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% based on your 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.


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 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.

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, or do I turn it in the day I make up the lab?  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 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, and when you turn them in they will be late.

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

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 later during that week.

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.