1. Utilize office hours for completing labs
Believe it or not, the experiment incorporates only a small portion of the time that it takes to complete a lab. A majority of your time is spent completing the pre-lab, calculations and post-lab questions. Some TA’s will help you out with this by giving you an outline, but not for every lab. If you are struggling to finish the lab or just want to make sure that you completed it correctly, go to office hours. The best part about office hours is that you can go for help any time, as long as CHE 101 is in session, even if your TA doesn’t have office hours during that time!
2. Don’t just assume that you’ll do well on the tests
There are two tests and a final for Chemistry 101 at UBuffalo. All of the tests incorporate a few chapters and the final covers content from the entire semester. The final is also heavily focused on the last few chapters because these chapters aren’t on any of the previous tests. Even if you feel like you know the topics, make sure to study a lot. While a lot of people did well on the tests, there were also many people who failed. Make sure to study a little bit every day for at least the week leading up to the exam. Whatever you do, don’t cram study right before the test because you may crash by the time the test comes around!
3. Don’t do all the MasteringChemistry homework the night before
This is extremely important and something that should be done all semester. The MasteringChemistry homework can be tedious if you do it consecutively the day before it’s due. The best technique is to do a little bit of the homework throughout the week. Even if it doesn’t seem like a lot of questions, the time that it takes to answer each question and to enter the answers in can be time consuming. Also, don’t assume that you can always work on the homework with a friend because the questions can vary slightly for every person.
4. Even if they’re not your professor, you can still utilize their notes and lecture recordings
While all of the chemistry 101 professors are very good at their jobs, some of them offer things that others do not. Throughout your college career, you may face some days where you cannot attend lecture. For days like these, you should know that some professors post recorded lectures online. Even if your professor doesn’t provide online recordings, you can still use the material from a different CHE101 professor. The skeleton notes may be slightly different but the curriculum for every chapter is the same.
5. There is a grade curve
At the end of the semester, your grade will be slightly curved. While this does not mean that you can fail every test or leave every homework and lab incomplete, it does mean that you can still achieve that A you were looking for if your grade is just a few points off.
Chemistry 101 at UBuffalo can be hard, but it’s not impossible. The key to doing well is studying and taking advantage of the many opportunities that are offered to you. Your CHE101 grade will reflect the effort that you put into it!