Session S39b (Tuesday, 2pm, Thomas 117)

P502: Notable high school chemistry concepts not mastered prior to entering general chemistry

Anna George, Diana Mason (University of North Texas, USA)

With the advent of the end-of-course (EOC) State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness (STAAR) exams in chemistry, it is necessary to hone in on specific topics that need targeted attention. In this study 279 post secondary students enrolled at a large north Texas public university were evaluated as to their retention of typical first semester general chemistry concepts using the nationally recognized American Chemical Society (ACS) California Chemistry Diagnostic Exam 1997 (CA Dx). The five most common misconceptions held by these general chemistry students were identified as: bond polarity, use of significant figures in laboratory procedures, Lewis dot structures, nomenclature, and algebraic relationships in gas laws. In addition, possible sources of these errors and suggestions for correction are discussed.

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