Sunday, November 20, 2011

Game Plan - Ochem Midterm #3

Met some peers of mine last night (Sat, about 8:30), they are my professor's other section; we both have major midterm in the morning.  I asked how they were doing, how they were mastering the reactions, mechanisms, synthesis, reagents.

The one young woman, about my son's age, asked me how I was doing.  Completely, and utterly stressed, I responded.  I told her I cannot seem to gel this in my head and put it on paper no matter how much I try.

Ochem is NOT hard.  It is tedious, a LOT of material to synthesize, and requires mastering what does work, and throwing what does not.

Enter in Emma (not her real name).  Emma took one look at my note cards, homework, more paper that I was writing notes on, more other crap that I was compiling, the exams I'd pulled bits and pieces out of (the tests are not in same order as last year as the book was changed and some reactions show up earlier than others, other things show up now for us).  Anyway, she started pulling things out.

About 75% of everything I had done, she called wasted time.  Emma was apologetic but looked me squarely in the eye and said, you do too much and can't get it out of your head on the page.  You're smarter than us, but your scores don't show it.  Here's what you're going to do... and with that, I listened.

What used to take me almost 24 hours of time to complete, I finished today in about 5 hours.  Without note cards.  I am hopeful that by the time the test rolls around in the morning, I have polished up my learning, and knowledge, and be able to get it out on paper.

Here's a picture of the plan.  Wish me luck.  I really want an "A"...


Solitary Diner said...

Good luck. Sometimes learning the right approach to studying is the most important thing to doing well. I honestly can't remember how I got through organic chemistry, but I do remember months of my life spent studying that year.

Lynda Halliger-Otvos said...

Best of Luck, hope it goes well. Learning how to learn and what is relevant are the hardest parts. Treat yourself after the test to a cold glass of Orange Juice and a Bagel.