Thursday, June 17, 2010

T - 1.5 Hours

In less than 1.5 hours I take the cumulative final as written by ACS. In less than 7 hours, I will be done with gen chem series. Can we all say, "F@## that" and smile broadly? Although reviewing for the final has made me recollect Spring 2009's gen chem 1 class, I'm okay with that too. The notes I took, the note cards I wrote, the exams I kept all helped in refreshing my memory.

Basic atomic structure - protons and neutrons make up the mass, the mass of the atom is mostly made up of the protons and neutrons, not electrons as they are tiny and carry very miniscule mass... of course, I could get really technical and talk about neutrinos, but I'll save that for when I'm in physics. There are the basic orbital shapes, quantum numbers, if n = x, then l can only = ???, ml and ms not to be forgotten. Oh, I think even good old Millikan and Rutherford made it into my note cards as well as Planck's constant, Henry, and Bohr.

VSEPR - can I say I'm sick of memorizing these and just hope that what I know about them now will carry me through organic? Up to and including hybridized models, I get them now as well as the bond angles.

Bond order related to bond strength is inversely related to bond length... triple bonds are shorter than single bonds (and single bonds are sigma bonds, all others are pi)

Stoichiometry - yep, just like accounting along with molality to molarity to mole fraction to percentage yield, and every chemist's best friend Avogadro.

Equilibrium, dynamics including pH given various components think I can manage that up to and including the conversion of different pH given a higher temp and the addition of different base or acid. Ksp, Kc= kf/kr, kw=ka*kb, kw=1.0 x 10^-14, and yep... I good there. Arrhenius is my best friend and the rate laws, half-life, and activation energy are solid. I even know which R value to use when, when to use e^ and ln and log. I think, I may be getting this - - - finally!

Periodicity is something that I can "see" - the pages from my textbook from Spring 2009 are still mulling around inside my brain and I finally get ionization of radii and the effect of ionized atoms and EN.

Electrochemistry is solid. Thanks to my instructor and lab instructor sitting with me and explaining that I'm not "doing" wet chemistry in the equations, I'm simply balancing the equations using water or OH-. I get that now too as well as voltaic cells and galvanic cells, which is the anode, which is the cathode, what the salt bridge does and why it matters (ions don't move if the salt bridge is not intact in both solutions). I can see the E^0 equation in my head and will quickly remember to write down the Nernst equation although, if really tested on that, I may punt.

Last, is the lab part of the test. I think I'll be okay. My lab instructor this semester was helpful, insightful, patient while I asked my gazillions of questions and was, in her words, "a little perfectionist" in measuring as well as mindful of proper disposal of waste products... some just should not be sent down the drain.

I think I have a late quiz to turn in, and one extra credit exam prep to finalize but then I am done. With my new contract looming on Monday, it appears I may actually get onto organic chemistry... finally.

The path through the last 16 months has been interesting, amusing, horrific, blessed, happy, and finally...


Make it a great day :D


Anonymous said...

I took the full year ACS final a few weeks ago. It's not too bad, but here are a couple of pieces of advice.

1. Know your notation - it's simple, and at least 1 or 2 questions will require you to know what subscripts and superscripts refer to when present on an element.

2. If you find yourself doing a lot of calculations, you're doing something wrong. I used a calculator on maybe two of the problems on the entire exam.

3. A lot of the ACS questions will show pictures representing the number of particles before and after a reaction. They're usually in black and white and can be a bit difficult to make out. What helped me was to actually write under the picture what you saw (eg., 2O2 and 3N2 -> ...). Also, check your counting.

4. Don't leave any of the questions blank - you don't get penalized for wrong answers, so make sure that you've filled in every bubble. Also, fill in a bubble after each question and circle your answer on your test sheet so that you can check yourself at the end (even if they tell you not to write on it).

5. Relax. :)

Sounds like you're pretty prepared for the exam, I'm sure you'll do fine. Best of luck to you.

A Doc 2 Be said...

Thank you for the tips!

I wish I had seen them prior to taking the exam but I did not think the ACS was unreasonable. A little more time (or a lot less procrastination) and I'd have gotten all of the answers right.

As is, I'm onto orgo (I hope).

Anonymous said...

My class was told that the national average on the ACS final is a 50%. Keep that in mind when you get your exam back.