FAQs for students taking General Chemistry starting in Summer and Fall 2014:

Q: I need to retake Chem 111 as a USF student (or I am a visiting student or I got C or higher in Chem 001 or equivalent course). Do I still need to take the Diagnostic Test?
A: Yes. Everyone means everyone! We want you to study the tutorials first, then take the diagnostic test to get a realistic idea if you will succeed. You can always re-study the tutorials and retake the test to improve your preparation. You will be blocked unless you take the test.
Q. Can I take CHEM 111 or CHEM 113 without being enrolled in the lab?
A: CHEM 111+CHEM 112 Lab or CHEM 113+CHEM 114 Lab are co-requisites in our electronic system, meaning students must sign up for both at the same time.
Q. If I drop the lecture, will I have to drop the lab?
A: Yes.
Q: If I need to retake the lecture, but got C or higher in lab, do I repeat both?
A: No. But, you must sign up for both and ask us to drop the lab upon screen shot proof of your lab grade. (Send your request/proof to Deidre Shymanski at dhshymanski@usfca.edu.)
Q: Right after I took the Chemistry Diagnostic Test, I was given some advice online in regards to my score. Where can I find that advice again?
A: You may find that advice included below.

  • If you score 29 or less you should start with Foundations of Chemistry (Chem 001) and a basic math course (algebra recommended) in fall so that you are ready for Chem 111/112Lab in spring
  • If you score 30-42 your best option is to start with Chem 001/algebra to get a better foundation in chemistry. Other students in Chem 111 will be much better prepared. A second option would be to spend some real study time (8-10 hrs) on the web tutorials and re-take the USF diagnostic test to score well above 42. After that you can register for Chem 111 and consider adding Chem 191 Peer-led Team Learning (PLTL) workshops (1 unit pass/fail) in the first week of class, where a group of 8-10 students meet weekly during the the semester to work on course problem-solving skills led by a trained USF science student.
  • If you score 42-60, you have gaps in your algebra/chemistry knowledge. We suggest several activities that will help you to achieve best success in Chem 111/112Lab. 
    • First, carefully review the online tutorials in subjects you struggled with on the test. Take the online exam a second time and score >60 
    • Second, consider enrollment in Peer-led Team Learning (PLTL) workshops (Chem 191, 1 unit pass/fail) as described above. 
    • Third, make weekly office hour appointments with the instructor and/or Chem HELP Room TAs
  • If your score is above 60 you are adequately prepared for Chem 111/112Lab, but this does not guarantee success. 
    • Seek out the USF Learning Center for study skills and time management courses; Use TA Help room hours.
    • Research shows that students in college should spend 3-4 hrs/week outside class for each semester unit. Chemistry 111/112Lab adds up to 4 units, so you can do the math! 
    • We invite you to try PLTL workshops, popular with all USF general chemistry students. There is an emphasis on the process of problem solving; it is not a remedial workshop
We would like to clarify that your results will not be viewed in terms of a "pass" or a "fail". We recognize that, as a diverse group, students arrive with a range of backgrounds and previous experiences. The diagnostic test is meant to help you prepare for college chemistry and make an easier transition into the rigorous academic program we offer in the sciences at USF. Once your test score is posted in Banner, you may register for both Chem 111 and Chem 112Lab. A grade of C or higher in both courses is required to advance.


Updated 7/30/2014