Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How can I get an A in this course?

While there's no guaranteed way to get an A, my best advice is that you work (correctly) through every single homework problem assigned, and understand deeply why you got the correct answer. Of course, that's easier said than done, so here are a few tips to help you succeed: (1) Read through online notes (and text) the night before each lecture. (2) Come to lecture! Statistics show that students who sit in the front get better grades than those sitting in the back. Those who skip lecture do the worst. (3) Ask questions in lecture when you don't understand. Don't be embarassed, chances are quite high that others in the class have the same question in their heads. (4) Don't waste a lot of time working on questions when you can't get the right answer. Visit the Learning Resource Center in 170 Celeste Lab to get help with the tough questions. If you're still stuck, come see your TA or me during office hours. (5) Do well in the lab portion of the class. Students who do not get at least 50% of the lab points will fail the class regardless of how well they do on the quizzes and exams. (6) Start early, and don't fall behind. Students who do well in this course often spend about 10 hours each week (outside of lab and lecture) reading and re-reading through the notes and text, and asking questions, while they work on the homework assignments.

Q: Will you grade on a curve?

How your numerical grade gets translated into a letter grade is not decided until the end of the quarter. There are a number of factors that need to be taken into account to make sure your letter grade is assigned fairly, and many of these are not known until then. The cutoffs change every quarter, but based on previous years, they are generally close those given in the table below:

Score RangeGrade
1000 - 900A
899 - 775B
774 - 650C
649 - 500D
499 - 0E

Note: Based on previous quarters, and may not apply for this quarter.
Cutoffs for this quarter will not be determined until the end of the quarter.

Q: I've never taken chemistry before (in high school). Will I be okay in this class?

It's very likely that you will NOT do well. This course assumes you are already familiar with many of the introductory concepts in chemistry, and attempts to give you a deeper understanding of these earlier concepts while introducing you to new concepts in chemistry. It's not that the concepts in this course are that difficult, but you simply will not have enough time to learn all these concepts for the first time in the short ten weeks of this class. Ohio State University offers a course called Chemistry 101 for students who have never had a chemistry course before. This would be the better course for you. In fact, I often recommend Chem 101 for students when it's been more than 3 or more years since their high school chemistry class.

Q: I have a calculator that isn't one of the allowed calculators (i.e., TI-30, Sharp EL-509, Sharp EL-531 or Casio FX-250), but is nearly the same. Can I use it?

A: No. You will not be allowed to use it during the quiz or exam. I can empathize with you, but these matters are decided by the chemistry department, and are out of my hands.

Q: I will miss or I missed the quiz. Can I take it early or make it up?

A: No. You will take 6 quizzes this quarter, and only the 5 highest quiz scores will be counted. If miss a quiz, you can drop it as your lowest quiz score.

Q: What if I miss two or more quizzes?

A: Then you will get a zero for those quizzes, and you overall grade will suffer. Try not to miss any quizzes!

Q: What if I miss an exam?

A: We will offer make up exams during the last week of classes. These exams are only available for students who had a legitimate (and documented) reason for missing the exam. For example, illness (with Doctor's note), out of town on university sponsored event, etc....

How do I find my Carmen Student ID?

It really is rather easy, if you know where to look. First, go to Carmen. Second, open one of your courses and click on Classlist on the far right of the red bar. Go to the Student tab and find your name. Click on the paper & magnifying glass icon (View Progress). In the General section right under your Username is the StudentID. This is your Carmen Student ID.

What is the Carmen Student ID?

This is a unique number assigned to your Carmen record. It is only used in Carmen. It is not a number used by the University Registrar. It is not the numberic extension on your OSU login.

What happens if I don't use the Carmen Student ID or I write it down incorrectly?

Don't worry. Your grade will not be lost. However, your score will have to be entered by hand into Carmen. Since there are over 3,000 students taking General Chemistry every quarter, it generally takes about a week to post the grades of all the students with answer sheets that had missing or incorrect Carmen IDs.

Where can I find a good cup of coffee in Columbus?

Well, in my opinion, Stauf's in Grandview has some of the finest coffee in Columbus, but my personal favorite is Luck Bros' Coffee House in Grandview. You might even catch me in either of these places during the weekends. Might come in handy when you're trying to find someone to help you figure out those last few tricky chemistry homework problems!