Anderson's and Smith's Tips for Succeeding in Chemistry

1. Show clear, complete work for all problems in notes and homework.

2. Make sure class notes and lab notebook are well organized, complete and accessible.

3. Copy notes and examples presented in class even if you do not understand the material. Later you can ask questions or try to figure out the material.

4. Make sure that you understand the concepts. Explain them to someone else or start with a blank sheet of paper and construct a lesson you could teach. If there are points you do not understand, ASK FOR HELP!

5. Learn the necessary factual material. Practice writing this material from memory on a blank sheet of paper.

6. Make sure you understand the purpose of each lab and the calculations involved. Talk to your lab partner about what is going on in lab and why?

7. Look for the big picture. How do the class concepts, lab work, and the world interrelate.


9. In your homework, notes, tests, labs, and quizzes, DO NOT RUSH AND DO NOT TAKE SHORT CUTS.

10. Skip lines between major points in your notes and between all problems. This allows space to add information and makes it much easier to see what you are doing.

11. To study for tests and quizzes, REWORK problems from your assignments.

12. Recopy your notes and problems to help remember them. Try to reorganize and classify information and problems. Look for key words.

12. Check all work for correctness and details. a) are formula weights correct? b) are significant digits correct? c) are all of the appropriate units included? d) do the units cancel properly? e) did you show the mathematical formula used? f) did you solve in symbols before substituting numbers and units? g) did you answer the question that was asked? h) are chemical formulas correct? i) are chemical equations correct? j) are all equations balanced with the lowest possible coefficients? k) did you circle your answers. l) did you show complete work for each problem? m) is your work organized so anyone can follow your problem solving process?

13. Make sure your time is not over booked. You will not be able to consistently get the details right if you are tired and stressed.

14. Make sure you get enough rest so you can think clearly and avoid careless errors.

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