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How to Ace Analytical Chemistry (or at least make a B!)

Dr. Saundra Y. McGuire Center for Academic Success B-31 Coates Hall

Desired outcomes

  You will understand the difference between meaningful learning and rote memorization You will have concrete strategies to help you accomplish mastery learning in Chem 2001   You will be committed to using these strategies in this course and others You will earn at least a B or higher in Chem 2001!

Prerequisites for Success in Chemistry 2001


of some General Chem Concepts (not rote memorization!)  Realistic Study Schedule  Effective Use of Resources (office hours, tutorial room, etc.)  Managing Anxiety

Why Analytical Chem Appears Harder Than General Chem  It assumes you know Gen. Chem  The course moves quickly  The problems are more involved  The tests are less straightforward, involve essay questions and require you to apply concepts

Example from Test 2

Define and/or contrast each of the following terms: LeChatlier’s Principle Buffer Henderson-Hasselbalch Equation Back Titration

Combination of information to form a unique product; requires creativity and originality Use of information to solve problems; transfer of abstract or theoretical ideas to practical situations.

Restatement in your own words; paraphrase; summary Judgment: the ability to Evaluation make decisions and support views; requires understanding of values Synthesis Analysis Identification of component parts; determination of arrangement, logic, semantics Application Interpretation Translation Recall Identification of connections and relationships Verbatim information; memorization with no evidence of understanding

So, What Do You Do?

 Spend time studying analytical chemistry (at least 4 hours per week)    Aim for 100% understanding Use the tutorial center and office hours Use the Study Cycle with Intense Study Sessions  Study


for Chemistry 2001

The Study Cycle

Phase One:

Read or preview chapters to be covered in class… before class (Create chapter maps)

Phase Two: Phase Four: Repeat

Go to Class. Listen actively, take notes, participate in class

Phase Three:

Review and process class notes as soon as possible after class Incorporate Intense Study Sessions

Intense Study Sessions

 5 minutes:  40 minutes:   5 minutes 10 minutes  Repeat Set goals for next 40 min.

Read text more selectively/highlight Make doodles/notes in margins Create mnemonics, work examples Create maps Review what you have just studied Take a break

Get the Most Out of Lecture

 Arrive early  Actively participate  Review notes soon after class  Rework all example problems done in class

5% Lecture 10% Reading 20% Audio-Visual Average Retention for Learning Activities (Source: National Training Laboratories, Bethel, ME) 30% Demonstration 50% Discussion Group 75% Practice by Doing 90% Teach Others/Immediate Use of Learning

Cornell Note Format


Notes on Taking Notes, 9/14/98


Reduce ideas and facts to concise summaries and cues for reciting, reviewing and reflecting over here.

Uses of notes  identify major points  identify minor points There are 4 Kinds of Notes:     Running Text Formal Outline Informal Outline Cornell Note system

O u t o f H r o m e w o

Get the Most from the Tutorial Center and Office Hours

 Try to understand the concept or work the problem by yourself first  Come prepared to ask questions  Explain the material to the tutor or professor or study group members

Some other important tips

- Start homework problems ONLY after reviewing notes, working class problems, reading text.


Work extra problems!!! Practice “talking out” the concepts


To prepare for tests, go over all problems, especially those problems you could not solve. Write out definitions of important terms.

-Review examples from class, and do chapter reviews.

- Keep old quizzes/tests, and ALWAYS correct returned tests.

Special Problem Solving Tips


Work extra problems!!!

When working homework problems, DO NOT flip back to look at examples in the text. Spend at least 15 minutes, but no longer than 25 minutes trying a problem before you seek assistance.

Visualize the problem situation. Draw diagrams.

Use models.


Use front end – back end synthesis strategies: “What can I get from what I am given?” “What do I need to get what I am trying to find?”

BIOLOGY AND CHEMISTRY TUTORIAL CENTER 113 E.B. Doran Mon – Thurs: 1pm – 6pm Fri: 1pm – 3 pm


Study Smarter Workshops On Line

Weekly and Semester Planners

GPA Calculator

Great Links

Web Page Development

Study Strategies Sites

Graduate Exam Links (GMAT, GRE, LSAT, MCAT)

The Center for Academic Success B-31 Coates Hall

We’re here to help you excel!