Chem 111 is a prerequisite for many of the higher level classes at UMass Amherst. It’s also a requirement for any post graduation pursuits in the health field, as well as a way to fill your Physical Science requirement. Warning: don’t just walk into class thinking it will be a continuation from your high school level Chemistry class.
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Important Tips in Picking a Class
It is of the utmost importance that you dig deep and find out who your professor is for this course, more so than any other. It will make or break your experience (and your grade). Look them up on professor rating sites, ask other students, ask advisors – just don’t pick blindly. If a class has a ton of open seats while others are almost full, ask yourself why.
What is the lecture like?
The lectures are optional. Attendance is not mandatory, however if you have a good professor, going as much as you can will be in your best interest! This is why it is so important to pick a professor with good reviews. If you pick any open class, you might end up with a poor quality lecture. No one wants to have to teach themselves a whole course, and considering your college tuition, you should never have to. A good professor will explain the concepts first and then work through problems in a way that is easy to follow.
What is the lab like?
This part is super fun and hands on! It can run a little long, and if you make a mistake you might have to stay twice as long, so pay close attention to what you are doing. Measure everything very carefully.
What makes it fun?
One of the most rewarding things about chemistry classes is finishing a problem. It’s like solving a puzzle! It’s extra fun if you reward yourself after every problem 😉
CHEM 111 is a staple for all future biology, hard science, and obviously any chemistry courses you’ll take in higher levels. If you do well in this, you will build the foundation for a good GPA in any STEM major.