You’ve heard the horror stories, you’ve seen the Rate my Professor pages. But what’s Gen Chem lab at UK really like? Here’s an overview of CHE 111 and from someone who took both courses.
1. You will get incredibly different feedback than your friends in different sections.
Even if you sit with your roommate and do the whole report together while using your own data and ideas, you may get an F, and he or she may get an A. The TA’s have a huge impact on your grade, and they all grade extremely differently. But don’t expect there to be a stronger curve in your section if your TA gives much lower grades than other sections.
2. Understanding what you did in lab does not always mean you’re going to do well.
Sometimes, your TA is looking for a very specific word or sentence to be put in your report, but that won’t be mentioned to you. And you could understand the lab perfectly, but if you fail to write your report exactly how the TA wants, you may do very poorly. There are rubrics that are supposed to make this easier for students, but these rubrics do not come close to providing the specifics on what is needed to get an actual good grade.
3. The exams have very little to do with lab material
The CHE 111 final is basically another CHE 105 exam-how fun! But on the bright side, you really only have to study for one classes material, plus just a little for the lab part. It’s basically like having two exams for the same class.
4. What your classmates think of your report draft can really effect your grade
In CHE 111, your report drafts are peer reviewed by other students in the class. and the grade they give you is actually put into the grade book. So if someone lazy who doesn’t understand the report themselves reviews yours, you may get a terrible grade for their mistakes.
5. Going to the lab supervisors office will do nothing, and may just make you depressed.
They don’t want to help you, they don’t have to help you, and there’s a chance you’ll be even worse off afterwards. Even if you have the worst TA, they are probably better than the supervisor. Word of advice: just don’t do it.
While nobody is going to tell you that it’s a good class, you probably have no choice but to take it- and plenty of people have gotten through it just fine. It’s only a one credit hour class, so it won’t effect your GPA very much thankfully. And maybe it won’t be as bad for you as it is for everyone else. Power through!