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Courses Why do people say chemistry is hard?

  1. May 3, 2016 #1
    I have to take chem I and chem II this summer because I switched to geoscience. I'm worried because everyone tells me its too hard to pass, and it kinda scares me, although I know not to rely on other people's fears to conclude how hard a class is. I finished all my finals this semester, got C in physics I, and at least A's in my two astronomies, and I'm waiting on calc. Physics was tough but doable, so is Chemistry along the lines of the difficulty level in physics? I made an A in high school chemistry but I had to study all the time for that class, I just hope I can do it this time around.
  2. jcsd
  3. May 3, 2016 #2
    because u need to remember all the complex names of elements and chemicals and the reactions. what turns what colour and what is what used for what. why is it good why is it bad and so on
  4. May 3, 2016 #3
    because some people are good at differint things
  5. May 3, 2016 #4


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    People who don't do well studying X will always say X is hard. That's to be expected.

    Some people, however, do well studying chemistry. Some of these people we call chemists. You get out of studying what you put into it.
  6. May 3, 2016 #5
    I know, I just worry about it because they all say that its too easy to fail it. I don't mind studying, that's expected, so I guess I could make it if I just study. I'm glad they're different sessions and not concurrent with each other!
  7. May 3, 2016 #6


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    Up through high school I liked chemistry and physics about equally. Then when I got to college I decided to major in physics so I wouldn't have to memorize as much stuff. :cool:

    (That, and Maxwell's equations blew my mind!)
  8. May 3, 2016 #7
    I really liked physics and was in that before geoscience but I just wasn't cut out for it. I do like rocks though, and I'm decent with that, so the change isn't too bad!
  9. May 3, 2016 #8
    that rocks
  10. May 3, 2016 #9


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    Everybody I know who doesn’t like chemistry thinks chemistry is hard. It’s the cloud of a course that has this reputation for being difficult (and perhaps some teachers really do make the class this way), but chemistry is not that hard.

    Most of the math is not that advanced … and you get to use Bunsen burners :biggrin:

    I love chemistry. Don't be afraid. It's beautiful :oldlove:
  11. May 3, 2016 #10
    i too love chemistry as playing with fire and explosives is fun without doubt.
  12. May 3, 2016 #11


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    Not everything about chemistry has to do with fire or something dramatic and loud--those are never the experiments taught in a basic chemistry class, anyway. I find the most subtle reactions to be the most delightful.
  13. May 3, 2016 #12
    true last lesson we made soap this was fun but grew tedious quite soon.
  14. May 4, 2016 #13
    Chem I & II classes should be very doable for the average (geoscience) student, assuming you have the right background. They probably will be fun, though lab work may take a lot of time.

    Chemistry gets difficult when you have to do physical chemistry or memorize a crazy amount of organic chemistry reaction mechanisms. Molecular orbitals of the metal atoms in rocks, that's crazy stuff.
  15. May 5, 2016 #14
    In my experience chemistry is hard at first but if you're smart and disciplined you can handle it pretty easily. A lot of chemistry in my opinion comes down to memorizing the rules of what reacts with what.
  16. May 6, 2016 #15
    also it isn't always entirely you skill and ability that counts. if you are doing a practical with a partner and you have a useless partner it will be bad for you and put you in an awful position to succeed. as one basic practical can cost you several percent in an exam.
  17. May 6, 2016 #16


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    What are some examples of these subtle reactions?
  18. May 6, 2016 #17
    making soap
    testing for carbon dioxide
    learning the properties of graphite
  19. May 6, 2016 #18


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    My favorite:
    Sulfuric acid, a bit of concentrated hydrogen peroxide, and some warm water into a glass or beaker. If you pour potassium permanganate into the mixture, you can see the purple liquid enter the glass, the then the color instantly disappears. No matter, how much you pour, the solution won't become purple. The manganese in the permanganate reacts with the peroxide and loses it's oxygen (seen as bubbles), leaving only manganese ions, which is colorless. Thus, you get to see the original solution react to become a different solution right before your eyes in a, what I think, a very entertaining way.

    And then, of course, I like the classic traffic lights reaction as well as the rising of yeast for bread :)
  20. May 6, 2016 #19
    as i said some people are good at differint things
  21. May 6, 2016 #20
    and again sorry about my spelling
  22. May 11, 2016 #21
    Wow, you're clearly very passionate about chemistry!
  23. May 11, 2016 #22


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    I love it so much it's probably unhealthy.
  24. May 11, 2016 #23
  25. May 11, 2016 #24


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    Uh, in this case, I'm not so sure. What I got out of chemistry was a headache and I'm pretty sure that's not what I put in :smile:
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