Struggling with Chemistry

  1. Hello all...I have never taken Chemistry and I feel like I am struggling with my first course. It's general and organic chemistry. I just took my first exam today and expected to do so well. I did on 85% if it. But then came the conversions and equations. I knew my conversions but when you take an equation and make me convert measurements in it before I write the equation out to solve it my head get scrambled. I'm feeling overwhelmed. I've got Biology, Nutrition Algebra and this Chemistry course and I feel confident I can study hard and do well in the first three. But after this exam I am totally freaked about keeping up with chemistry. Does anyone recommend a tutor? How did you work towards overcoming chemistry pitfalls? I know I could get at least a C but I'm aiming for as many A's as I can earn as I'll be applying to BSN programs in the bay area. I've heard it's extremely competitive and only the top performers get in.Thanks in advance...
  2. 13 Comments

  3. by   zoe92
    I recommend going online & using Khan Academy OR visiting your school's tutoring center.
  4. by   rubato
    Yes, if you can, get a tutor. But, I just wanted to add that you can't always judge how you will do in chemistry by the first test. I got a score in the 70s on my first test, and still managed an A in the class. That first test showed me what I was doing wrong, and I corrected it.
  5. by   mrsdowling225
    I agree with Rubato. The 1st test is just a stepping stone as to what you need to improve on. Also it allows you to see how the teacher's exams are. Just work harder. And maybe change your study skills. I'm too in the same boat as you. Good luck.
  6. by   mswtruth
    Good points all of you thanks! Yes I need to study more and go regular my to tutoring. I have a study group as well and hoping we can meet weekly.
  7. by   Graduation2016
    I must say that the teacher plays a HUGE roll on this. I have always sucked big time at math and have avoided it until now. In the summer I must take algebra 1 and 2 before I start my nursing classes in the fall. I'm taking Chemistry now and just received the grade for my first test. I got a 92 and I currently have a 97% in the class. The teacher is amazing. He is so careful about how he explains and he does it in a fun way. I
    never thought I would be saying that I'm actually understanding what's going on! Keep going! If I can do this anyone can! Good Luck!
  8. by   student4u2
    I am currently taking A&P II and was taking chem. However, I had to drop the chem class due to the fast pace set by the teacher. For some of us that struggle with math-this is a class that is best taken alone during a semester. I also agree that a good teacher is needed to be able to teach it. However, in this particular teachers eyes-he felt we should already know everything and pushed extremely hard and fast. I did not have the extra time to put forth to study due to studying for the lab practicals and exams in A&P II. I made a great decision regarding dropping the chem class, and I am now stress free, and maintaining my "A" in A&P II. I will be taking the chem class alone during the next fall semester. However, to all you students who manage to be able to pull off multiple hard classes during a semester....I give you major kudos!!! It is not easy, and I respect you all for being able to do it.
  9. by   7237dallas
    We just finished dimensional analysis and are on valence electrons and electron configurations. I watched some videos on Khan Academy before the semester started and that helped out a lot. Our teacher is very nice also and does anything he can to help us understand. The average on the first test was a lot lower than his previous semesters, low C's, so he's trying a lot harder to help everyone understand. I also do the problems in our book too. Good luck!
  10. by   littlebear23
    I HATE Chemistry!!!!!!!!!!! I get no "fun" out of it, and the material is soooooooo brutal when the instructor is explaining it. My instructor doesn't like Chemistry either lol and she always says, "I'm sorry guys. I know it sucks". The labs are somewhat fun I guess. Watching what happens when you combine different solutes to liquid can be interesting. I only have a few weeks left of this horrid class. If I get a C- I will take it!

    In other words, I feel your pain, haha.
  11. by   monica427
    An 85 on the first test isn't bad. The conversions can be tricky at first. It's just practice, practice, and more practice. Does your school have a tutoring center? If so, take advantage of it. And there are tons of resources online. Zoe92 mentioned Khan Academy. That's a great one for chemistry. Also Bright Storm has videos on YouTube that are great for condensed explanations on concepts. You'll be fine.
  12. by   mswtruth
    Oh I didn't get an 85% on the exam I just understood most of it. I ended up getting a 77% on it. I am so proud of that C+. I really thought I had failed. I know if I study more, practice more...I can get an A in this class. 3 more exams. All I can do is keep trying my best.
  13. by   SopranoKris
    I find the most difficulty people have with Chem is when they don't write out every part of an equation. It may seem silly to always annotate when you know what the variables are. However, if you always write everything out, you can't go wrong.

    For example: If you're given the equation Na2O + 2 HCl ==> 2 NaCl + H20 and given the question if you have 18 grams of Na2O, how many grams of NaCl will result?

    You need to write down for every mol of Na2O, you have 2 mols NaCl (you'll need this ratio later). Then set up your dimensional analysis, making sure you annotate every compound & unit:

    18 g Na2O x (1 mol Na2O/62 g Na2O) x (2 mols NaCl/1 mol Na2O) x (58 g NaCl/1 mol NaCl) = 34 g NaCl

    By writing down all your units & compounds, you can cancel g Na2O, mol Na2O and mol NaCl to end up with g NaCl.

    While this is just a simple example, it really comes in handy when you move in to more complicated equations (e.g. kinetic theory, ideal gas law, etc.) For example, the constant R that is used in the ideal gas law is 0.08206 (atm*L/mol*K). If you write down the units, it's easy to make sure you cancel the proper units to arrive at your answer.

    It was stated above, but I'll say it again: Khan Academy is a GREAT site for all things science!
  14. by   mswtruth
    SopranoKris I love Kahn Academy and have been using it more frequently. I'm with you on writing everything out. I'm the same with Algebra. I need to write it all out so as to not miss any steps in my equation. I think I need to just practice practice practice now that I'm studying Moles and Solutions. I have 2 full weeks before my next exam and I plan on just studying my equations and solutions everyday and go to tutoring on campus even just to review. I hope that can help me score an A. If I want an A in the class I don't have any room left for much error.

    Anyone ever watch any powerpoints or documentaries on chemistry that helped?