How to Succeed in Chem 130


Chem 130 is not an easy course; it will require considerable outside preparation in order to do well in the class. Prepare to spend at least two hours outside of class for every class period plus additional time for the laboratory report preparation (some students will require more, some will require less). Therefore, you should spend at least an hour EACH day studying chemistry. This out of class preparation should include reading the chapter before coming to class, re-reading material and in particular doing assigned problem sets on Smartwork, problems in the book, and using in-class problem sets and response questions to guide further studying.

If you find that you are struggling in Chem 130 (i.e. cannot do the in-class assignments or assigned problems, or do poorly on the first exam), you should:

  • Participate in a study group with other members of the class
  • Make an appointment to see me to discuss your study strategies
  • Come to my office with questions about the material (there are no stupid questons!)
  • Do extra problems like the ones you are having difficulty with (I usually assign less than half of the problems in the book–try another problem similar to the one you are having trouble with)
  • Make sure you are attending class regularly
  • Take good notes in class (I will help suggest note-taking strategies if you are unsure about your note-taking skills)
  • Seek help from the Q Center (part of the Academic Resource Center) The Q-center is located in Room 115, Asbury Hall and has a satellite location in room 50 of the Prevo Science Library. The website with the tutor schedules is   Students can link to the tutoring schedule from this site and schedule appointments at x4039. We will also have a subject tutor, Lei Xiang, a junior chemistry major who will be holding office hours and review sessions for exams.
  • Seek help from DePauw’s Academic Success Services – this can be in the form of organization, time management, study skills, etc.  Any student  can request to meet and discuss these concerns. This is not an ADA Service, but an Academic Life and Academic Success support that quite is beneficial to r students at DePauw.  Dr. Kelley Hall and Dr. Julianne Miranda are the contact people for this support. The website has links with information on study skills, goal setting, time management, test taking strategies, as well as motivational material.  More information is available here.

I have seen students improve to A work after a less than stellar first exam with a concerted effort, but I have seen many other students refuse to get the help they need until it is too late. If you have a weak chemistry background AND are unwilling to put in 2 hours of preparation for every class period, you are setting yourself up to struggle in this class. If you work hard, you can succeed regardless of your previous chemistry background.


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