CHEM 121
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CHEM 121 general chemistry

  • Average Course Rating (from 5 Students)

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    • Profile picture
    Jun 22, 2017
    | Would recommend.

    This class was tough.

    Course Overview:

    It's a major requirement for most STEM fields, and though it's quite difficult, the TAs are committed to helping.

    Course highlights:

    I learned how to reason through science topics with my words. This general chemistry is different than most because all of the exams are written short answer questions, not multiple choice or math based. It teaches great qualitative skills for the future as well as quantitative.

    Hours per week:

    3-5 hours

    Advice for students:

    DONT take physics at the same time unless you are very comfortable with physics and/or chem. The two together is like a death load.

    • Fall 2016
    • lesatran
    • Yes
    • Go to Office Hours A Few Big Assignments Participation Counts
    • Profile picture
    May 26, 2017
    | Would highly recommend.

    This class was tough.

    Course Overview:

    This is a great course to learn the basics of chemistry as well as how to handle a tough class in college!

    Course highlights:

    I loved how theoretical chemistry started out, though it was kind of a pain. We start by answering the question "How do we know elements are composed of atoms". By answering this question, we set the stage to be introduced to complex structures composed of multiple atoms. There is a decent amount of calculations required, specifically in the lab portion of this course, but most of the questions on problems sets and exams are conceptual, so a thorough understanding of how formulas are derived is necessary to be successful.

    Hours per week:

    9-11 hours

    Advice for students:

    Go to Dr. Tran's office hours, go to TA weekly sessions! Also, try and do ALL of the CDS questions per unit and then have them checked by a TA or Dr. Tran at office hours. Make sure to be prepared before you come to class/lab. Ideally, if you take notes as you read the book, you should be looking at most of the material twice.

    • Fall 2016
    • lesatran
    • Yes
    • Great Intro to the Subject Go to Office Hours Always Do the Reading
    • Profile picture
    Oct 10, 2016
    | Would recommend.

    This class was tough.

    Course Overview:

    Dr. Tran is an excellent instructor. She engages students extremely effectively by always asking questions and letting students think for themselves rather than spoon-feeding them. Personally, I never had a good chemistry class in high school and I've learned more in the first few weeks of this course than I ever did over two semesters in high school. The class is definitely tough, as it's a bit of a weed out course for pre-meds. However, if you work hard there is definitely valuable knowledge that can be taken away.

    Course highlights:

    There have been multiple occasions where we started off the session with some sort of experiment or visual. These are then used to leave open questions that are answered in the lecture, which I personally find effective as a visual learner. For example, as an intro to the discussion of light and the electromagnetic spectrum, our lab professor electrocuted pickles to show us how different substances will give off different colors of light at the same amounts of energy. More than that, however, is that I learned how to study more effectively. The class has really challenged my ability to critically think for myself and think like a scientist. The methodology is great despite the difficulty of the course.

    Hours per week:

    6-8 hours

    Advice for students:

    Always read the textbook and the CDS texts. Study in groups and attend TA sessions if needed. But don't overwork yourself, study for 1-2 hours and take a break.

    • Fall 2016
    • lesatran
    • Yes
    • Great Intro to the Subject Always Do the Reading Many Small Assignments

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