First year science courses can be scary. Depending on what courses you took in high school, Chem120 can be a great course to ease yourself into the world of university level science. Here are five reasons why:
All the professors are amazing.
At the University of Waterloo, most of the professors are great. The professors and “tutors” for Chem120 specifically are extremely approachable and easy to talk to. For the most part, the professors are clear and concise in their teaching. They’re also very wise in terms of which areas they spend more or less time on and are always willing to help. Yes, this makes Chem120 course itself very easy, but it also makes the transition into university more comfortable.
2. The associated lab is extremely interesting.
Chem120L is one of those rare situations where the lab actually reinforces the concepts taught in the lectures, instead of trying to teach new ones. This makes Chem120 great to take in your first year because you’ll have the support of the lab to really instill these basic concepts in your mind – which will help you tremendously moving forward.
3.The material covered is mostly an extension of high school chemistry.
This may be a rumor you’ve heard from students in the years above you. This statement might annoy some professors, but it is completely true! The first two-thirds of the course are almost entirely review of grade 12 Chemistry and the last third is an extension of the basics. If you did well in grade 12 chemistry (and, to be honest, even if you didn’t), this course can help boost your GPA quiet a bit with only a slight amount of effort.
In most courses, there are Teaching Assistants. In Chem120 at uWaterloo, the TA’s are referred to as “Tutors” and they’re basically like secondary teachers. They are not the ones that are marking your papers so they have lots of time to focus on creating lesson plans and sample questions that will help you succeed in the course. This is amazing because you have the opportunity to learn the same concept in two (or even three) different ways, making it really stick in your mind.
It might be mandatory.
At the end of this list, if you’re still not convinced to take Chem120 in your first year, you might have to anyways. For a lot of degrees or programs, Chem120 is a required credit and if you choose not to take it now, you may get stuck taking it later. But hey, at least now you have four other reasons to take it too!
Chem120 is a course that, if you put in a bit of effort, can help you boost your GPA by quite a bit. Because of the professors and tutors and the environment they create, this course is a great way to transition into university level sciences. (And it’s kinda fun).