the answer. This kind of studying for exams is extremely effective because it puts you, the student, in the role of the professor, deciding what information is important and likely to be covered on an exam and what is not. The process is also effective because it requires you to be actively involved in the learning of formulas and problem solving. Further, this process lets you know what chemistry material you need to spend more time reviewing and what material you already know sufficiently. 1. Form a study group consisting of three to six serious chemistry students. 2. Try to convene at the same place and same times weekly. 3. Assign specific tasks to members. 4. Spend most of your time discussing and solving problems. 5. Increase the time for your sessions to prepare for exams. Each member should be responsible for preparing and presenting material that will appear on the upcoming test.

Preparing for and Taking Exams To adequately prepare for an exam, you must first organize your time in advance. Start studying a few weeks before an exam by adding time to your usual study schedule, and use this additional time for exam preparation only. Survey the material that will be covered on the exam, and divide the relevant topics or chapters into categories based on your present level of understanding. For example, identify chapters that you know well, those that you have a limited mastery of, and finally topics that you do not understand at all. Write out an approximate but detailed schedule including not only main chapters or topics you plan to cover during each week, but also specifically what you plan to study each day. Leave more time for the material you are unsure of as well as for the more lengthy and complex topics, and spend most of your time solving problems. Because chemistry exams generally consist mostly of problem solving, your preparation can only be effective if you actually solve many relevant problems. Review the assigned problems, and solve additional problems in the text and study guide as well as from previous exams, if available. Be careful not to review only the solutions of problems. Students who just review the solutions often find that they cannot solve problems on exams. The only way that you can be sure that you adequately understand any problem is by solving it yourself, writing out each step. For problems already solved, simply change given values and rework the

problem finding a different answer. Remember, to be successful on a problem-solving exam, you must have the experience of solving many problems yourself. Review your old exams to re-familiarize yourself with the kinds of questions your professor asks. Identify the questions you were most successful answering as well as those you could not correctly complete. Try to emphasize problems that resemble those that were particularly difficult for you in the past. Try to work in a study group where you can solve problems and review lecture and textbook notes together. You will find it helpful to construct outlines of the work being covered; each member of your group can contribute outlines of specific topics as well as present solutions to the relevant problems. Remember, the more you write and think about the topics, the more you will retain and understand. Study group members can also develop new problems that the entire group can work on under simulated exam conditions. Such exercises will help to reveal your weak areas and develop test-taking skills. 1. Devise a schedule for preparation a few weeks before the exam. 2. Determine which topics you know well, which topics you do not understand completely, and what material you do not know at all. 3. Spend most of your time actually solving assigned problems, as well as new problems from your text, study guide, and previous exams. 4. Review previous exams to remind yourself of how your knowledge will be tested. 5. Work with your study group as much as possible developing outlines, solving problems, and creating practice exams.

The Night Before the Exam. The night before the exam should be used for a quick review of the more important topics or a review of the material you are still uncertain about. At this point, you should have studied all of the relevant topics and associated problems. Chemistry cannot be learned overnight and any attempts at cramming the work will only result in more anxiety during the exam. Learning any science is a gradual process requiring much time and energy. Remember, your exam grades will reflect your study techniques. Adequate preparation not only increases your knowledge and improves the skills required for the exam, but also reduces your anxiety level so that you can think more clearly.

Taking the Exam. Read the directions carefully, and work first on the problems or questions you think you can answer correctly. Leave the problems you are very uncertain about for last. In this way, you will ensure that you receive credit for what you know and also you will elevate your confidence level to help you tackle those problems that you find challenging. Try to show clearly each step you take in solving a problem so that you can check your work more efficiently and also so that your instructor can assign partial credit if that is his or her policy. After you solve a problem, make sure that you calculated the required quantity and that your value is reasonable. Make sure your calculator can perform all required operations, and replace your batteries before the exam. 1. Read instructions carefully. 2. Answer the questions or solve the problems you feel sure about first. 3. Show all work clearly. 4. Use a calculator with all required functions. 5. Check your answers to see if they match the questions and if they are reasonable.

The Laboratory Period Many chemistry courses have laboratory components. Students often do not consider the laboratory exercises important and consequently do not benefit from the experiments. However, laboratory exercises usually emphasize important concepts and also introduce laboratory skills that will be needed for more advanced courses. If you appropriately prepare, perform, and write up the laboratory experiments, you will benefit in the following ways: 1. You will develop a solid understanding of the concepts emphasized in the laboratory. 2. You-will earn high grades for the lab component of your course. 3. You will learn lab techniques that you will need in future science courses and in scientific research. 4. You will acquire an understanding of the scientific method, which is necessary in order to understand scientific journal articles and to conduct research.

Preparing for the Laboratory Exercise. Make sure you understand the objective and procedures of the experiment before the lab. It is a good idea to outline the procedure so that you can spend your time in lab actually learning and not blindly following the lab manual or trying to figure out what to do next. Your outline will also be helpful in writing up the lab later, if that is required. Also, by taking the time to understand the lab in advance, you are less likely to make mistakes and your data will be more accurate. Try to plan your time efficiently. If certain instruments require use by the entire class, try to use them early before the line form. Prepare tables for data before the lab so that they can be neatly filled in. Students often jot down measurements during the experiment only to find later that they cannot identify these values. If you are uncertain about any part of the procedure or analysis of results, ask the lab instructor before you begin. Do not take the chance of making a mistake and obtaining inaccurate data or a result, or even worse, injuring yourself or your classmates. Also, make sure you know how to handle all chemicals and equipment safely. 1. Read and understand the lab in advance. 2. Write up objectives and procedures of the lab as well as tables needed for data. 3. Ask your lab instructor questions before you begin. 4. Know how to safely handle all chemicals and equipment.

Performing the Laboratory Exercise. Familiarize yourself with the lab room. Know the locations of first-aid equipment, fire extinguishers, hoods, gas and water shut-off valves, reagents, equipment, and instruments. Know required general procedures such as the wearing of safety glasses and storage of coats and books. Try to concentrate on your own work and if a problem develops, ask the lab instructor-not one of your classmates. Make sure you properly dispose of reagents, avoiding spilling harmful chemicals into sinks. In some labs, you may work with a partner. It is a good idea to allocate tasks beforehand to avoid repetition and maximize your efficiency. Be sure that you both learn all lab skills, as they may be used in future lab sessions and may be tested in practical exams that are often given at the end of the semester.

1. Become familiar with the lab room and general procedures. 2. If a problem or question arises during the experiment, do not hesitate to ask your lab instructor. 3. Clearly record all lab data. Do not use loose scraps of paper. 4. Appropriately handle all reagents, equipment, and instruments. 5. Follow all safety precautions and appropriately dispose of chemicals. 6. Share the lab work equally with your partner, and make sure you learn all the laboratory skills.

Writing the Lab Report. Try to write your lab report as soon as possible after you have completed the experiment. The lab will be fresh in your mind, and you will not need to waste time reviewing what the lab is about and what you actually did before you can write the report. When writing the report, carefully follow the requirements given to you by your instructor. If you are unsure about content, talk with your instructor and perhaps request a sample lab report. If you work with a partner, your instructor most likely still requires individual reports. Make sure that your lab reports share only the lab data. Your report should be grammatically correct, well organized, and should contain all the information required. Lab instructors generally emphasize your data and analysis, but they also take into account the effectiveness of your writing technique. 1. Include only what is asked for by your instructor. 2. Write your own report. 3. Use tables and graphs to present data. 4. Review your returned lab reports, and determine how you may improve future reports.

HOW TO MAKE THE GRADE IN CHEMISTRY
These comments were collected from several students who have succeded in chemistry and are now tutors. These ideas were presented at a workshop organized by the Reading and Academic Skills Center at Widener University. I would like to thank the tutors (Chanell, Mark, Bob, Maureen, Kruti and Alex) for their suggestions and Sam Nobel for organizing the workshop. Take these comments as suggestions. Use the ones that work for you.

TEXTBOOK READING

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Do not try to read and understand a whole chapter at one time. Break the chapter into logical sections. Actually, this is done for you in the textbook. The notations 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, etc. indicate logical breaks in the material. Read and understand the material one section at a time. Realize that the textbook is outlined for you and use the subheadings to see the relationships between parts of the chapter. Use the subheadings to create questions to guide your reading. After reading, you should be able to understand the textbook with some help from the lecture. Before the lecture, read the chapter thoroughly. Come to lecture knowing what you know and what you don’t know. Be prepared to ask questions if the lecture does not clarify those parts to the textbook that you do not understand. Work the example problems as you read. Mark and annotate the textbook either before or after you work the problems at the end of the chapter. Do not annotate until after you have heard the lecture. As you read take lots of notes. Condense your reading notes as you review. Either during or immediately after lecture, mark the sections of the textbook that the professor talks about. Read these sections carefully. The professor may signal areas that he thinks are important and that will appear on the test. I read the textbook before class, and I make sure that I read the summary. Reading before class cuts down on my frustration during lecture and helps me concentrate during lecture. After lecture, I reread the textbook and highlight it, and I make notes in the margins. I put questions about what I still don’t understand on yellow post-is in the book and go and see the professor and get my questions answered. I use the questions at the end of the chapter. I answer them as I read. This keeps me active and focused. Otherwise, I fall asleep. I write down the answers to the questions. The writing down really helps my memory. I try to put the answers in my own words. After class, I skim and scan through the chapter and reread the answers I’ve written to the questions. I answer more of the questions at the end of the chapter if I haven’t gotten them finished.

Chanell
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Mark
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Bob I don’t read textbooks. I learn my lecture notes and work the problems. Sometimes I look at the sample problems in the textbook readings. Maureen o I read before the lecture and use the syllabus to keep up with the reading. If I fall behind, I do the reading immediately after lecture. I also study the pictures and the diagrams. o I read the chapter before I do the problems at the end. Kruti o I skim read the chapter before class and pay attention to the pictures and the bold print.
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After class, I open my lecture notes and do a slow study read of the textbook. Then I combine the lecture and textbook notes either by writing in the margin of the text or by combining the text notes with the lecture notes. I do a fast read before class. After class I do a slow read, take notes, and highlight. I study the lecture notes with the reading notes. I also reread the highlighted material. I work the sample problems as I read and the problems at the end of the chapter after I read.

Alex
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LECTURE NOTES

Chanell
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I take lots of notes. If I can’t keep up, I leave spaces and get the information from a classmate or from the professor or I just raise my hand and ask the professor to repeat. I rewrite my notes as soon after class as possible. I take them on typing paper and then copy them into a spiral notebook. I go over them the same day and organize them. I take all my notes in outline form. I don’t try to write full sentences. I review the notes as soon after class as I can. Even if I have only five minutes, I review them.

Mark
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Bob I copy the example problems the professor does on the board. The most important thing you can do to get good grades in chemistry is to go to class and pay close attention. Maureen o I always go to class and go to see the professor if I don’t understand something. o I go over my class notes after lecture. If I don’t understand something in the lecture notes, then I try to understand it using the textbook. If that doesn’t work, I go to the professor. Kruti o During lecture, I listen for things that are repeated. I pay particular attention to "moments in the history of chemistry" and I draw picture of these stories. I pay added attention when the professor explains reactions. o I write down everything that is written on the board. o I review the lecture notes immediately after class. I look up things that I don’t understand in the textbook and if I still don’t understand it, I go to the professor. I don’t put this off even one day.
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PROBLEM SOLVING

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Solving the problems at the end of the chapter will show you how well you understand the reading. If you get stuck, go back and work the example problems. Then work similar problems. If you have to rely on the sample problems, however, you do not understand the concepts. You should be able to do the problems at the back without looking at the sample problems. If you still don’t understand working the assigned problems, go to see your professor and then work the unassigned problems. If I get stuck, I go and see my professor. I get the concepts through going to lecture and reading the textbook. Then I do the problems.

Chanell
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I don’t usually do the sample problems. If I have difficulty with one problem, I try to work others like it. Sometimes I draw a picture of the problem. I may also highlight key words in the problem. Sometimes I analyze the problem by writing down what is known and what is unknown. I work the sample problems mentally. They are usually easier than the problems at the end of the chapter. I start the problems at the end of the chapter before the lecture on the materials and I try to finish the problems before we finish the chapter. If I have problems and have to go to the study guide, I work that problem over again. I work that problem over again.

Mark
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Bob I work the assigned problems at the end of the chapter and try to learn from my mistakes. o Before class, I try to get back and review the lecture notes and work a few problems so I can ask questions in class. Maureen o I work the problems over and over even if I think I know them. I do all the problems many of them more than once. o If I have trouble with one of the problems, I look back at the sample problem. o I do the problems from the study guide and the practice test problems. Kruti o I do the assigned problems and a week later, I do them again. o I don’t rely on the solutions manual. I focus on the concepts so that I can make the applications on the test. Alex o When I can’t do a problem, I go and see the professor. o I work the problems after I read the chapter. I work them again as frequently as I need to to remember them.
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GROUPS
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Kruti
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Sometimes working on problems in a group really helps. I don’t work with a group; I study by myself and ask the professor questions. I don’t want to learn someone else’s mistakes. I use a group to study for tests. I start the problems before I go to group. At least, I try to look them over. Group is a good place to find back tests. We usually have found different ones and we trade.

Chanell
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Mark
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Bob I don’t really have a group. I catch people before and after class and discuss problems with them. Maureen o I do the problems before I go to group. If people in the group have different answers, we try to find out who is correct. I try to share what I know and also learn from other group members. o It is better to study with someone who is doing better in the course. Kruti o I work out problem sets with the group. It really helps. If you want to survive in chemistry, you should have a study group and you must see your professor. Alex
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In my group we work problems together. It takes less time because when you work with others, one person may understand a problem that you do not and vice-versa. If everyone is tuck, you can send one person to see the professor.

IF YOU GET BEHIND

Chanell
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When I get behind, I sit down and make out a make-up plan. I set goals and commitments about when I’m going to get things done. I stick with my plan. The most important thing to do in chemistry is to do the work every day and to see the professor when you need help. If you are far behind, think about dropping. Try not to get behind. One concept builds on another and it is almost impossible to catch up.

Mark
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STUDYING FOR TESTS
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Kruti
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Study chemistry every day and space the review for tests. Cramming for tests doesn’t work. I work the problems. When I am comfortable with the problems, I review the step out loud. I look for models and frames for problems. I look for patterns. First, I get a visual picture by working the problems; then I practice the steps aloud. If I can’t say the steps without looking at the problem then I don’t know how to do it. I teach myself by reciting. I get back tests. These will be phrased in the professor’s words and style and they help me anticipate the kinds of questions that will be asked. I spend 90% of my test study time on back tests. They are posted and I also as the professor for others. Often you can get back tests from upperclassmen. Other people in the class will find other tests too. I work as many back tests as I can. You can’t cram chemistry. I study about hour or two every night. I get sleep before a test. Staying up late is awful. Your mind isn’t sharp for the test. I concentrate on what I don’t know. I ask the professor for help. I do some problems the night before and I redo the problems I got wrong. I say the steps to the problem out loud. When I can say the steps, I can remember the problem. For me, the problems teach the theory. I don’t stay up late or go to the test tired. I have to be able to think and make applications and I can’t do it with a tired mind. Remember to take your calculator and be familiar with it. You forget when you cram so you must study over time. If you cram for one test and manage to pass, you will still forget the material you crammed. This means that you will not know what you must know to learn the new material that you will need for the next test. Look at back tests. They are usually posted on the bulletin board. I also use the tests and materials available on the computer.

Chanell
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Mark
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Bob
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Kruti
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Alex
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I do the assigned problems at the end of the chapter. Do them over and over and concentrate on the concepts. The main thing is understanding the problems. I work with a group and do as many of the back tests as I can.

How To Study Chemistry
adapted from essays by Ronald C. Blue, Lehigh Carbon Community College, Schnecksville, PA and Peter K. Trumper Brunswick, Maine

HOW TO STUDY
Countless times students have asked me what the best way to study is. While the recommendations that I am about to make to you are no guarantee of success, I believe they will optimize your chances of success.

PERSPECTIVES ON THE PROBLEM:
Research shows that the average student will study for a test. The average person will study four hours for a daily quiz, four hours for a weekly quiz, four hours for a major test, four hours for a midterm, and four hours for a comprehensive final. The outcome of this four hours of study will vary from an A for a daily quiz to an F for the comprehensive final. This means that in high school grades are strongly determined by intelligence since everyone studies the same amount of time. College is different. Most of the students are highly intelligent and some are highly motivated. In almost all college courses if you have a poor vocabulary and do not really like to read, you are in serious trouble. If you can succeed with your weird teachers, then you can succeed with your even weirder bosses. Your study habits formed in high school may vector you toward failure because you have never experienced what it takes to perform at the college level. That is why the freshman year is the hardest year you will ever experience in college. It takes about one year to learn how to learn at a college level. Most people never learned to learn at a college level. They then encourage their children to get the education they never got. They rarely read and talk about intellectual ideas, thereby predisposing their children for low academic achievement. You should break the pattern. There is no gain in life without some pain. The brain does not process and store information the way students prefer studying. Occasionally, some succeed by studying at the last minute, but they are exceptions to the rule. Some people's brain and life experiences reduces the time required to learn particular types of material. In other types of material they have to spend more time to master the material. Research suggests that the slowest 10 percent of the students may need 5 to 6 times as much time to learn the same material as the fastest 10 percent. Each person is highly likely to have strengths and weaknesses. Overcoming your weakness increases your strength. Taking into consideration the high variability in students' aptitudes for different material the following is a crude guide to the effort required to succeed in a course in chemistry. A 16 hours per week B 12 hours per week C 8 hours per week D 4 hours per week F 0 hours per week

An hour of study is defined as studying for 45 minutes and a break of 15 minutes. Ten hours of continuous study without a break is defined as one hour of study. In other words, you can succeed if you pay the price necessary for success.

THE PRICE OF SUCCESS:
The price is too high you say. Or I would like to succeed but don't have the time. It isn't fair you say. Life is not fair. Reality is not your parents. There is no free lunch. Anything of value requires great effort. If you pay the price, the price required of you in the future will be less. In the past a college degree has meant about $100,000 to $250,000 more in a lifetime than no degree. Each college test is worth about $36 per hour of study or $800 over your life. If you were offered $1,000,000 if you had an A in a college course, could you accomplish the goal? Probably. You do not have to be a genius to graduate from college. You have to work hard, be persistent, and pay attention to details. These traits are ultimately why a college degree is valuable, plus the capacity to learn.

HOW TO GET STARTED:
Believe you can succeed. Be willing to pay the price. The price is always what you don't want to pay. Make success in college your number one goal. You cannot have multiple goals. Everything comes in its own season. There is a time to learn; a time to play; and a time to work. Failure begins in an excuse, a short cut. There is no royal road to learning or achieving excellence. Do the following without wavering.

SURVEY:
Before you start the course, read over the major headings and summaries of the chapters in the textbook. Then, before going to class, read the section in the book that will be covered that day. This gives you a feeling for the whole picture and to what material you should pay attention to while reading the chapter carefully and while listening to the instructor. Research shows that students who do this make higher grades, and this simple step is the most powerful thing you can do.

READING, UNDERLINING, AND TAKING NOTES:
Research shows that the more different ways you present information to the brain the easier it is to learn. In other words hear it, see it, say it, write it, practice it, highlight it, quiz it, etc. For each pair of facing pages in your notebook take class notes on the left side. As you read the material in the textbook, take written notes on the right side so that they correlate with the classwork. Most students feel that studying is equal to high-lighting. While the process of reading and deciding if the material is important enough to be high-lighted increases memory for that material your time will be better spent making your own notes in the margin and opposite the class notes and, especially, working problems (see below). It is the decision and thinking that creates the memory. It is best to over-predict your instructors at first. It is easier to cut back on the material to be learned than to increase the amount to be learned. Use stars to arrange the material in hierarchies of importance. Three stars (***) would be more important than two stars (**).

Also, it's advantageous to use 3"x5" cards for key summaries of the vocabulary of the course, long lists of items, experiments, and lecture on the cards. Key words should be written in red. If you have to be different, go with 1"x3" instead of 4"x6". One theory, concept, or vocabulary word per card. The biggest problem with textbooks and lecture notes is that we cannot separate the material that we know from the material that we do not know. Because of this, we waste hours studying what we already know, rather than concentrating our valuable time on what we do not know. The red tells your mind that this is extremely important material. Writing the material stores the information in the brain in a way that is not normally used. On the back of the cards is definition about the material on the front. After numbering the cards so you can put them back in order later on, you should start studying the cards until you feel you know the material. Now then turn the cards over and try and answer your fill in the blanks orally. If you get the questions right, place the material into a "I know this material" stack. Now continue working on the material that you don't know until you can answer the questions on all the cards.

PROBLEMS:
To paraphrase the wonderful foreword to students from the Solutions Manual to Wade's organic text: (my apologies to the author, but I don't have my copy with me) "Are you a genius? Do you routinely rank in the top 1% of your classes while studying less than an hour a week? If not, do the problems! Do all of the problems. If you do half of the problems, you will be half-prepared" Instructors in chemistry regularly note a high correlation between working all of the problems and doing well on exams. If a student can do the problems, they have probably mastered the material, regardless of whether or not they have read it, made index cards, highlighted or whatever. You are more likely to see a problem such as "Explain why reaction A is faster then reaction B" on an exam rather than a question that goes something like: "Describe each of the following chemical concepts as extremely important, important or moderately important."

REVIEW:
As you reread the chapter, bracket and star the material you believe is extremely important. Sometimes use a yellow highlighter for critical information. Now reread the material you have bracketed or stored and high speed review the material on the 3"x5" cards. Work more problems.

AUDIO OPTION:
The more different ways that the material to be learned can be experienced the easier it is to remember the material. If you have time, read the material that you have underlined to a tape recorder. Then play back and listen to the material. Some people are so good at learning by listening that this is the only way they have to study.

OVERLEARNING:
The more you overlearn the material the easier it is to take a test with confidence and in a relaxed manner. In addition, the more you overlearn something, the longer you will remember it.

STUDY TECHNIQUES FOR CHEMISTRY
Before taking any chemistry course, make sure that you have the required math skills. Since chemistry involves many calculations, you must have the math prerequisites specified in your university catalogue. Moreover, read the course description very carefully, and if you have any further questions, contact the chemistry department. 1. COMMON PROBLEMS FACED BY ALL STUDENTS: a. Often students sitting in a chemistry lecture fail to stop the professor when they do not understand a problem or a concept. Ironically, many other students have the same question. Don't push it aside and hope that you will understand it later on; you are paying for the course, and you need to ask questions. b. Perhaps the most annoying situation a student gets into is working a problem out and failing to get the correct answer. This is not rare. Almost everyone works a problem wrong the first time. In addition, these mistakes teach us what we did wrong. Chemistry requires discipline in order to understand it and solve problems. c. "Which professor should I take?" The professor can make a big difference in your grade. Therefore, you should ask other students who have taken chemistry courses at this university whom they recommend. d. "How can I improve my problem solving skills?" There are many things that one could do; however, the best thing to do is work as many problems as you can. Every chemistry book should also have a study guide with many problems worked out and explained. These study guides are very useful, and they assist you in understanding the material. e. "My professor talks too fast, and I can't keep up with him while taking notes." The best thing to do in this situation is to bring a tape recorder into the lecture room and tape the lecture. (Make sure you have the professor's permission to tape the class lectures.) Meanwhile, you can listen to the lecture and concentrate on any problems he or she may work on the board. f. "Sometimes I can't work a problem, and I need help." Before hiring a tutor, check your professor's office hours; moreover, have the questions fully prepared so that he or she can help you. In addition, make sure that your professor knows you by name, so that he or she will know that you take the course seriously. If the professor knows that you are a serious student, he will help you as much as possible. Also, your university should have a learning center with many students who can assist you. Your student fees fund these centers, and you will save money if you seek help there. 2. STUDY TIPS a. Try to keep up with your daily reading assignments. Many students wait until the day before the exam to study and realize that they have a lot of material to "cram." Your professor will warn you of future test dates. Take the time to study well in advance of the exam so that you have time to reflect on the material. b. Always concentrate on the material that your professor discusses during class. Moreover, after your first exam, you should have an idea as to what you can expect on future tests. c. Before every lecture, take some time to review the last lecture. This should help you make the transition to the new material you will cover in class. d. Get to your lecture on time, and stay there until it is over. You never know when your professor will assign homework or announce a test date. Besides, this is a rude practice. e. Read the course syllabus regarding material that will be covered on your next exam. f. If you encounter any bold faced words in your chapter, look up their meanings. This may help you in solving problems. g. Most sections in your book should include sample problems with complete step-by-step instructions on solving them. Work these problems if you do not feel ready to work the ones at the end of the section.

h. Memorize all the formulas and common ions well in advance before your exam. There may be more than you anticipated. i. If you do not understand a problem, see your professor. Don't hope that it won't be on your exam; most of the time those problems you didn't expect are on your exam.

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