The first level of general chemistry may be a beginner level course, however, the material taught is no walk in the park. However, there is no reason to be worried or have fear of failing as long as the student applies him or herself slightly beyond standard starter-level expectations. By getting to class on time, putting the work, and being prepared, any student has a good chance at receiving a passing grade.
1. Have the Appropriate Materials
Have many pencils available as well as note paper organized in a binder or a folder to hold in-class handouts and review sheets. A scientific calculator is also usually required, if not then recommended. Write down all homework assignments and their due dates, as well as the dates of exams and quizzes. Keeping on top of the workload becomes more and more necessary as the semester progresses.
2. Know Professor’s office hours
Jotting down the times and days each week for when your professor is available can come in handy. Whenever something is unclear or does not make sense, it becomes easier to grasp an unfamiliar concept by to asking your professor individually. Most professors can also often explain material and answer questions over email. If your professor is unavailable when you need them, there are a number of tutors and other resources available at Elon University.
3. Have the book
The textbook is a great resource when either studying alone or when in need of referencing a specific problem or concept. All of the material taught during a class period will have a connection to the textbook. In addition, keeping a separate set of notes from the book can lead to more connections being made based on one specific concept.
4. Take Notes
In-class and outside-of-class notes are equal in value. Be sure to review the book and take notes on each section before each class period. This way the material taught during class will become more familiar as it is being lectured. This habit makes nearly all material taught more easily understood, making for a great use of class time. In addition, these notes can be used for great reference when completing homework assignments, as well as making a study guide and/or flashcards for an upcoming exam or quiz.
5. Prepare for Exams
Creating a study guide by reviewing notes and knowing all testable sections of each chapter will lead to a satisfactory or better grade on an exam. Review and practice chemistry each day for at least five to seven days before each test, this will create new and strengthen old connections made on course material. In chemistry, memorization is key so it would be wise to take advantage of certain websites. Always be prepared for each exam by staying energized and getting sleep the night before.
Even as a complete novice, there are a number of ways to being a successful chemist. Getting into the habit of staying on track for such a rigorous course load is not easy, it would be wise to listen to any tips provided by others.