boyiephd (boyiephd) wrote in chemgradschool,
boyiephd
boyiephd
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Graduate Placement Exams

It's that time of the year..or at least it's going to be that time of the year soon. I know that several people have been asking me about graduate placement exams that use the ACS standardized exam. Asmuch as I am NOT a fan of these exams, I'm wondering what other people think is the best way to study for these.

My personal experience is studying through my Chemistry GRE book and review and studying the crap outta that. Also, the questions on the chem GRE and the ACS exams are similar, at least in scope. As far as textbooks to study from, here is stuff that I found most pertinent...along with little mini reviews

Physical Chemistry:
1) Physical Chemistry, Atkins, the latest edition
-THE ULTIMATE PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY BOOK. Well, it's the one I primarily used as an undergraduate (for both PChem I and II). It helped out tremendously in reviewing thermodynamics, but the electrochemistry part wasnt really useful. The exam I took covered quantum, thermodynamics, and kinetics, so I give it a A on covering the latter two topics.

2) Quantum Chemistry, 5th Edition, Levine
-In addition to my own quantum chem notes from undergrad, this book (which we used in the grad lvl class) helped out tremendously on the grad placement exam. If you're going to be a hardcore physical chemist, use this..as for me..it's in my 'library'

Inorganic Chemistry:
1) Inorganic Chemistry 2nd edition, Miessler and Tarr
-One of the books we used in undergrad. Best part is that it's not thick and does a really good review of descriptive inorganic chemistry. I highly recommend the chapter on simple bonding models which totally helps out when reviewing for group theory. Also, it has one of the best explanation of 'isolobal' and the '18 electron rule' for organometallics. Totally helped out.

2) Inorganic Chemistry: Principles of Structure and Reactivity, 4th Edition, Huheey, Keiter and Keiter
-This is what I used in the grad level class as an undergrad and it has everything. It's the Atkins for inorganic, but it's thick and it's sooooo hard to trudge through by yourself. (The same can be said for Atkins). I recommend using the Miessler and Tarr for basic studying, and then using this book to go into more detail. These two work well together IMHO.

Organic Chemistry:
1) Organic Chemistry 5th Edition, Carey
-My undergrad textbook. LOVE it. Learn it. Even though I personally am not a fan of organic chemistry, going through the summaries at the end of each chapter totally helped me study for the placement exam. I prefer this one over the Brown and Foote. In addition, if you are pursuing organic for grad school, it really helps since your advanced organic texts are by Carey as well.

2) Organic Chemistry 4th Edition, Brown, Foote, and Iverson (previous versions just had Brown and Foote)
-What my friends used. They likedit for some reason. I looked through it, and going through Carey to this one is bleh.

That's all. I only had to take these three exams, so yeah..for those who have to take the Biochem ad Analytical Placement exams..what are y'alls thoughts?
Tags: acs exams, graduate placement
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I have a soft spot for MacQuarrie and Simon's p.chem. book. It presents the material in an extremely sensible manner (quantum before thermo/kinetics) and is also helpful for building your back muscles and traps from lugging it around all over the place. :)

The small black Wilkinson/Cotton inorganic book (not the boulder-sized orange-covered behemoth) held me in good stead for my inorganic qualifying exam in my first year of grad school.

I made it by the skin of my teeth for organic, so I am probably not the best person to recommend anything for that area.

o O (Yes, I'm just commenting away while procrastinating on the entire thesis-writing thing I should be doing....)