Chemistry 4220 (taught in Spring, even years)
How to Succeed in Chemistry
Chem. Dept. Home
For info, email
Office: 402 Grote Hall
Dr. Gretchen E. Potts
UC Fdn Associate Professor
615 McCallie Avenue
Chattanooga, TN 37403
How to Succeed in Chemistry
Talking about chemistry usually illicits groans from the general public. It is my belief that most people can succeed in chemistry, but success comes with a price. The price of success includes dedication, hard work and of course the right attitude and study habits! Below you will find some suggestions for success in my class.
NOTE: If you do not have the math skills to enroll in Chemistry 1110 , you need to drop my class. You are sabatoging yourself before you even start if you don't have the math skills to succeed. You should complete the online survey "Are you Ready for General Chemistry" found on the Chemistry Department Website.
- Attend every lecture and don't be late!
College is a full-time job!
- I use the first few minutes of class for announcements and most importantly, TO REVIEW THE MATERIAL FROM THE PREVIOUS LECTURE. Most students feel they can learn on their own, but chemistry is a subject that requires more than the text book. If you miss class, don't ask me "did I miss anything important?" All material is important, so you need to be there. Students usually start out with terrific attendance, but they begin to skip more often as the semester progresses. Experience has demonstrated that there is a strong correlation between your grade in the class and class attendance.
Read, read, read...did I mention read?
- There is an old axiom: study 3 hours outside of class for every 1 credit hour. Therefore, if you have a 12 hour courseload that is 36 hours of study time per week. Nine of those hours should be for your three-hour chemistry class. This doesn't leave much time for a job. Working more than 15 hours per week will be difficult. If you need to work, maybe you should wait another semester to take this course.
You cannot do enough practice problems!
- You may not understand all that you read, but when I discuss the material, you will have already been exposed to it once and I should be able to fill in the gaps for you.
Don't be afraid to ask for help!
- Chemistry studying should be active, not passive. Take notes and work problems while you are reading your chemistry text. Working problems is a sure way to test if you have been absorbing the material and are able to apply it. Your text contains many example problems within each chapter, and many homework questions at the end of each chapter. You probably will not do well in the class if you do not practice as many problems as you can. I have also posted practice tests on this website. Working through these tests should give you a pretty good idea of the framework of our tests.
- When you do not understand the material or cannot work problems, get help right away. Do not wait until the night before the test or after you have failed two tests. I have regular office hours --- use them! By the second week of classes you should have my office hours memorized.