What's New
(updated December 12)

End of Semester FAQ




Teaching Assistants

Office Hours

Unknown Summary Sheets




Herr Doktor Anderson


How are grades determined for this class?

70% of your grade is based on the lab, and 30% is based on the in-class quizzes.   The lab grade is about 95% lab write-ups, and the remainder is based on a safety/technique evaluation by your TA and a notebook grade you receive when you turn in your notebook at the end of the semester.  For more details read the Syllabus and the Grading page of this website.

Will there be a grading curve at the end?

No.  We look at borderline cases, but stick pretty closely to 90/80/70/60.  "Borderline" last semester meant anyone who was within 1 percentage point of the next higher grade.  Grades are determined by how many points you rack up during the semester, not through negotiation when the course is over.


The quizzes are like a comprehensive final exam worth 30% of your grade, but given in weekly installments.

How do I know what will be on the quizzes?

Quiz questions are based on the previous week's experiment, so if you paid attention in class, read and understood the introductory material in the lab manual, and understood the procedures and calculations required for the experiment, you will be well-prepared for the quizzes.  Quiz questions come from these sources:
1)    Material covered in lecture the week before.
2)    Material in the Lab Manual introduction to the previous week's experiment.
3)    Calculations similar to those required for the previous week's lab.
4 )   Questions similar to the post-lab questions.

Almost every week there will be calculational problems as well as short answer problems. You will need a calculator every week except for the quiz on Experiment 3.

Can I take a make-up quiz if I miss lecture?

No.  There are no make-up quizzes.  You are allowed to drop one quiz, so if you miss a lecture, that's the quiz you will drop.

What happens if I miss two quizzes?

You drop one zero, and the other one counts toward your grade.  Each individual quiz is worth 3.3% of your overall grade.

If I miss a week do I still have to take the quiz the following week on the lab that I missed?

Yes you do.  You will have missed the lecture, so hie thee to the Power Point Presentations page and take a look at the material that was covered in lecture. Familiarize yourself with the experimental procedure even though you didn't do it, and it would also be a really good idea to do the post-lab questions, since you'll have to do them eventually anyway.


Where do I turn in late lab reports?

You can turn them in to the stockroom (4.134), to your TA or any other CH204 TA, or to me (5.220A).  Whomever you turn the report in to will sign and date it and put it in your TA's mailbox. If you slide your report under a door somewhere, it will be considered turned in when it is discovered (provided the janitorial staff doesn't dispose of it first).

Turn in late reports ASAP -- do not wait until the following week to turn them in, because you lose 10% per day on late reports.

If I miss a lab, is the pre-lab automatically late?  And what about the lab report that was due on the day I missed?

The pre-lab is always due the day you do the experiment, so if you miss a week, the pre-lab for that experiment will be due on the day you make up the lab. If you are absent once, whatever was due that day will be due when you return, without penalty.  Any unexcused absences after the first one do not extend the due date on the pre-lab or report that were due that day, so when you turn them in they will be late.

Can I make up a missed lab later that same week?

Our weekly lab schedule actually runs from Wednesday to Tuesday.  We start new labs on Wednesday, and Tuesday is the last day to do any particular lab.  So our Monday and Tuesday labs are more like Thursday and Friday, and most of the make-up times come BEFORE your regularly scheduled class.

It is sometimes possible to make up a lab the same week rather than waiting until the end of the semester. If you know in advance that you will miss a lab, let me know as far ahead of time as possible, and it may be possible to make up the lab ahead of your regularly scheduled lab time (or on Tuesday if you have a Monday lab).

What is an unknown summary sheet?

In some of the experiments, you have to identify an unknown or determine an unknown concentration.  For these experiments (2, 3, 4, 7, and 8) you will turn in an additional piece of paper with your report that lists your identification of the unknown.  The unknown summary sheet is worth 20 points and is graded based strictly on accuracy.  Labs without an unknown summary sheet are worth 55 points each, and labs with an unknown summary sheet are worth 75 points each.


Do all the labs take four hours to complete?

No.  Most of them can be done in 2½ - 3 hours, but there are a couple that will take 3½ or 4 hours to complete.

Do you have any tips for doing well in this class?

Lots of 'em.  Here's a few:

1)  Start the lab reports early. They can take a very long time, some longer than others.  Don't wait until the weekend to start, because if you have questions, you might not be able to get answers in time.

2)  Study for the quizzes.  Make sure you know how to do the post-lab problems.  Reread the lab intro.  Review the lecture slides and the notes you took.  The quizzes are like a final exam that is worth 30% of your grade, but it is given in weekly installments to make it easier to study for.  So study for them.

3)  Work together, but do your own work.  It often helps to do the lab reports and post-labs in small study groups, but if all you do is copy off your friends, you will get killed on the quizzes. Make sure you understand the material.


E-mail Dr. Anderson or your TA.