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How to do well in lab classes

  1. Jan 14, 2013 #1
    I have my first real lab class this semester (intro to circuits), and I'm kind of nervous. In high school chemistry I always felt like a burden in lab class; I could do fine on the tests, but in lab I always felt behind. By the time I thought to do something my teammates were usually already doing it. Basically, I felt slow. I did better in AP physics, but I still didn't feel competent.
    I'm hoping to change that and do well in this lab class, however, I'm not sure what to do. So, other than completing the pre-lab and understanding lectures, how do I prepare/study for a lab class?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 14, 2013 #2
    One thing I learned from my lab classes was that if your partner is doing things fast and acts like he knows what he is doing without even reading the manual and you still have no clue what the setup is , even though you gave a good try at understanding what you have to do. They are doing it WRONG. If it isn't very time limited lab let them do their thing, than try doing it your way.
  4. Jan 14, 2013 #3
    I would read the experiment and write up a stepwise procedure in my own words, before class. After I know how the experiment is going to work, I would look for ways to assemble it in pieces more efficiently.

    An example of this in chemistry would be, while I constructed the ring stand, distillation apparatus and heating unit, my partner (who I trust) would be weighing chemicals for the experiment and picking up equipment that wasn't available in the immediate area. Most of the time we were the last to finish and had the best results.

    I slow down considerably when I doubt myself and start looking at what the group next to me is doing.
  5. Jan 14, 2013 #4
    something my o-chem professor told me that was useful was write the first 3 things you are going to do when you walk in the door of the lab room, so you don't have the deer in headlights look when you walk in and you start going
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