Many people consider chemistry "hard." While chemistry is somewhat challenging, any reasonably intelligent student with the right attitude and study habits can be successful.

    Study regularly and often: Study
    This course covers a large amount of material in a short period of time. Many of the concepts are challenging to master. Success is dependent upon you having disciplined study habits. You are setting yourself up for failure if you "cram" the night before an exam. Review notes, homework, and activities on a daily basis. The material becomes more difficult toward the end of the course, so don't become complacent if the early material comes easy to you.
    Use the learning targets:
    Be sure to know the learning targets. The tests will always be based on the learning targets. Using the learning targets to focus your reading and studying will make your learning more efficient and focused. Missing even one learning target can set you up for future failure.
    Learn the "language of chemistry":
    Keep up with the important terms. If it sounds like I am speaking a foreign language, recognize that you need to review the key terms. You will be provided with key vocabulary terms at the beginning of each chapter. Ask if you don’t understand. Writing chemical formulas and math equations are also part of the "language."
    Read the text:
    Read the indicated chapter before the lecture. Familiarity with the material, when it is covered in lecture, will greatly enhance your comprehension. Select a quiet setting away from distractions so that you can concentrate on what you are reading. Have a pencil and paper nearby to write down any questions you may have. Be sure to ask these questions in class.
    Do the homework:
    Studying chemistry is not a "spectator sport." Work all of the assigned problems and don't look at solutions until you have worked the problem out to the best of your ability. Failure to make the best use of the homework problems correlates strongly with a poor performance in chemistry class. If possible, practice additional problems. I will be happy to review any problem, even those not assigned.
    Working problems:
    In addition to understanding the concepts, your ability to solve problems will be a key to your success in chemistry. You will spend a lot of time working problems in class and at home. Review the sample problems in the chapter and your notes. Do not try to memorize the sample problems. Spend your time trying to understand how the solution develops. Memorizing sample problems will not ensure that you understand it well enough to solve a similar problem on your own during a test.
    Get help early:
    Don't wait until review day to reveal your problems. Seek help as soon as you recognize that you are having a problem. It will be much easier for all parties involved if you seek help immediately. Remember, chemistry is cumulative knowledge. Missing one objective will lead to three to five and so on. Failure to learn the basic "building blocks" of chemistry will interfere with your understanding of future topics. If you obtain a strong foundation in the beginning, you will have a much better probability of succeeding in the future. My goal is to have each and every one of you succeed in this class. Do not be afraid to seek help from me or the resource center.
    Success = Professor?
Last Modified on September 2, 2008