Pre-Med Q&ACategory: Scheduling and Classeschem-230-and-gen-chem-1
AvatarAnonymous asked 4 weeks ago

Hi,   I’m a little bit unsure what to do about taking gen chem vs. chem 230. I haven\’t officially taken gen chem here, but placed out of it at orientation (based on my high school curriculum at the honors level). Therefore, I have never taken general chemistry at an AP or college level. Although I did place out, that knowledge is based on a class I took my sophomore year of high school. As a result of this situation, I’m wondering whether Chem 230 would be extremely difficult for me. Would you advise going right to Pchem since I did technically place out? Or, do you think I should return to Chem 130 + labs to revisit some of these foundational concepts before attempting the second semester of inorganic? I have already taken one year of organic chemistry, but recognize they don’t really overlap. Please let me know what you would suggest. Thanks!  

3 Answers
AvatarLeen answered 4 weeks ago

Firstly just to clarify, you still need to take the chem 125/126 labs even if you tested out of chem 130. Although you register for chem 125 AND chem 126 as if they are two separate labs, they are actually one lab that is taken in one semester. The reason UM does this is because medical schools require 2 “semesters/classes” of inorganic chemistry lab so they just list the intro lab as two separate classes. Just for future reference, you will also need a letter of exemption for medical schools saying that you tested out of inorganic chemistry 1 (but you don’t need to worry about that now).
With regards to chem 230, the class material is not heavily dependent on chem 130. Some topics from chem 130 appear in chem 230 but more in-depth, however, the professors do a great job of fully explaining each concept. While it may help to brush up on some general chemistry beforehand (such as old high school notes or online videos), you should be fine to take chem 230! I also say that because you have been through organic chemistry at UM, which are difficult college classes that take a lot of hard work and problem-solving. Chem 230 is the same way; it has a similar workload to orgo and is primarily focused on problem-solving abilities. One more thing to note: if you are planning on taking chem 230 in the fall/winter, I would recommend only taking one other science class with it. That way, you will be able to focus more time and energy on chem 230 without spreading yourself too thin over a variety of science disciplines. 
I hope that helps! Let us know if you have any other questions!
Leen, PMH Advisor

AvatarAnanymous answered 4 weeks ago

I just want to clarify what you said above about still needing 125/126 even if testing out of chem 130. This is what my placement result says which doesn\’t seem to align with the previous statement. Let me know which one you think is correct so that I can plan accordingly. I tried to attach a screenshot but couldn\’t figure it out but the placement results say \”Students who have not taken the AP Chemistry Placement Exam but place into Chem 210/211 are considered exempt from Chem 125/126 and 130 but do not receive credit on their transcript for 125/126 and 130\”. Let me know what you think. If you\’re not sure, I can try to confirm with an advisor just to be safe. Thanks!        

AvatarLeen answered 4 weeks ago

Hi again!
I was told by an advisor two years back that chem 125/126 is required even if you are exempt from chem 130. However, based on your exemption letter, it seems like things might have changed since I was last informed. Definitely check with an advisor for updated information. If it is true that you do not have to take chem 125/126 as a pre-med requirement, it may help to take an upper-level inorganic chemistry lab just in case so you can demonstrate your inorganic chem lab skills to medical schools. You should ask your advisor about this too!
Leen, PMH Advisor

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