Hello! So I’m in the process of studying for the chem 215 final, and the third exam (the second exam we did remotely) was significantly harder than the first exam we did remotely, so my grade dropped a bit to about a B+. I would like to end up with an A- or higher, but that requires me to get at least about 200/240 points on the final. How do you suggest studying for the final? Is doing a bunch of practice exams good practice? The coursepack is important I know, but I would like to be able to check over my work so that I know I am actively doing things right as going to professor office hours and SLC tutoring to ask multiple questions and get individualized attention is pretty impossible at this time. Thanks for the help!
I can share with you some tips about how to study for the final exam based my own experience when I took Chem 215.
First, make sure you have comprehensive notes from all lectures. Start by going through your notes and try to solve the examples without looking at the answers and draw mechanisms using your memory. Then, use different color pen and look at your notes to correct whatever you missed. This will help you identify areas that you struggle with. I know that online office hours may not be as productive as the in-person ones, but do not get discouraged and take advantage of them. One way to use these sessions more effectively could be having a clear list of topics and problems that you want to discuss. If you used the office hours but there are still some areas that need improvement, use Khan Academy or YouTube videos that cover those specific topics.
Once you get a solid grasp of the principles, start practicing. Use the coursepack and check the answers with your friends, classmates, or the SLC study group members. Studying in a group to check your answers is really helpful. I know virtual study group may not be ideal, but I believe it could be worthwhile.
After getting familiar with the question types, use one of the exams from previous years, simulate the exam conditions as closely as possible. This will help you learn how to manage your time and reduce your stress during the actual exam. After finishing the practice exams, review the questions thoroughly and identify the areas that need to be reviewed.
On a separate note, I understand that grades are important, but it is not everything. Grades do not define us and your effort and hardworking are much more worthy. I know it could be hard not to think about the grade (trust me, I have been there!) but try to do so, especially on the day of the exam. Just remember that you worked really hard and all of your hard work will pay off!
I hope you find this helpful! If you have further questions, do not hesitate to contact us!
Good luck. You got this!
Haniyeh (PMH advisor)
P.S. I found this page on the Newnan website: https://lsa.umich.edu/advising/stay-on-track/course-specific-strategies/learning-tips-for-students-of-organic-chemistry.html
Dr. Coppola shared some tips on how to learn Organic Chemistry. It might be helpful!