What do you need to buy for Chem 1210?

Hi guys,


You might be wondering what items you need to buy for Chemistry 1210. Here is a brief list:


  • Textbook
  • Lab manual
  • Lab notebook
  • Calculator
  • Online homework access


If you wish, just listen to the following podcast to hear more about the items you need for this class. You can instead read the text below too if you prefer reading this message.



Textbook: Chemistry: A Central Science 13th edit by Brown, Lemay, et al. A used 12th edition is a great money saver, the 11th edit or older might be slightly trickier to use. Look for books now if you can on Amazon or other online retailers. One thing to watch out for either online or in our bookstores is often you will find soft cover books for a small discount. These discounts usually aren’t worth it in the end because you will not get as much back for you book if you plan on selling them. You will get more use from this book if you take Chem 1220, so keep ahold of it until then! Online books are available too and these can be good deals if you enjoy that type of format. The book can cost anywhere from $25-300 depending on which edition, if it’s used or new, hardcopy or digital, etc.


Lab manual: You need to buy a very specific lab manual for Ohio State’s own general chemistry course specifically for the AU2016 semester. You can usually only find these at campus location bookstores. Be cautious that last year’s lab manual would be unacceptable this year. The lab manual costs about $50 at the OSU Barnes & Noble bookstore.


Lab notebook: A wire-bound, copy-set notebook is required for use in the lab (so you can make copies of your lab data that your Teaching Assistant can keep on file). Any type of notebook with about 100 or more pages is perfect. There is a specific notebook made for just OSU available at the bookstores that most people end up using, which costs about $25.


Calculator: We allow only two calculators for exams, the TI-30Xa or the TI-30XIIs. The latter, the TI-30XIIs is better in my opinion. You can buy this calculator at Walmart, Target, Meijer, etc. for about $10-14 or the bookstore for about $25. See the following link for more info on this policy.


Online Homework: We will use Sapling Learning for our online homework. This service costs about $30 if you wait until the course website opens and later follow the links from there to setup your account. You can buy access from the bookstore too, but it will cost about $50 there.


Other items: I primarily lecture by writing on the chalkboard, so you’ll need something to write on for lecture. The bookstores often bundle items like periodic tables, safety goggles, and/or a study guide with the textbook. While these items could be helpful, none of them are required. In fact, we ask that you don’t bring any goggles to lab other than the type we will give you for free on the first day of class.


I hope to have future blogs and podcasts updated before classes start throughout the next two weeks on topics such as:

  • The syllabus
  • Some chemistry review topics
  • Tips for success
  • Frequently asked questions, if there are any!


Thanks for reading this blog! This blog and the associated podcast are new to my course this year. Hopefully you find the audio or the print versions helpful means of disseminating information. Leave comments below if you wish and feel free to email throughout the course whenever you have questions.


10 thoughts on “What do you need to buy for Chem 1210?

  1. A couple FAQs:

    Do you have to buy a book? A: No, you do not need to buy a book. You can access the book for free via the 18th Ave Library (also called the SEL library). You can also share with your friends/roommates, use alternate texts/e-texts like the openstax.org general chemistry textbook, or you just can just try to live without the book. I think reading some kind of text and working problems is very important if you want to do well in this course.

    Are any other calculators allowed: A: No calculators other than those two exact brand/model numbers are allowed. This policy is set so calculators can easily and quickly be checked prior to examinations where there is very little time to get exams started.

  2. There are two labs for 1210 each week – a 55 minute lab and a ~3 hour lab. Is there a difference between what is done in each?

    • Great question! The shorter “lab” is truly a recitation session. In this session, you’ll work on an activity with a teaching assistant in a class of about 25 students. The longer session is the actual lab session where you will do experiments. The very first lab period will have a lab intro activity to get everyone ready for lab.

  3. Our course website will not likely open until late next week or early of the first week of classes. Our first homework though is not due until Thursday evening of week 2. I will have some remarks soon on homework strategies, but these online homework sets will be relatively short (2 hour max) sets setup kind of like quizzes. So I’d recommend holding off on these sets until your preferred time between Monday-Thursday of the due week for each after all of the content has been covered in lecture.

    For those looking for the syllabus, it is almost ready. It should be posted here tomorrow along with the second blog/podcast post.

  4. I stopped by the book store on campus and they told me I was required to have the custom edition of the textbook with Pearson access for this course. This is slightly different than what was said on this post. I’m just seeking clarification. Thanks!

    • There is only one new textbook bundle that the chemistry department will list for all Chem 1210 and 1220 courses, which is the 13th edition with mastering chemistry (this is the Pearson access). If you happen to buy this book, you may end up using the Mastering Chemistry access code next semester, though we will not use it this semester in my course. Any book we list for a course will be “required” according to the bookstore, so you always have to take what the bookstore says with a grain of salt. You may still opt for a used book, earlier edition, etc. and you can always purchase access to Mastering Chemistry separately should you ever need it.

  5. FAQ: The bookstore says I need the 13th edition with online access. Do I need to buy a textbook with “online access”? A: No, you do not need the online access for Chem 1210. The bookstore only makes one new textbook bundle available for all Chem 1210 classes and this textbook package comes with online access to Mastering Chemistry bundled in. We will not be using Mastering Chemistry in my Chem 1210 class. Some classes do use it so it is possible you may need it for Chem 1220. You can always buy this access separately if and when you need it (it is about $60-70). Hopefully whatever textbook options you can find, like but opting for a used book or the used 12th edition, lead to greater amount of savings than this, should you ever even need to buy access to Mastering Chemistry.

  6. I know a lot of people who ordered the lab manual and the lab notebook have been notified that their stuff is back-ordered, will we be okay to not have these things until they come in? We haven’t been given a date they think that we will get our stuff yet

    • This seems to happen every year, another reason why I have a very large disdain for bookstores! So what happens for the first week and lab 0 is that you can get a copy of the lab manual pages for this lab once you are at lab. Each lab floor in Celeste (so the second and third floors) has a storeroom window in the middle area of the hallway, which is were you will throughout the term you will go to check out lab equipment, get new glassware, etc. These windows have copies of lab 0. I think someone is around from at least 8am-5pm everyday. You can ask your lab TA about what you should do for experiment 1 if you do not yet have your materials for the following week. I think you can get a copy of Exp 1 and some extra notebook pages from the same location.

      One other option you have is to checkout other campus bookstores in addition to Barnes and Noble. I’m not sure how many of these bookstores exist and if they carry our lab materials, but SBX and the OSU bookstore in Enarson I think are still around. Anyone who has found materials recently is welcome to comment!

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