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Chemistry LibreTexts

Ways Not to Succeed in Your Chemistry Courses

  1. Be absent frequently. Let the slightest indisposition keep you at home. Pamper that tired feeling. Think of others-it might be catching. 
  2. Skip class by leaving at least 2-3 days before the start of every official university break (spring break, Thanksgiving break, etc.). After all, if every student skips out early for breaks, the professor can skip out too. He/she will appreciate that.
  3. In order for the professor to get acquainted with you sooner, do one or more of the following to get noticed: When attending class:
    1. make a dramatic entrance after the lecture begins,
    2. dramatically pack up your book bag and leave before the end of class,
    3. yawn loudly and frequently,
    4. talk loudly to your neighbors,
    5. make and answer calls on your cell phone,
    6. loudly drum on the desk with your pencil or pen,
    7. complain loudly before the whole class about how difficult and unreasonable the professor’s class and expectations are.
  4. Do not pay attention to the graphs, charts, and figures the instructor puts up on the overhead transparency during class.  They do not make sense anyway. And besides, your date last night had much better ones.
  5. Do not read the chemistry textbook assignments. After all, it requires time that you could be doing something more worthwhile, such as watching American Idol or Dancing with the Stars. And besides, all the chemistry gobbledygook that you need to know is discussed in class by the professor anyway.
  6. Postpone doing your chemistry problem set until 11 p.m. of the night before it is due. After all, you can work on it all night, sleep through your morning classes, and still get it turned in on time.
  7. Better yet, find someone who will let you copy their chemistry problem set. After all, it does not take as much time and you will not have to expend any energy actually thinking and learning.
  8. Party hearty with your friends the night before a chemistry exam or quiz. It is more fun than studying. And besides, how hard could the test really be?
  9. Don’t review your old exams, problem sets, and quizzes before the final. Let the dead past lie in peace.
  10. Your best chance to pass a chemistry exam is to study all night before the exam and appear in class bleary eyed, mentally fogged, and barely awake.
  11. If you can’t dazzle your instructor with brilliance on essay questions, baffle him with B.S. He might just award you points for being clever or entertaining.
  12. Do not show your work on exam problems, even if asked to do so. The instructor will appreciate not having to award partial credit and spending so much time grading your exam.
  13. Buy an airline ticket to Florida for Tuesday of finals week, and then beg the professor to let you take your chemistry final, which has been scheduled all semester for Thursday, early.  He will appreciate not being inconvenienced by having to grade your final at all.
  14. Do not attend lab at the scheduled time, but come at a time more convenient for you. That way the professor will not be bothered by other students and you can have his/her undivided attention. He or she may appreciate alibis, especially unique ones.
  15. Do not record experimental data and observations while in the laboratory. Wait several days. After some observations and data have been forgotten, your lab report will not take you as long to write, and will not be as difficult to grade.
  16. Never work with clean glassware.  Many discoveries have resulted from chance impurities.
  17. If the text says that two certain reagents give a white precipitate when mixed, but your experiment produces a blue one, do not question why.  It is just chemistry!  In fact, why bother with laboratory at all when the results are all in the book? Avoid contradictions.
  18. If you do all of the above, and yet a passing grade still stares you in the face, you are hopelessly intelligent.