Midterm Nerves

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Julie_Reyes1B
Posts: 105
Joined: Sat Jul 20, 2019 12:16 am

Midterm Nerves

Postby Julie_Reyes1B » Mon Feb 17, 2020 11:57 pm

I probably speak for most people when I say that the midterm was difficult. There were a lot of really tough problem-solving heavy questions that I struggled with even though I felt prepared. During the midterm, it was really hard for me to keep focused and calm when I saw questions I felt like I couldn't do. I stressed myself out and wasn't able to reason out the steps I should take. This usually doesn't happen to me. Besides reading the question a few times and writing equations, how do you start a question and keep yourself from feeling so stressed?

alicechien_4F
Posts: 104
Joined: Sat Jul 20, 2019 12:15 am

Re: Midterm Nerves

Postby alicechien_4F » Tue Feb 18, 2020 12:02 am

I think re-reading the question and writing down the equations is a great way to start! What I do is write down all the given information in the problems (ex: pressure, temperature, whether it's isothermal, etc.) because sometimes writing the given info down allows you to put values into the equations and visualize it better. Another thing that Lavelle mentioned was to give yourself time! Try breaking the problem down to smaller parts if possible (ex: for the buffer equation, focus on writing the reaction out instead of thinking about the overall ratio they wanted you to calculate). Hope this helps!

andrewcj 2C
Posts: 102
Joined: Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:17 am

Re: Midterm Nerves

Postby andrewcj 2C » Tue Feb 18, 2020 2:37 am

Something I found helpful on the amphetamines problem was to list what you know. It helped me get insight on how to approach the problem, even when the solution wasn't obvious.

Brian_Ho_2B
Posts: 221
Joined: Fri Aug 09, 2019 12:16 am

Re: Midterm Nerves

Postby Brian_Ho_2B » Tue Feb 18, 2020 10:47 am

Julie_Reyes1B wrote:I probably speak for most people when I say that the midterm was difficult. There were a lot of really tough problem-solving heavy questions that I struggled with even though I felt prepared. During the midterm, it was really hard for me to keep focused and calm when I saw questions I felt like I couldn't do. I stressed myself out and wasn't able to reason out the steps I should take. This usually doesn't happen to me. Besides reading the question a few times and writing equations, how do you start a question and keep yourself from feeling so stressed?

I’ll try my best to paraphrase what Prof Lavelle has told us in lecture that I thought was a really good outline on how to approach problems. First, you want to read the question at least twice, making mental connections, identifying what concepts are being tested. You then want to identify the “unknown” that the question wants you to find. It is after this that you list as many equations, relationships, and concepts that you know that are related to the problem at hand. Before you can use equations, you have to identify all the constants and information given to you by the problem and ask yourself how you can derive more information based on what’s given. The more information you have, the more you have to work with. After that, use the equations that best utilizes the information you have to either calculate more useful information or better yet, the answer. Hope this helps

romina_4C
Posts: 100
Joined: Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:17 am

Re: Midterm Nerves

Postby romina_4C » Tue Feb 18, 2020 11:28 am

Honestly, the method that has helped me the most when I am faced with problems I am unsure of how to start (aka many of those on the midterm) is writing down every equation related to what you think the question is asking. Thus, if the question mentions or wants you to find entropy, write down every equation on the equation sheet relating to entropy. Also, the ideal gas law (PV = nRT) is usually a good place to considering starting since many times when one is stuck, it's because you don't have enough information stated directly in the problem an you need to find it using the ideal gas law.

Mariah
Posts: 104
Joined: Fri Aug 02, 2019 12:16 am

Re: Midterm Nerves

Postby Mariah » Tue Feb 18, 2020 11:49 am

romina_4C wrote:Honestly, the method that has helped me the most when I am faced with problems I am unsure of how to start (aka many of those on the midterm) is writing down every equation related to what you think the question is asking. Thus, if the question mentions or wants you to find entropy, write down every equation on the equation sheet relating to entropy. Also, the ideal gas law (PV = nRT) is usually a good place to considering starting since many times when one is stuck, it's because you don't have enough information stated directly in the problem an you need to find it using the ideal gas law.


I feel like this is hard for me to do because not ALL of the equations are given so it is sometimes kind of difficult to know how many you need to memorize before exams.

Jasmine Fendi 1D
Posts: 108
Joined: Sat Aug 24, 2019 12:15 am

Re: Midterm Nerves

Postby Jasmine Fendi 1D » Tue Feb 18, 2020 1:45 pm

I also felt the same way during the midterm. However, some things that somewhat helped me were listing everything that was given and some variables not given/needed to be solved for. Then, I wrote down multiple equations that involved those variables and used PV=nRT as a gateway to find other variables. Also, I recommend staying calm, drinking water, and taking one question at a time!

Naji Sarsam 1F
Posts: 104
Joined: Sat Aug 17, 2019 12:18 am

Re: Midterm Nerves

Postby Naji Sarsam 1F » Tue Feb 18, 2020 1:50 pm

A good way to approach problems are to explicitly write down the variables that are given to you. For example, if a problem mentions 6 moles, 278.15 K temperature, and that it is an ideal gas then you should write down n = 6, T = 278.15, and R. Then write down the symbol for the variable(s) you are solving for. Then look at the equations on the equation sheet or remember back to problem-solving techniques, like the ice table, which use the given variables and solve for the unknown variable.

Above all, realize that by writing down the correct equation, even if you don't know how to continue, will probably give you some partial credit points. Moreover, if a question seems too difficult where you don't know how to begin, just move on right away to the next question. You do not want to waste time and also it will keep you from doubting your own skills and confidence.


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