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S215 Chemistry: essential concepts

Are you ready for S215? is a set of diagnostic self-assessment questions for prospective students of this chemistry module.

The questions cover requisite mathematical skills and key scientific concepts. They will enable you to judge for yourself whether or not you have an appropriate level of knowledge to embark on Chemistry: essential concepts.

Suggested prior OU study

In S215 it is assumed that you have a certain amount of existing scientific knowledge from your earlier studies. Specifically, we recommend that you have already completed the following Open University (OU) modules before attempting S215.

Questions in science (S111) and Science:concepts and practice (S112) or one of its predecessors (e.g. S103, S104, S141, S155) are the most helpful modules to have studied. These cover the scientific and mathematical concepts you should be familiar with before starting S215. 

If you are coming to S215 without having studied S111 and S112 then it is essential that you establish whether or not your background and experience provide you with a sound platform from which to tackle the module. You should be able to start S215 if you have studied chemistry to one of the following levels: A level, Certificate of Sixth Year Studies (Scotland), or HNC.

If you are unsure, then please contact an adviser at the Open University.

Other skills

You will also find it useful to have acquired, or begun to acquire, the following skills;

Basic study skills: organising your study time; learning to pace your study; effective reading to identify and extract relevant information from irrelevant or redundant material; retrieving data from scientific texts and accounts.

Writing skills: writing coherently; structuring and presenting arguments in a logical sequence; writing a scientific account with appropriate diagrams.

Cognitive skills: recognising trends and patterns in data; using evidence to support or refute theories and arguments; assessing the adequacy/limitations of explanations.

Problem-solving skills: solving problems using given evidence (including negative evidence), and using more than one source of information.

Computer skills: basic mouse and keyboard skills; familiarity with basic Windows operations and web browsers; saving, moving and backing up files.
 

Preparation for S215

If, after completing the AYRF, you feel that you have the required skills and knowledge to begin S215 then you can register for the next presentation. You may want to obtain a copy of The Sciences Good Study Guide (Northedge et al., Open University, 1997, ISBN 0–7492–3411–3), which is specially written for OU science students and contains a wealth of guidance on studying science modules. It includes a large ‘maths help’ section with almost 100 pages of worked examples of basic mathematical calculations. 

However, if you do not yet feel ready to do this, or had difficulty with particular parts of the AYRF, then you may wish to consider revisiting sections of prior study, Specifically
- S111 Topics 1, 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, 10.
- S104 Book 4. Book 3 Chapters 4, 6 - 11, Book 7 Chapter 3, Maths Skills and
- S141 Maths for Science Chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10.

If you have not previously studied with the OU, the relevant background may be found in:
- Any general ‘A’ level Chemistry textbook, such as: A-Level Chemistry - Core Text Fourth Edition Eileen Ramsden, Nelson Thornes.(2000)  ISBN 978-0-7487-5299-7.
- Or a general chemistry text such as:Chemistry Rob Lewis and Wynne Evans, Palgrave Macmillan Ltd. (2011) ISBN 9780230291829 (print) 978023044921 (e-book)

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