Chemistry 1303.002

General Information

Fall, 2018

Patty Wisian-Neilson




You must have a simple, inexpensive scientific calculator (not one for business).  You may not use a programmable calculator.

A simple scientific calculator (not one for business) is sufficient  (ca $15).  It must be capable of doing logarithms.  Do not spend a lot of money (<$20 at Target or Walmart or The SMU Chemistry Society student club will be selling a Casio model for $15 during the first week of class.) We strongly recommend a Casio fx-260solar because students have found that it takes far fewer keystrokes to complete a calculation, thus allowing them to work more efficiently on quizzes and exams, and they never have battery problems.



Your grade will be determined as follows: 

Option 1

Three exams    51%

Quizzes           17%

Final Exam       32%

Option 2

Three Exams   54%

Quizzes           18%

Final Exam       28%





More than most courses, General Chemistry requires disciplined study habits which means keeping up with the material on a day-by-day basis (a minimum of 12 - 15 hours of concentrated, efficient, quality study time per week is probably about average). Work all of the assigned problems with the objective of understanding and using the concept and developing and improving your reasoning skills, not just getting the right answer. 


 You will be expected to THINK CRITICALLY and to APPLY THE KNOWLEDGE you gain.  By using the concepts and thinking analytically and critically, it will be unnecessary to memorize large amounts of information that you will quickly forget!


The very best way to study is to WORK PROBLEMS! Understand the PROBLEMS Do not memorize steps because this will not enable you to apply your knowledge to a new situation.  It is only through reasoning, thinking, and understanding that you will make progress. Please note that the concepts from the first day will be useful throughout this course and many others you will encounter, i.e., the material is comprehensive, i.e., what is covered in Chapter 1 will still be applied in Chapter 11 and next semester in Chem 1304.

Some very ineffective study tactics can waste valuable time.  Examples are making pretty note cards, rewriting notes, and even leisurely reading the chapters without a specific question in your mind.  These things only make you "feel good" and make you think you are studying a lot.  Real studying makes your brain hurt!  THINK! THINK! THINK! THINK!  Please read the following two links and the next box very carefully. 

Here are two other links with excellent information and advice:


How to Master the Homework Problems and How to Study Chemistry

READ the problem carefully.

Recognize the difference between bits of information and the question.

Decide what units a numerical answer will have.

Often units guide the calculations.

Understand WHY each step is done.  Do not simply memorize what step is next.

Memorized facts are not real knowledge.  Strive for understanding because that will last a lifetime.


 Note: Last day to drop course is Friday, November 2, 2018.  Withdrawal from Lecture REQUIRES Simultaneous Withdrawal from Lab.

If a student is enrolled in both Chem 1303 (lecture) and Chem 1113 (lab) in the same semester, a withdrawal from Chem 1303 REQUIRES simultaneous withdrawal from Chem 1113.

Before making the decision to drop or stay in this course when you are likely to fail, please read this message. Also, please see me or you lab instructor to discuss whether to stay or drop the class. Even expressing your reasons and thoughts to someone can lead to the wisest decision.

Exams and Quizzes (Seating Chart will be in effect.)

Three major Exams:  See calendar. Exams are Wednesday, September 19; Wednesday, October 24, and Monday, December 3.

Final Exam:     Thursday, December 6, 2018 from 11:30 A.M. to 2:30 P.M. for MWF section.   See calendar.

Do to strict University policies, YOU CANNOT TAKE THE FINAL EXAM AT ANY OTHER TIME ---- not during the other General Chemistry sections exams, not 3 hours late, not one day early, NOT AT ANY OTHER TIME AT ALL!  

Makeup Exams:  (No makeups for Quizzes.)

Exam Format: 

"SHOW ALL WORK" means that you must show a clear logical method, including units for all quantities. This allows you and the instructor to determine faulty reasoning or weak conceptual understanding and, most importantly, allows for a plan to remedy the situation. To facilitate the development of the level of accuracy needed in the real world of medicine, engineering, and science, points will be deducted if either of these are not clear (units and work). Examples of three old exams are linked to this page.  Please remember: NO WORK. NO UNITS.  NO POINTS!  Note the proper way to write fractions, i.e, zeros BEFORE decimals.  This small thing could literally save lives.


THINK CRITICALLY and to APPLY THE KNOWLEDGE.   Nothing is accomplished by simply memorizing charts, equations, problems and procedures!!

Quizzes (Seating Chart will be in effect)

General Procedures

On my honor, I have neither given nor received unauthorized aid on this exam.

 Signed                                                    Date                                            



Learning Outcomes