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Choosing a partner in chemistry courses at a university or college

  1. Aug 26, 2011 #1
    What method do you use to pair up with a partner or multiple partners when taking a chemistry course?
    What is it about the partner that you picked that made you pick them? :)

    Does your method ever include avoiding people who you think are important so that you don't pair up with people who you could potentially embarrass yourself around if you screw up? Just to kind of pair up with people who you are totally neutral with and comfortable with? Or do you try to pair up with someone who you regard highly?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 27, 2011 #2


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    Gold Member

    I dont' specialize in chemistry but I think choosing partners are more or less the same, here is my experience so far:

    - pairing up with friends probably isn't a good idea, I always find that I get the work done the fastest with people I don't normally talk to. Maybe I tend to be bossy around my friends or something but with friends they always like to wait for me to say what to do next which makes everything slower etc. But basically being friends they will expect more room for error.

    - grades don't reflect abilities. yeah, i thought grades can at least be some sort of reference, but no, sometimes no at all. being able to write down the right answers in an exam script doesn't mean the person can carry a flask from one bench to another without spilling half the contents on the floor and the other half on himself.

    - this sounds weird but independence is what I look for. if someone can work by him/herself then we can just divid up the work and part ways, come back and summarise our work. I have meet a lot of people what are totally incapable of independant thought and asks for guidance/confirmation every step of the way, and that is not going to be efficient.

    tbh, those points are everything I didn't do, I now have to work with someone that drives my blood pressure miles high everytime I'm in college. Things is, looking back on I should have picked up the signs years ago before I chose him as my work partner, so I only have myself to blame.

    Given the choice I tend to pair up with someone who I think is more capable then I am, so there will be an ongoing pressure to keep up with them and things get done faster that way.

    Good luck :)
  4. Aug 27, 2011 #3


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    You have a choice? Usually, in any physics/chemistry based labs that I've had, we rotated lab partners and it was chosen for us.
  5. Sep 25, 2011 #4
    Two selection criteria to avoid:

    "choose lookers",

    "Work with the barely competent: it eliminates the anxiety of slacking off"..

    If that doesn't give you sufficient insight, pick the smartest person(s) who will work with you.
  6. Oct 1, 2011 #5
    For a lab, it normally ended up being whoever I was standing next to on the first day
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