I got an a in organic chemistry because of the pandemic

This semester I earned an A in both the survey of organic chemistry lecture and lab classes at my university. I know that this is mainly if not solely due to the classes being completed online due to the pandemic. In the lecture class before the pandemic, I was earning good grades on the homework because I was using Chegg and course hero for answer keys. I did this because homework is not treated like a test. I wanted to earn as many points as possible and I was mostly trying to learn the information. I earned a 56% on the first test, the lowest D for my professor's grading scale. I wanted to do much better than this. it turns out that this was the only test taken on campus without online help or notes.

Once the class went online, i decided to "bullshit" the class because the information was becoming too hard for me to understand. This means that I used Chegg and their question and answer section to find all the answers. I'm sure that 90% of the class was doing the same thing. During the live video lectures that were given, only 2 people consistently asked questions and actually seemed to be trying to learn the information. On test days, we had most of the day to take the timed online test. When I went to Chegg, most of the questions from the test had already been uploaded. I knew this because the images had the class, section number, and date on them. For the last three tests, including the final, I relied solely on the Chegg experts and their answers. Me trying to look up and answer the questions for myself would have taken over the allotted time. Doing it this way took most of the time because I looked and multiple sources from Chegg and picked one. Sometimes the questions were uploaded more than once. Somehow, I earned a 60% on the final, which was my last rotten surprise from this class. Thankfully, since 86% was the lowest A, even with one bad grade, I was able to get the grade I wanted. My first test was replaced by in class and out of class quizzes which I did well in.

Since my grade was probably no more than 86%, if i hadn't bullshitted the class, i would have not gotten an A. My professor did not say not to do this because online proctoring was too expensive and he knew that it would happen anyway. Therefore, due to all the circumstances, this was not cheating by any means. Still, I probably don't know anywhere near what the grade shows from this class.

For the chemistry lab, I did terribly on the midterm, which was right before the pandemic, but did well on the lab reports. My professor gave 3 online lab reports and a final exam. We had less grades than expected. My professor gave bare minimum communication, if that. I asked him some questions about the final and never got a response. When I looked on my transcript, and A appeared. I must have done well on the final since I had a "B+" before it.

I feel that I would not have even got a C in the lecture if there had not been the pandemic. I probably would have gotten a B in the lab. Thanks to COVID_19, I got my first A in a college chemistry class and it was one of the harder ones. I was only taking these 2 classes this semester. I don't know how people can do well in organic chemistry unless the only take those classes that semester and devote their whole life to it while taking it. I am so glad that I chose this semester to take these classes!

Is It Normal?
Help us keep this site organized and clean. Thanks!
[ Report Post ]
Comments ( 6 ) Sort: best | oldest
  • Good for you man, it wasn't your fault the pandemic hit and it'd be unfair for your grades to suffer as a result, so I certainly wouldn't feel bad about this.

    Comment Hidden ( show )
  • I think most teachers and professors are doing a great job under the circumstances. Figuring out how to educate and learn in new settings under a lot of stress is a challenge for anyone.

    But don't think this means that grade means you understand it well enough to use it. Grades are no replacement for real world knowledge. It doesn't sound like you are planning to be a chemist, so the grade is merely just a step to a final degree. But employers will notice if the grade wasn't earned or deserved pretty quickly.

    Comment Hidden ( show )
  • It seems as if you’re using other people’s knowledge to pass your tests. If everyone did this then eventually we end up with a world full of numbskulls. Also what do you do when you get to be in the real world and get a job based on your qualifications then find yourself incompetent at the job because you are a thick little shit that cheated to pass their exams.

    Comment Hidden ( show )
  • As far as I can see, you never get around to asking a question, so I guess you just needed to get this off your chest for some reason.

    Organic chemistry is notoriously challenging because it's highly abstract and involves a lot of memorisation. If you haven't learned techniques which enable you to store and recall a large set of facts that are linked by fuzzy principles and have no obvious relevance to the real world, it will be very difficult to get a good grade on tests.

    I don't know why you took orgo, but my understanding is that it's commonly seen as the course where the dreams of pre-med students die. That's deliberate. The idea is that since medical school involves a lot of memorisation of facts, if someone can't handle the memorisation necessary to pass an undergraduate organic chemistry class, then they're probably not going to make it through med school.

    Although that's the traditional view, the logic seems dubious to me. If someone finds it difficult to retain, say, the relative acidity of a long list of organic molecules, it doesn't necessarily follow that they will also find it difficult to memorise facts relating to physiology, function and pathology of the human kidney or whatever.

    It's sorta like saying that one can only understand American history if they've memorised a long set of dates. The fact is that one can know that the Constitutional Convention took place between May 25 and September 17, 1787, that Fort Sumter was fired on for the first time on April 12, 1861, and a long list of other significant dates, any yet still have no true understanding of the forces at work and the tidal shifts that have occurred in the history of the USA.

    Organic chemistry is obviously very relevant in medicine at the most fundamental level, but it's clearly of day-to-day relevance only to physicians who decide to work in a laboratory.

    If you've now finished the last contact you should ever have with organic chemistry, then heave a sigh of relief, be happy that the current mess has benefited you in a small way, allow yourself to forget everything orgo you tried to cram into your brain and shift your focus to other subjects. However, if you know you're going to have to do more organic chemistry, then you'd be wise to try to figure out some way to get the information covered by the course you've just completed stuck firmly in your memory bank.

    Comment Hidden ( show )
  • I wish I was able to take chemistry in school. Was excited for it before I dropped out. One of my regrets

    Comment Hidden ( show )
  • You can easily get away with it so you may as well cheat and get good grades

    Comment Hidden ( show )
Add A Comment