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CHEM110

CHEMISTRY OF THE LIVING WORLD

Course Breakdown

 

Test 1: 15%
Test 2: 15%
Laboratories: 20%
Exam: 50%

Course Information

 

Recommended Textbook:
Fundamentals of Organic Chemistry (7th, 6th or 5th ed) - McMurry
UoA Course Website: link

Basic Information

CHEM 110 is a relatively hard Chemistry paper but does establish a lot of groundwork for further studies in the medical field. There is a lot of content and concepts to learn and a wealth of past papers with tricky questions to practice with. The course coordinator uploaded past papers along with their answers in 2014 so doing those papers provided good practice.

Within your course guide is an extensive amount of notes with lots of places for you to fill in. Most the lecturers simply went through the stuff within your course guide (on the lecture slides) and you filled in the blanks.

This paper has two tests and one exam. In 2015, Test 1 tested Block 1, Block 2 and the first half of Block 3 and Test 2 tested the second half of Block 3, Block 4, Block 5 and the first half of Block 6. The exam tested all of the semesters content.

This course also uses BestChoice, an online revision tool which asks you relevant questions or calculations about concepts taught in the lectures. It's similar enough to the Mastering assignments from the BIOSCI papers.

​In 2015 there was a chem110 facebook page, that the lecturers monitored and answered questions on which many students found very useful.

 

Laboratory Component

These labs required a pre-lab and in-lab assessment. You did the pre-lab in BestChoice, printed it out and gave it in along with your in-lab assessment. These labs were fun and involved pretty similar things altogether; titration, filtration, vacuum drying etc. They were moderately connected to the course content but one thing about the Chem labs were that they did not give you a definitive mark but rather an approximate mark from 1 to 5. They used this to give you a total lab mark at the end. It helped to pre-read the lab, practiced the calculations you had to do on the BestChoice pre-lab so you could do everything in the lab smoothly. Also, it paid off to write as neatly as possible in the lab answer sheets

 

Lecture Content

Foundations

This block was taught entirely by Dr Judy Brittain in approximately 8 lectures in 2015. This section was considered by many to be very foundational; meaning it was likely that most people who did Chemistry in high school had done parts of this block before but was by no means easy. The lecturer was considered by many to be very clear, tested very fairly and was knowledgeable in her content.  (Please note, Dr Judy Brittain has now retired). 

 

Functional Groups Part 1

This section was taught by Assoc. Professor Brent Copp in approximately 6 lectures in 2015. This section was considered quite straightforward in terms of lecture content. The lecturer himself is considered by many to be a very clear, approachable and an effective lecturer, thus, this section was quite enjoyable to most. Although described as 'straightforward', as usual, care must be taken since it was not always easy in the tests or exams.

 

Kinetics

This section was taught by Professor Jadranka Travas-Sejdic. This section was very mathematically based and considered quite hard by many. This section in the course guide was slightly different (compared to Block 1 and 2) in that it had a lot of text and required a lot of conceptual understanding. Tips to doing well in this section was doing many past papers and practicing the calculations and memorising (and understanding!) key definitions of terms mentioned during lectures.

 

Spectroscopy

This section was taught by Assoc. Professor Brent Copp again and a similar approach could be used for this section as for sections such as the Foundation and Functional Groups Part 1 sections. Special note: do practice, practice and practice. This section requires a lot of practice in order to be able to figure out the structure - do lots and lots of past papers.

 

Acids and Bases

This section was taught by Jadranka Travas-Sejdic again and a similar approach could be used for this section as for Kinetics section. Remember to practice lots of problems - the mathematics and the concepts were quite tricky and could easily catch some out. Also note, you shouldn't need to be able to derive the equations (despite the fact that the lecturer likes to show you the derivation during lectures).

 

Functional Groups Part 2

This section was taught by Dr Viji Sarojini and Dr David Barker in 2015. This section was quite hard in that there was a lot to learn. It was imperative that you paid a bit more attention in Dr Sarojini's lectures. However, she was overall considered to be clear and knowledgeable in her section. This section could be approached in a similar fashion as to the Functional Groups Part 1 section; doing past papers, understanding and memorising concepts and facts.