In the class may theoretically obtain an a on a

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in the class may theoretically obtain an “A” (on a curved system, even if all students scored above 800, some would necessarily fail!!!). Many people ask what it takes to pass the course. The answer will always depend upon the curve. However, regardless of the curve, the absolute cutoff for passing is 250. That is, in order to pass this course (C minus is the lowest passing grade), you must earn at least 250 points (independent of the curve). If you earn 249 or fewer points, you will be guaranteed to not pass the course (you will receive a D or F). Keep in mind, earning more than 250 points WILL NOT GUARANTEE THAT YOU PASS . That is, if the curve is such that failing grade cutoffs are greater than 250 points (see above), the curve cutoff will prevail. That is, you can still fail with more than 250 points but you cannot pass with less. Be sure that you understand this grading system completely to avoid any unpleasant surprises at the end of the quarter. Please note that EVERY EXAM POINT counts equally toward your final grade. There is no differential “weighting” of points; no consideration for “improved performance”; no dropping of exam scores; etc. Therefore, it is suggested that you take every exam very seriously and prepare well for each. Since the letter grades are assigned based on the final curve of total points (for those students remaining in the class), NO LETTER GRADES can be reliably assigned to individual midterm exam results so please do not ask. The exam schedule and point assignments are listed below: Item Date Total Midterm #1 5/1/12 250 Midterm #2 5/29/12 250 Final 6/14/12 500 TOTAL 1000
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How to do well in O-Chem: Organic chemistry is unlike most other topics you have studied. As such, it requires different study techniques. You should always read the material to be covered in class prior to the lecture. For this exercise, it is satisfactory to read the material in the book rather quickly. The point is to become familiar with the topics and terminology that will be presented in lecture. Following the lecture, review your lecture notes and read the textbook again. Be sure to clarify any concepts that are unclear to you. If you cannot get clarification from the book, see your TA or ask me during office hours as soon as possible. I strongly encourage you to review your lecture notes as soon as possible following the class presentation. Studies have shown (Cracolice and Peters, Preparation for General Chemistry ) that if you review and clarify your lecture notes within 24 hours, 90% of the material is retained. If you wait more than a day, only 50% is retained. And if you wait a week, only 35% is retained! When you read, be sure that you have a pen or pencil in hand and write as you read. Although important, the reading is only one component of learning this topic. Real learning requires ACTIVE participation rather than mere passive studying. Therefore, work all of the assigned problems multiple times. Proficiency in organic chemistry requires practice, practice, practice and very little memorization. With practice, you will
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