FAQs for students taking General Chemistry: Policy for Summer and Fall

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.
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Q. Can I take CHEM 111 or CHEM 113 without being enrolled in the lab?
A: Normally no. However, if labs are full you may take CHEM 111 without CHEM 112 or CHEM 113 without CHEM 114 the same semester. Note: You need to complete CHEM 111 and CHEM 112 with a "C" or higher to take CHEM 113 and CHEM 114. You will need to complete CHEM 113 and CHEM 114 with a "C" or higher to take CHEM 230.
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Q. If I drop the lecture, will I have to drop the lab?
A: Yes.
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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.)
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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.

Your % score will post in Banner within 6 hours. We marked 5 points for correct and -1 for incorrect answers. If you got 1/2 of the answers correct and 1/2 wrong your score will be 84 out of 210, 40%.
  • IF Total score  less than 29 out of 210, < 14% of the points, take Foundations of Chemistry (Chem 001; offered Fall only) and college algebra to prepare for Chem 111/112Lab next semester. Chem 111/112Lab in offered fall,spring and summer; 113/114Lab in spring, summer.
  • IF Total score: 30 - 42 out of 210, 15-20% of points, your best option is to start with Chem 001/algebra. Other students in Chem 111 will be much better prepared. A second option is to spend real study time (8-10 hrs) on the web tutorials and re-take the USF diagnostic test to score well above 42 out of 210, then ADD Chem 191 Peer-led Team Learning (PLTL) workshops (1 unit pass/fail) in which 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. Students generally score 10% higher on exams if enrolled in Chem 191.
  • IF Total score: 42-60 out of 210, 21-29%,  you have gaps in your knowledge, but you may self-register. 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, take Peer-led Team Learning (PLTL) workshops (Chem 191, 1 unit pass/fail) as described above for an exam score boost. 
    • Third, make weekly office hour appointments with the instructor and/or Chem HELP Room TAs
  • If Total score: 60-90 out of 210, >30-43% , you are adequately prepared, but this does not guarantee success. 
    • First, add Chem 191: 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  out the USF Learning Center about study skills and time management courses
    • Second, spend 3-4 study hrs/week outside class for each semester unit. Chemistry 111/112Lab adds up to 4 units, so you can do the math! 
    • Third, make use of the USF Learning Center and the Chemistry HELP! room, Harney 418.

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 into each following course.

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Updated 2/6/2015