CHEM 130 (General Chemistry) at University of Michigan is honestly a pain in the you know where. For a three-credit course, it takes more time, dedication, work, and patience, than a lot of other three-credit and even four-credit courses. Much of which is due to the immense amount of material you learn in only four months.

Since it’s so much and a lot of people who take it are freshman or sophomores (so people who have just recently embarked on the journey that is college), this list should help you see all of the resources that are available to you to study for this class. Hopefully, you’ll be able to take full advantage of most, if not all.

1. Office hours

The SLC (Science Learning Center) is opened on most days, and they post a schedule that shows at what time GSI are available for Chem. 130. Additionally, all lectures have to hold office hours for their students. Go to them. Don’t go to an exam with doubts, maximize your understanding of the material asking whatever it is that you need to ask. No question is “stupid” or “dumb”.

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2. Problem Roulette

Problem Roulette is probably the best way to study for Chem. 130. It’s a site that where instructors put questions from past exams. Even though exams change every year, the questions are similar. It even lets you be flexible in how you want to study: you can just do random problems from whichever chapter you want or use “Exam Mode” and take a timed mock exam.  The link can be found in the syllabus of the class. USE IT! 

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3.  OWL

Even though OWL homeworks can sometimes take inhumane amounts of time to complete, they are worth it. The cite doesn’t ask the type of questions that will come in the exams, but they do challenge your understanding and knowledge of the material. There’s also a ton of extra ungraded practice that you can do to prep for the exams.

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4. Study Groups

Study groups are set up the Science Learning Center. You usually sign up online at the beginning of the semester and go to them on a weekly basis. They might seem unnecessary when an exam isn’t looming on the horizon, but they’re really not. The instructor in charge of managing them are knowledgeable, friendly and more than happy to lend a hand. They also make killer practice exams that are usually harder than the actual exam.

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5. The book

Another way of understanding the material is by reading about it, so what better way to do that than with the book? It’s surprisingly not boring and monotone, so you won’t feel groggy while studying. If you have the online version, you’ll also be able to see videos that explain the subjects and experiments. If you’re more a visual learner, that might help you out even more.

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As stated above, Gen. Chem. is hard. And difficult. And time-consuming. Don’t fail the class because you didn’t know how to study or deal with the stress. Take a deep breath and use the resources stated on this list. You’ll be fine if you do.


Natalia Carolina