Study More Efficiently Not Just More
- One of the first steps in coming up with an efficient study strategy is to assess what – in all of the things you are doing to study – seems to help you the most? What gave you the most confidence? If there are some things that you are already comfortable with, perhaps spend less time reviewing those and more time on concepts that are still challenging.
- Take some time to assess where are you having difficulty on the exams. When you get an exam back, retry all of the problems you missed . Do you get farther then you did during the exam? Are you really able to finish them with more time or in a less stressful environment? Do you get stuck on concepts or definitions? on math? on starting the problem?
- Debriefing the exam helps you indentify the conceptual gaps that you need to relearn versus errors that may have resulted from test stress or a misreading of a question.
- If you can start to identify where/how you are struggling with the exam, then you can think about how to make better use of your study time as you prepare for the next one.
Study Tips For General Chemistry
Want to do well in chemistry classes?
Here are some general study tips:
First: FOCUS! Turn off your phone, close messenger, close browser windows, turn off Netflix. Really devote your attention to the task.
Next: ENGAGE! Work proactively with the material
1. Before each exam, review your notes and create a 1-2 page summary of the important ideas in the course so far. Write down important formulas, but also try to capture the big ideas of each chapter or unit.
2. Work practice problems. Do not look at your notes or the book or the solution until the problem is done. If your answer doesnt agree with the solution, dont move on. Work the problem again. By working it until you get the problem right you practice solving the problem correctly. Stopping after you look at the solution means you only practice doing the problem incorrectly. Try to understand what you are doing, dont just memorize.
3. Try to write your own test questions for your study group. If everyone in your study groups writes a few questions, you can have a practice exam. Explaining how to solve your problems to other people is a great way to learn the material more completely.
Last: REFLECT! Learn from your mistakes and use them to improve your work
I hope these tips help you!
Here are some tips on how to solve chemistry problems :
1. Work backward from the goal .
2. Guess the solution and work backward.
3. Break the problem into parts.
4. View the problem as a whole.
Chemistry For Everyone: A Helpful Primer For High School Or College Chemistry
If you need help understanding the most difficult chemistry concepts that will be encountered in college or high school level chemistry, this book is for you. Some of the topics you will learn in this book are solubility, chemical reactions, bonding, unit conversions, and the mole.
Other than that, the book also includes tips for doing homework and advice on how to solve problems. The text of the book is easy to follow.
How To Study For Biochemistry: Quick Takeaways
Here are six useful tips to keep in mind before starting a biochemistry course:
- Start memorizing structures from day one: as soon as you see a new pathway, molecule or reaction note it down and start memorizing it. That goes for things like amino acids, glycolysis, lipid metabolism, the pentose phosphate pathway, nucleotides, and all cofactors and enzymes. Check out this post if you need help on memorizing things fast.
- Review basic and organic chemistry: just for a quick overview and to refresh your memory. It will help with understanding the more challenging topics! Dont worry about going too deep.
- Research your professor: figure out what they ask for in exams, what their lecture/class notes are like or whether the class is worth attending
- Draw things out: this is the best way to get metabolic pathways down from scratch. Visualize the reactions and the changes to molecules. Make sure you understand each step of the process.
- Read assigned texts: if its from a good resource . Review lecture notes after class.
- Make/use flashcards for the facts: the best way to learn and recognize each amino acid. Make your cards more memorable by using mnemonics
Attend Lectures To Reinforce What Youve Learned
As Ive said before, you need to utilize lectures to reinforce the learning you do on your own. The lecture is not the time for you to learn the material. Theres far too much in a standard chemistry course for your teacher to be able to hit on everything during class. Lectures are designed for your professor to go over the key concepts in chemistry, work a couple of example problems and take some questions. Thats it. If you go to a larger university then youre lecture hall will probably be filled with two hundred other students. If you dont get the opportunity to have your questions answered, dont sweat it, there are office hours and email to use. Most schools also have a learning center with specific chemistry tutors if your professor is difficult to get a hold of.
I want to reiterate the fact that you should not be relying on the lecture hall for learning the material. The lecture is by far the most useless aspect of your chemistry learning. Still attend every class, as what you go over will only help reinforce your learning and will give you insight into the concepts your professor thinks are important and therefore will likely be included on the exam.
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Learning Chemistry Takes Time
TIME ON TASK!
Just as you need to take time to practice for sports or learn a foreign language, you need to take time to practice chemistry. We dont expect you to get everything right away in fact some of the best students in these courses had to wrestle with the material before really understanding everything. Make sure you allocate enough time to review the course material and practice problem solving on a regular basis.
There is a reason these courses are not directed readings: all the parts practice problems, reading, lecture, section, labs, office hours, studying on your own or with friends, tutoring work best when you use them together.
The Best Books For Biochemistry
There are several good books for biochemistry depending on your needs and level as a student.
Along with Lippincotts, this is considered the most comprehensive book on biochemistry out there. Its chapters are usually assigned reading at the US, UK and Indian college levels. According to students, it teaches the concepts in a clear way and is fairly easy to read.
Its chapter tests are a great resource for question practice too.
Lippincotts was assigned reading on my course. I enjoyed reading it as it had excellent chapter summaries, diagrams and practice questions. It is quite lengthy though and takes time to go through.
Perfect when matched up with the flashcards.
Usually referred to as Stryers Biochemistry , this is another comprehensive guide worth looking at.
It doesnt come up as frequently as Lippincotts and Lehningers in terms of recommendations, but it has a good reputation on Amazon among university/college students.
The Kaplan series is designed as a more rapid review of USMLE-relevant material. Its solid for a general overview but maybe too sparse for a college biochem major.
Like I mentioned before, the Zanki deck flashcards are based on this.
Part of their 7-book series Step 1 Lecture Notes.
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How To Rationalize Explain And Extrapolate
To illustrate this, we will use a simple example:
First an observation: We observe that water freezes at a certain temperature .
Then, rationalization/explanation: Thanks to previous knowledge, we can explain this observation in simple terms saying that at lower temperatures, molecules vibrate less, and can pack in a more efficient manner. The way water molecules can pack below 0 ºC, gives it a solid state structure.
We can generalize this to any other substance: Depending on how strong are intermolecular interactions between each molecule of a given substance, they will be able to pack in a solid state form more easily .
Then we extrapolate to other systems/molecules: intermolecular forces between hexane molecules are much weaker than between water molecules . This will make it harder to pack them in a solid state structure, thus making its melting point much lower .
And this turns out to be true, as we can easily validate by determining the melting point of hexane.
And this can be made as simple as that or as complex as you would like your model to be.
This way of thinking fits perfectly with chemistry. Thats why I highly recommend it.
If you already took chemistry courses, you are probably familiar with this reasoning process, even if you didnt really notice.
Do Problems In Interesting Places
Most of your exams will be on paper, but that doesnt mean you have to be sitting at your desk to practice! Its extremely important to do a little bit of organic chemistry every day rather than try to learn it in marathon sessions on the weekends. So find ways to integrate it into your life!
Buy washable markers and draw reactions on the windows of your car every time you leave the house or dorm. Challenge yourself to draw out a reaction or two on your bathroom mirror when youre getting ready . Doodle ketones in the margins of your notes for other classes. Write out important reactions, compounds, or facts on post-it notes and leave them in random places, like in the refrigerator, and take a minute to read them over when youre waiting for the microwave. Give yourself fake chemistry tattoos and admire them often .
Tricks like these will break up the monotony of studying and help you get constant exposure to the images, perfect for storing them in your long-term memory. Once youve started to absorb the material, you can use focused study sessions to fill in the gaps. Plus, youll feel like a mad scientist !
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What Will You Learn In Chemistry
There are five fundamental subdisciplines within chemistry:
- Analytical Chemistry
- Organic Chemistry
- Physical Chemistry
Many students have no idea what is in these courses, even after reading the course descriptions, so on this page, we attempt to give some more information about the content and methods of different chemistry classes.
The department also offers courses in Medicinal Chemistry and Environmental Chemistry.
University Of California San Diego
La Jolla, California
UCSD enjoyed a recent success in its Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry when Professor Roger Tsien won the 2008 Nobel Prize in chemistry with Osamu Shimomura and Martin Chalfie for their discovery of and work with green fluorescent protein. UCSDs prior recipient of the Nobel Prize in chemistry was Professor Mario Molina in 1995 for his study of the ozone layer and chlorofluorocarbon gases.
Chemistry research institutes at UCSD include:
- The BioCircuits Institute
- The Center for Aerosol Impacts On Climate and The Environment
- The Center for NMR Spectroscopy and The Imaging of Proteins
- The Center for Systems Biology
- The Liquid Maps Institute
The chemistry department also supports severalresearch facilities and associated technologies. The schools Biophysics Instrumentation Facility provides tools such as:
- A Stopped-flow Fluorimeter
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Go To Class Every Single Class
Go to lecture and lab every single time! Many college professors expect you to be an adult and never take attendance. This may seem to be an obvious study tip, but go to class anyway! Attendance matters because if you dont go to lecture and lab, you will get behind and your grades will drop. Dont ever miss unless you absolutely have to. If you do miss, email your professor and let him or her know! Get notes from other students. You might even be able to attend a lecture or lab from another professor.
Tokyo Institute Of Technology
Tokyo Tech, a top national university for science and technology in Japan, is in the nations premiere center for culture and commerce. Tokyo Tech has become a leading research center in the Far East and can trace its history to the 1881 Tokyo Vocational School. Tokyo Techs Department of Chemistry, formally established in 1998, now falls under the purview of the Graduate School of Science and Engineering.
The department offers five major research areas for its chemistry masters programs, each with corresponding laboratories: inorganic, organic, physical, analytic, and volcanic chemistry. The school boasts a total of 14 laboratories, including:
- The Goto Lab
State-of-the-art instruments available at the various laboratories include NMR technologies, X-ray diffractometry, and laser Raman microscopy.
Check out Some of Tokyo Institute of Technologys Other Rankings
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Why Should I Learn Chemistry
So, aside from the fact that it is used for practicallyeverything in life, why should you learn chemistry? There are tons of reasons!
Even if you dont plan on a career in science, youll pickup a lot of useful skills and knowledge when you learn chemistry. Studyingscience helps you understand important issues, like climate change or foodadditives, more objectively. Chemistry is also great for developing problemsolving skills.
More specifically, knowledge of chemistry unlocks some of lifes most profound mysteries like how to make sure your baked goods come out moist and fluffy! Seriously though, it can make many routine taskslike cookingeasier, and more importantly, it can help keep you safe. Knowing which cleaning products are okay to be used together and which should never be mixed is possible with chemistry, as is understanding how certain medicines work in your body, and much more.
This video sums it up really well:
Now that youre convinced that you want to learn chemistry, how do you do it?
More Career Options Are Available
If youre looking for an open door to the world of career opportunities, chemistry can become one. There are tons of careers in the field of chemistry however, even if you seek a job in another area, the analytical skills you gained in the field of chemistry will save the day. The science applies to the transportation and food industry, art and retail sales, cookingand many other types of work that one may deal with.
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Clarify Any Doubts From Your Tutors
If you have any doubts, it is important to clarify them with your teachers. This helps you understand the subject better and avoid any confusion.
Further, it helps to gain interest and curiosity in the subject. Due to this, you will explore the subject better and see if it is suitable to perceive a career in chemistry.
Take Advantage Of Lab Time
When it comes to understanding and learning chemistry, there is no substitute for hands-on experience, and there is no better way to get this experience than by attending chemistry labs. Take every opportunity presented to work in the lab. Working through chemistry problems and conducting chemistry experiments in a practical environment will strengthen your understanding and knowledge of chemistry.
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Other Skills Youll Learn In Chemistry
Aside from an understanding of chemical processes, completing a chemistry degree program will prepare you with other skills, such as:
- Problem-solving and critical thinking Chemistry exists at the boundary of creativity and critical thought. Solving complex chemical problems tests both sides of your brain, and by the end of your chemistry degree, youll be a problem-solving pro.
- How to carry out and present research Not only will you have to gather data in the lab, but youll also have to present it to fellow students and professors. Youll have plenty of practice with public speaking in your courses.
- Communication in group settings Your interactions with others will go beyond presenting. In school and in your chosen field, youll work with a diverse team of people from various disciplines. Your time as a chemistry student will teach you how to communicate effectively with them.
- Job safety and ethics The safe handling of chemicals is of the utmost importance learning chemistry teaches you how to identify a safe workplace and what to do in the event of a regulatory violation. Youll also explore the moral responsibilities of chemical manufacturers.
- Time management Studying chemistry involves a lot of reading and practical lab work. Youll have to quickly master the art of time management, as your busy schedule will likely follow you into the professional world.
Where Can I Find Biochemistry Study Questions
Lots of the resources mentioned above have practice questions included. For extra study check out the following:
- Albert.io: amazingly designed site with a ton of MCQ-style questions to work with. Covers all the biochem foundations and the major protein, carb and lipid pathways. Free.
- Shemmassian Consulting: quality MCAT-style biochem questions. These are more conceptual in format with the questions based on reading passages rather than stand alone concepts. Also free.
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Tips For The Sat Chemistry Subject Test
Many colleges and universities do not require SAT II exams,i.e. subject tests, but they can be useful to present yourself as a betterapplicant. Usually, students are advised to take one science SAT subject exam andone humanities, and the SAT Chemistry Exam is one of the most popular sciencetests.
It should come as no surprise that your first step tosuccess is to buy a chemistrySAT subject textbook. But its also important to realize that not allreview books are created equal. There is one specific type of question on theSAT Chemistry Exam that is quite different from what most students are used to.They are called relationship analysis, and they can be confusing at first, soyou need to make sure that your practice exams contain this type of problem.
When taking practice tests, always do it as close toreal-life testing conditions as possible. That means setting a timer and beingaware in advance of the things that are and arent allowed on exam day. Forexample, you are NOT permitted a calculator on the chemistry SAT II. If your algebraand basic math skills arent strong, its best to start working on them as farin advance of exam day as you can.
You will, however, be given a very basic periodic table of the elements. It wouldnt be a bad idea to review periodic trends, groups, series, etc. and make a brain dump of all this information as soon as you are allowed to begin the test.