Wednesday, June 12, 2024

How To Be Better At Chemistry

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Distinguish Important Vs Difficult

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This is an incredibly important point. I see this all the time with Chemistry Students. It is important that Chemistry Students know the difference between important concepts and difficult ones. Yes, many important concepts and chemistry techniques are difficult, but not all of them that are difficult are as important.

Please do not take this point the wrong way and start ignoring everything thats difficult! Just be mindful of what topics are important when you start digging through the book or working extra problems. If you are unsure if something is important, ask your professor. Ive seen study groups spend an hour trying to figure out how to solve a problem that was incredibly difficult that wasnt relevant to the information they were studying. It was time wasted. Your study time is precious. Focus on the material thats important.

Utilize Lab Time Wisely

The hands-on approach is one of the most exciting ways to learn chemistry.

Attending the chemistry lab is always a fun experience and provides us with a lot of necessary learning.

Ensure that you never miss an opportunity to work with chemicals in the lab.

Working through chemistry problems in the lab and conducting exciting experiments in a practical environment is the best way to strengthen the understanding and knowledge base of the subject.

Determine Areas Of Confusion

If you come across topics, concepts, or chemistry problems that seem confusing to you, take action! Dont hesitate. First, look it up online. There are a lot of great videos on that can help you figure things out. Next, bring it to your study group. Discuss it with the group and see if your peers can clear things up for you and help you understand. Finally, talk to your professor about it. Most professors are happy to help when students come to their office hours.

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Key Takeaways: How To Learn Chemistry

  • It’s possible to learn the basic concepts of chemistry online.
  • Chemistry concepts should be studied in a logical order because concepts build upon each other. Jumping into the middle of the science can lead to confusion.
  • While it’s fine to learn chemistry principles online, be aware that the lab component is an important part of the science. It’s a good idea to supplement textbook learning with experiments using a chemistry kit.

Tip : Know Different Chemical Reactions And Avoid Common Errors

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Responding to reactions is a classic question that you will likely find on a Chemistry exam and knowing this area of Chemistry will form the basis of most of the content that will be covered in the subject throughout High School. Often, you will be given either the reactants or the products and be asked to fill in the blanks within the equation.

From my experience, students are generally confused as to how they are expected to know what the missing information is and how to answer questions of this kind. Just remember, there is nothing new under the sun! The reactions will follow predictable patterns which your teacher will run through in class. Decomposition, combustion, redox, and doubles displacement are all common types of chemical reactions that you will cross in your studies. You will most likely be expected to be able to identify these in an exam question. Knowing your Periodic Table and common compounds will really help at this stage! Before doing any calculations, it is always important to check the equation you are working with. Ask yourself: is it balanced? Do the amount of reactants equal the amount of products? If your answer is no, balance the equation first before moving on!

Firstly, count how many elements are on each side of the equation:

On the L hand side Fe = 2, O = 3 and C = 1

On the R hand side Fe = 1, O = 2 and C = 1

To balance the equation, add numbers in front of the elements:

2Fe2O3 + 3C -> 4Fe + 3CO2

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Seek Out Help If You Dont Understand Chemistry Well Enough

You may not like Chemistry, but to have any chance of clearing up your misconceptions and doubts about topics, you have to be a self-starter and reach out to others for help. If youve tried for hours and hours to understand a topic and still cant seem to, its sometimes good to have a friend or teacher to offer a fresh way to look at the concept.

Naturally, the first source of help is your Chemistry teacher.

However, your Chemistry teacher may be the sort who absolutely refuses to help you outside of class hours, and is as helpful as an elephant in a minefield.

At this point, many students will just give up on trying to clarify their misconceptions at all and leave that area of their syllabus not fully understood. When it comes to the actual Chemistry O level exam, they then get a nasty shock at the topics they dont understand.

Be persistent and dont give up when your Chemistry teacher offers little to no help, for it is just one obstacle you can overcome. After all, studying for Chemistry exams is a marathon, not a short sprint!

You can also ask your friends who are better in Chemistry to teach you that topic, and if they oblige, youll get the knowledge just the same, which leads in to my next study tip.

Seeking out help is a key part of how to study for the Chemistry O Levels.

Here you can meet your ideal teach who can help you to understand you what you need.

Use A Flashcard App Like Anki Or Quizlet For Studying Formulas And Vocabulary Lists

Studying chemistry? Use a flashcard to be good at it! Did you know that there are many different ways to be good at chemistry?

For example, using a flashcard app like Anki or Quizlet can help you study formulas and vocabulary lists.

There are many benefits to using this method, such as seeing the information in different formats and quiz yourself on previous material.

The best part is that these apps are free, so they dont cost anything!

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Diligent Homework For High Gpa

While discussing the helpful tips to grasp chemistry, we cant avoid the extreme importance of homework. It demands extra time and enormous effort to understand the topics youve just finished. Different studies related to homework & achievement show that 77% of students linked homework with positive achievement. 57% of parents also supported the idea of homework, thinking that it is the best practice to score high, especially if we are talking about the subject chemistry.

Teachers put their emphasis on doing homework diligently. They consider that it effectively helps students learn fast and retain all the information they got from their class. Revising class notes has proven far more effective than other printed study materials like books or references.

Study Strategies For Chemistry

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Students often ask for advice about how to study chemistry. There is no single best method for studying, but here are a few suggestions. These suggestions were developed with organic chemistry in mind, but they apply equally well to all types of chemistry courses.

Before lecture:

Scan the assigned reading for that unit. Read the first page of the chapter, as well as the first few sentences of each section. These usually introduce or summarize key concepts for the chapter.

During lecture:

  • Take copious notes.
  • Do not focus solely on what is written on the board. Listen and copy down key verbal points as well.

After lecture:

  • Carefully read the assigned textbook reading on concepts you need further understanding for.
  • Expand and clarify your lecture notes based on the text reading. Discuss points that are unclear with your study group.
  • Do the example problems in the book and write down the solution to each problem as it is encountered, even if you know it well. Writing an answer helps you remember the concept.
  • Make flash cards for new vocabulary words, reactions, etc. as encountered.
  • Do all of the problems of the problem-set and textbook as soon as you are able to and as early as possible. That way, if you have any questions, you have plenty of time to go to your professors office hours or ask a tutor.
  • Go through the stack of flash cards.
  • Make copious use of office hours and discussion.

On Using the Textbook and Working Problems

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Write Everything Down In Your Chemistry Lab Notebook

4. Are you in doubt about if you need to write something down during a lab session? Do you think you will not need to write something down? Just DO IT. Write everything down. Also the things you think you might not need. You will regret later if you dont. There are no lab tricks around this.

This hint is probably something the 99% of you already know, but I believe that is SO important that is worth some lines, even an entire post about lab notebooks. This is not actually a trick this is the basis of science. One of the main differences between chemistry and mixing things around and see what happens is that in chemistry you write everything down: exact amounts of reagents, conditions, observations, comparison between what is expected and what happens, yields, TLC analysisAn experiment can turn up completely useless if you do not write down in your lab notebook everything you did.Also, review the notes you have taken. And dont wait much to do this. Do not rely on memory. Trust me, me and many more people before have found out that you never remember.

Tip : The Secret To Success Is Using Formulas

Conversion of known variables into the appropriate unit is one of the most common and disastrous errors I see students make. Even if you have correctly identified the correct equation and the variables, if you fail to use the correct units, then you simply wonât get the right answer! The easiest way to avoid this is to know what the SI units are for each of the equations and keep track of them in your notebook. If in doubt, ask your teacher to explain the method of conversion or simply google the âSI units of equation XXâ.

For example, if you are asked to calculate the force required to accelerate a race car that has a mass of 1.7 tonnes in a straight line at 1.8m/s2, the equation is F = ma. Here, F = the force in Newtons , m = the mass in kilograms , and a = the acceleration in meters per second squared .

If we calculate f where the mass is to be expressed in tonnes, the equation will be:

F = 1.7 x 1.8 m/s2

F = 3.06 Newtons

However, if we convert the mass into kg, then 1.7 tonnes = 1,700 kg. Accordingly, the equation will be:

F = 1,700 x 1.8 m/s2

F = 3,060 Newtons.

As you can see, there is a significant difference in the answers! It is important to always pay attention to the SI units when using an equation and to convert them before plugging them into the equation! A simple mistake like failing to do this, can affect your marks greatly!

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Practice Solving Chemistry Problems

The homework assignments in General Chemistry exist to help you practice solving problems. This is a good reason to never skip the homework. However, sometimes doing the homework problems isnt quite enough.

In addition to doing all, yes I said all, of your homework, you should work extra problems in your study groups! Make the study group active. Work problems on the board. During the week, when you come across problems that you struggle with, save them! Write them down. Take a picture of it with your phone. Save it somehow so you can bring it to your study group and practice it with others.

Difficult Does Not Always Mean Important


Difficult does not always mean important. You have to know the difference between difficult and important material.

Yes There are a lot of topics in Chemistry that are difficult. Calculations and word problems too.

However, it is incredibly important to remember that not everything thats difficult is important.

Let me explain.

Back when I used to teach, I would always have a handful of students that would get hung up on ONE SINGLE PROBLEM. They would go find the hardest problem in their homework, and dissect it for hours.

Sometimes, they would bring me a problem and say, Ive spent hours on this problem and keep getting the wrong answer.

They would want me to solve the problem in front of them and other students.

I would tell them, Look, youve spent too much valuable time on this one problem. You need to move on and practice the other topics.

I would often have students get angry. But I wasnt going to spend 30 minutes of a study session working out the most complicated problems in front of all the students.


Because they wouldnt learn much. Yes, I can solve the problem. If I do it at my speed, nobody will learn anything. If I spend 30 minutes working out the most complicated problem, people tend to get frustrated and in some ways give up.

We dont need people to give up. Its just one problem.

Remember, difficult doesnt always mean important.

If you get hung up on one problem for too long. Just move on.

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Get A Chemistry Education Degree

To be a chemistry teacher, you will need a minimum of a bachelors degree, along with certification from your state. Your degree program will give you the foundation to teach students and feel confident in your subject matter knowledge. Target programs that provide an equal balance of the science of chemistry and the art of teaching. Make sure your program is taught in a style that will help you succeed. For example, if you do better in small classes with individualized attention, choose a school and program that meets those requirements. Youll also need student teaching experience. Its helpful to do your student teaching in the same state where you want to ultimately work. Getting district experience can help you when it comes time to look for your first teaching job.

Familiarize With Your Topic Before Attempting Homework

Well-preparation has its advantages. Students often accept that its the best way to start your chemistry class by getting familiarized with your topic before your class. When students ask how to get good grades in chemistry, we often suggest that they get acquainted with their study topic beforehand. A quick reading of the subject will give you a basic idea and help you understand it better. It will boost your confidence and keep your optimism high for studying. Reading up will also help you point out your doubts and the areas of confusion more effectively. When you ask the teacher to address those doubts, you can get better clarity.

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By Step Guide To Study O Level Chemistry

Students open under stress and do not know how to study for chemistry o level. Students may be perfectly fine with the Practical part of the exam, but falter and freeze up when it comes to the actual theory part of the paper. It especially doesnt help if youve never really been good at Chemistryoften failing tests and exams, either due to test anxiety or lack of preparation. Chemistry is a fantastically intricate and often fascinating subject, but we tend not to appreciate it if we dont do well at it in the first place.

Get Your Basics Right First

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Students tend to rush towards the seemingly tough chapters like Ionic Equilibrium and Electrochemistry to satiate their pangs of exploration of newer topics first. There cannot be a bigger cardinal sin than this.

Make sure that you spend sufficient time on chapters like Mole Concept, Atomic Structure and Gaseous State. The concepts of these chapters form the basis for the later ones and make your journey with Physical Chemistry far more peaceful. Spend as much time of your eleventh grade on these chapters and make sure that you are capable of solving each and every problem type.

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How To Study For Chemistry

Chemistry is one of those classes you either love or dread. At the high school level chemistry is usually not a required course it’s an elective. However, most reputable colleges require all undergraduate students to take at least one chemistry course as a prerequisite to graduation. If you plan on pursuing a career in medicine, engineering, or a field of natural science, then you’re likely going to be required to take at least one chemistry course before you graduate. Chemistry is a challenging subject for most people, but it doesn’t have to be. The number one reason people struggle with chemistry is that they don’t approach it the right way. Below we’ll explore proven strategies and techniques that will, if applied, improve your ability to study and learn chemistry.

Get Help If You Need It

If you havent done well for the Mid Year Chemistry Exam, it may be time to seek help from your teachers. If youre shy about consulting your teachers, some of them are happy to be more discreet about it and allow for after school consultation hours. Even better, theyre often one-to-one, or at the very least, a much smaller group than your big class group. That means you get personalized suggestions and attention from your Chemistry teacher, which often translates into better Chemistry grades overall.

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