Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"Today we covered: the general principles acids and bases, acidic and basic trends, Ka, Kb, neutralization reactions, determining the pH of a weak acid using an ICE table and determining conjugates of acids and bases. I also gave him a quiz at the beginning of the session which he was able to do well on."
"The student and I reviewed oxidation-reduction and chemical equilibrium. He had questions about determining what ion is more easily oxidized when given multiple ions, about solving chemical equilibrium problems that do not obey the 5% rule, and about solving solubility equilibrium problems using the common ion effect. We reviewed these concepts in the AP Chemistry exam guide."
"Today the student wanted to review some material that confused her in her class review session relating to complex molecular geometries (those with more than 4 electron orbitals surrounding a central atom) as well as Lewis structures. We discussed the geometries and I had her draw out a few Lewis structures. Following this, we moved onto kinetics. I made it very clear that kinetics is a highly experimental field, and thus requires analysis of data. We went over tangent lines for concentration plots to see what a rate is, the effects of concentration, temperature, phase, and catalysts on reactions, how to analyze data to determine the order of a reaction with regard to a given reactant, reaction mechanisms, elementary reactions, and determining the rate law from the rate-limiting step. When prompted with questions, she was able to immediately apply the material with ease. We finished with a discussion of activation energy and energy-reaction diagrams."
"We covered more stoichiometry this time. Instead of just converting grams to moles, there were also problems converting Liters of gas to moles. I left the student with the rest of the worksheet to complete, after making sure I looked it over and asked her what she thought she needed to do to complete each problem and making sure she knew how to do them."
"We went over multiple problems from a practice test the student had completed. We went over titration curves, equilibrium, gas laws, and energetics of reactions. We covered each point on a titration curve and what calculations to use based on the species present. We also went over some test-taking strategies. Overall, the student seemed to understand the material very well."
"Today, the student and I went over the chemistry questions we had finished yesterday and did some more. We did a lot of redox balancing and galvanic cell questions. Stoichiometry was always involved, and questions with the Nernst equation were the most difficult. The trickiest problems for him were those for which he was given a certain weight of an element and asked to figure out how long it could produce a current with a certain amount of amps. After we systematically dissected this type of problem, he did fine."
"I did a lesson on bonds and molecular shapes. There will be questions covering this material on the multiple choice part of the AP exam. By the end of the session he was able to answer questions concerning bonds and shapes. I left him with work sheets to complete. I am going over a practice AP test he took and we will review it on Saturday."
"Today's session was dedicated to chemical kinetics. The student and I discussed how to determine rate laws as well as how to determine the rate of reactions based on the reaction order. We also learned how to determine rate based on the temperature of the reaction using the Arrhenius equation. Finally, we looked at potential energy diagrams, and how they relate to the kinetics of a reaction. He had gone over some of this material before, so he picked up the new concepts very quickly. I was happy to see that he did well on the review questions that I provided him as well. We will cover the concept of elementary steps in the next session, as well as how to predict the products of reactions."
"The student and I went over organic chemistry and talked about how it would get asked on the AP test, and therefore his teacher's tests. Naming of compounds is tricky, but systematic. He struggled with it slightly at first, but as he did more of it he generally got the hang of it. Organic is all about memorization, which he can certainly handle, and there are no free-response questions about it, so it's much easier than anything else and also just not asked nearly as much as everything else because that is why there are separate courses about it in college."
"The student's exam is coming up in a few weeks, and for practice, her class has to take two tests next week. Overall, I think she is more than prepared. To be thorough, we spent our session talking about the hardest questions in her review packets. She has been taking practice exams, which are much harder than the test itself. I do think we had a very productive session. I can tell that she is getting more questions right simply from becoming more familiar with the test style. Since her knowledge is already solid, I'm really excited to see how the exam goes."
"We focused on solubility products and how they are connected to acid/base chemistry today. We also discussed rate laws and how to calculate rates for first order, second order, and tertiary reactions. Finally, we discussed the Arrhenius Equations and how they're used to calculate rate constants."
"The student will soon be taking a review test over topics including equilibrium, acid-base chemistry, and kinetics. In preparation, we selected multiple-choice and free-response questions over these topics for her to complete. As in the last session, she encountered problems that had her dealing with buffers and weak acid/strong base titrations; she was much more comfortable solving these problems this time than she was the previous time. She occasionally had trouble predicting whether precipitation would occur using Q and the solubility product, but seemed to understand it well enough to correct herself over time. We were unable to reach any kinetics questions, but her grasp of the other material seems fairly strong."