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Your first chemistry class in your college career!! These are exciting times because taking this class means you are one step closer to not having to take a chemistry class ever again! These are also stressful times because if you can’t pass this class….you might have to change your major from nursing to something that doesn’t require such high grades in science classes. To make sure that does NOT happen and you go on to be an amazing nurse, here are some steps to help you out.

Do the extra worksheet handouts 

You will probably get at least one handout with multiple practice questions on it once a week. These are vital because it will likely be the only practice provided for you without you having to print anything out or go to a separate meeting. The answers will be posted on Blackboard. Use it to CHECK your answers, not to just look at them. The questions on these worksheets are usually phrased just like the ones on the test. Practice practice practice!!!

Go to office hours 

It is likely that your Chem 1120 class is in a giant lecture hall that fits 250 people. If you are in the back, you might not be able to hear/see everything that the professor is doing. If you have a question and you don’t want to ask in front of that giant group of people, go to office hours!! 1. You will get your question answered and 2. You will start to build a relationship with your professor. This is vital because if at the end of the semester your grade is teetering in between an A and a B, your professor is more likely to curve you if they know who you are and know you tried as hard as you could to get that A. It’s all about connections people!!

Professor of Animal Science, Thomas Famula and freshman Animal Science major, Amber Parle during office hours in Famula’s office in Meyer Hall.

Go to the study sessions 

Most science classes (chemistry and biology specifically) have a couple tutors specifically for each class. They will hold weekly study sessions at the Pirate Academic Success Center (PASC) that will give you extra practice plus more opportunity to ask questions you didn’t want to ask/didn’t have during class. If you can’t make the study sessions, try to set up a tutoring appointment with one of those specific tutors because they hear exactly what you hear and most likely took the class with your professor before.

Study a little bit every day 

This is something you have surely heard before, but it is so important for this class. Yes you may be focusing on Chapter 5 at the moment, but Chapter 5 builds off of Chapter 3 (for example). So, when you go to study Chapter 5 the night before the test you will be prepared instead of realizing you need to go back and study Chapter 3 as well.

Do the online homework on Thursday

The deadline might change depending on what days you take the class. But if you have it on Tuesdays and Thursdays, then you will have online homework that is due every Friday night at 11:59PM. Do. It. On. Thursday. You might think that you’ll remember to do it before you start your weekend, but trust me it will feel so much better to get in done on Thursday. Then on Friday when your friends are making last-minute plans, you don’t have to decide between school and a social life because you already have all your work done.



The textbook is confusing with lots of big words you might not know. Your professor is not only good at this stuff, but it willing to explain it to you. Listen to them! Even if it’s a long class, try your best to pay attention. Most teachers will say exactly what is on the test, what is not, and what you need to memorize. Don’t spend hours memorizing things you don’t have to just because you didn’t catch that part of the lecture.


This class is going to help you get into nursing school. If you are a freshman that has not taken classes at another college, then this is one of the classes that will likely set your GPA. Focus. Work hard. You can do this.


Rachel Hansel