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: Can I use an older edition of the textbook. It's a lot cheaper online.

The problem with all text books is that the assigned homework at the end of the chapters change from edition to edition. So, if you use the old edition you run the risk of not working on the same questions as your colleagues in the class. Also, there are often mistakes in homework problems of older edition and, hopefully, these are getting corrected in the new edition. Other than that, the text is quite excellent.

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 semester. 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 semester, 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 semester, and may not apply for this semester.
Cutoffs for this semester will not be determined until the end of the semester.

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

It's almost certain that you will NOT do well. This course assumes you are already familiar with introductory concepts in chemistry, and attempts to give you a deeper understanding of these earlier concepts while introducing you to new concepts in chemistry.

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

A: No. You will take 12 quizzes this semester, and only the 10 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!

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!