1. Not finding help here? Sign up for a free 30min tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

College Bound -Need advice on Chemistry (Semi long)

  1. Jul 18, 2006 #1
    College Bound --Need advice on Chemistry (Semi long)

    This is my first post on "physics forums" so let me preface my question by saying I have been reading this forum for several weeks, and I would just like to comment on some truely exemplary people answering questions. There are some brilliant people here, and you have my admiration.

    With that said... on to my question.

    I will be returning to college on the 21st of August after 6 years in the workforce. In the time spent working, I have saved up enough money for medical school. I may not make it that far, but I have to give it a fair shot, it's my dream.

    (Now here is why this is in the Chemistry section) :smile:


    During the last 6 weeks I have dusted off my college general chemistry book in an attempt to refresh on the subject. I have systematically gone through each chapter to memorize the materal, with a good rate of success.

    There are 25 chapters in the book, I have gone through about 200 pages, i'm nearly finished with chapter 5.

    Here is a run-down on what I have covered so far..

    1)Chemistry and Measurement (Mostly covered the basics for math; SI units simple conversions and such)
    2)Atoms, Molecules, and Ions (Covered Atomic Theory, and Structure. Some common information on formulas and names, and a brief section on chemical reactions)
    3)Chemical Reactions (Covered a slightly more in depth look at reactions, Ions in aqueous solution etc)
    4)Calculations with Chemical Formulas and Equations (Covered Mass/Moles, how to determine chemical formulas, Stoichiometry, and Quantitative Analysis)
    5)The Gaseous State (Covered all the basics of gas equations. Boyle/Charles Laws, The Ideal Gas Law, Stoichiometry involving gas volumes)

    This is about where I am at at the moment. Here is a run-down on what's left..

    6)Thermochemistry
    7)Quantum Theory of the Atom
    8)Electron Configuration on Periodicity
    9)Ionic and Covalent Bonding
    10)Molecular Geometry and Chemical Bonding Theory
    11)States of Matter; Liquids and Solids
    12)Solutions (Such as Colligative Properties)
    13)Rates of Reaction
    14)Chemical Equilibrium
    15)Acids and Bases
    16)Acid-Base Equilibria
    17)Solubility and Complex-Ion Equilibria
    18)Thermodynamics
    19)Electrochemistry
    20)Nuclear Chemistry
    21)Metallurgy and Chemistry of the Main-Group Metals
    22)Chemistry of the Nonmetals
    23)The Transition Elements
    24)Organic Chemistry
    25)Biochemistry

    Whew.. still reading? Good, thank you!

    I only have one month, plus a few days to brush-up on the rest of the book. I want to come out of the cage swinging when I go back to college. I only have time for two, possibly three more in-depth chapter reads. Now i'm not going to ask what are THE best chapters of the ones I have listed, and have yet to read, that would be an impossible question to answer.. however, what chapters would I get the most out of reading in preperation for going to school? Assume I have no prior knowledge of Chemistry, and want to get the most out of the important chapters.

    I was thinking Chapter 7 on Quantum Theory, Chapter 8 on Electron Configuration, and Chapter 9 on Ionic, and Covalent Bonding. Would any of you Physics Forums champs want to weigh in on this? It would be a great help.

    Thanks for your time :smile:
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 18, 2006 #2

    Bystander

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    6, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18; QM beyond the hydrogen atom is "hand-waving," and while useful descriptively, ain't worth the time for general chem (you'll get a slightly better look at it in p-chem if you make it that far on your way to med school); organic, same --- you'll get two semesters of "nothing but" later; biochem, 6 yrs old --- lot's happened, no point in refreshing yourself on yesterday's news; if you've got the time, e-config and periodicity --- that wobbles back and forth between VSEPR and ligand field arguments, but the "broad" statements about the periodic table are worth remembering.
     
  4. Jul 18, 2006 #3
    Sounds like you reviewed everything in general chem 1 and about half of general chem 2. In my general chem 2 class, we very lightly touched on 6-11 and hit 12-16 pretty hard, then touched lightly on 17-25.

    The big question is, what chemistry class or classes will you be taking in the fall?

    As to wanting to go to med school, if your schedule allows, try and work in calc 1 and 2 and take the calc based physics classes in preparation for the MCAT rather then the algebra ones. While the test doesn't require calculus, you will be glad you know it when you take the test. There will be a lot of formulas that you won't have to memorize for the test because you will be able to derive them in less then 20 seconds. For the MCAT, keep in mind that your actual score means nothing, it all depends on how much more you know then everyone else taking the test that day.
     
  5. Jul 19, 2006 #4
    Thank you kindly; Bystander, and kdinser for the insightful responses. I shall utilize the advice to the best of my ability.

    I have approximately three years to study for the MCAT test, so the basic core curriculum I will be taking will revolve around prepping myself for the actual exam.

    In answer to your question kdinser, I plan on taking an entry level general chemistry class (which I believe is Chem 141 in my program) along with a chem lab (which I believe is 141a in my program)

    Great advice on calc 1 and 2, allthough I haven't used any higher math (like algebra or calc) in the last 6 years while working. Would it be wise to take a refresher course in algebra?

    Thanks again.
     
  6. Jul 19, 2006 #5

    GCT

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    7)Quantum Theory of the Atom

    There will be more questions on thermochemistry, however most of the questions will be based on the ability to quantify using the main equations, and their basic premises....when is it appropriate to use the equations etc Don't get too focused on the theory.

    With quantum theory, it helps to have a strong physics background. However, it usually suffices to know the basics e.g. quantum number, angular momentum, spin, in their relevance to the electron configuration
    8)Electron Configuration on Periodicity
    so on

    9)Ionic and Covalent Bonding
    This chapter is probably going to be tested heavily in a standard general chemistry course.

    10)Molecular Geometry and Chemical Bonding Theory
    You should also spend a lot of time on this chapter also. Remember, practice the problems, teachers/professors exploit chapters similar to these where the applications to the theories means knowing a procedural model. It's a lot easier for them to test the students heavily here, since the problems don't necessarily go too deep into physics and due to the fact that its feasible to generate a variety of problems.

    11)States of Matter; Liquids and Solids

    intermediate preparation here, don't read into it

    12)Solutions (Such as Colligative Properties)

    again, a lot of equations, things may get a little more complicated here, there are slightly more of the basic assumptions and complications to consider and unfortunately for you perhaps, most professors like to get a little tricky with these types of problems. It'll require for you to be familiar with some chemistry concepts in the earlier chapters.

    13)Rates of Reaction

    same here also
    14)Chemical Equilibrium
    yeah, these chapters are where students usually have the most problems, since everything sort of builds up faster from here e.g. it helps to see the relevance of rate concepts to equilibrium concepts, and thermodynamic concepts.

    15)Acids and Bases

    more on the conceptual aspect of things, but involves a lot of terminology since acid and bases have a rather vague definition to them, regardless, it's a very developed concept.

    16)Acid-Base Equilibria
    These later chapters become a bit more heavily related, you'll probably be heavily tested on the math aspects, so practice the problems at the end of the chapters.

    17)Solubility and Complex-Ion Equilibria
    etc

    18)Thermodynamics
    etc

    19)Electrochemistry
    etc

    20)Nuclear Chemistry
    not so much emphasis here

    21)Metallurgy and Chemistry of the Main-Group Metals

    just the important factoids here, based on your professor's predilections.

    22)Chemistry of the Nonmetals

    etc
    23)The Transition Elements

    a little more focus here, especially those concepts that relate to physics, also the spectrochemical theory (d-d transitions); you should be able to understand it sufficiently to provide predictive analysis with its application to various transition metal compounds.

    24)Organic Chemistry
    not so much here, but the nomenclature will probably be tested upon to a greater extent then anything else on this chapter.
    25)Biochemistry
    not too much of an emphasis here
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?



Similar Discussions: College Bound -Need advice on Chemistry (Semi long)
  1. Advice on colleges (Replies: 14)

  2. Advice on College (Replies: 4)

  3. College career advice (Replies: 15)

Loading...