Chemistry is considered troublesome by most middle-school students. All those intricate formulae, the deliciously complex chemical equations accompanied by a fair number of numerical problems give many of them the heebie-jeebies.
It’s not that they don’t give their best to understand the fundamentals of this intricate science. In fact, they try their best to do so. The main problem actually lies with their learning techniques. In here, I have compiled a few tips for you to implement during your Chemistry-studying sessions. Let’s go through them all without any further ado.
1. Know your course
The first and the most important thing you should do is to know your Chemistry course well. A chemistry course is usually made up of 5 different fields at the very most. You might have any one of these or a combination of two or more. Take a peek.
- Inorganic chemistry: You’ll be studying an assortment of chemical reactions involving a number of known elements except for carbon.
- Organic chemistry: You’ll be studying carbon compounds and their assorted reactions in greater details.
- Physical chemistry: You’ll be solving numerical problems (related to chemistry) through the application of chemical theories and basic mathematics.
- Biochemistry: You’ll be studying the chemical structure of living matter.
- Analytical chemistry: In here you’ll have to deal with two things namely qualitative analysis and quantitative analysis.
2. Face the symbols
In simpler words, I would like to say “face your fears.” Many students feel a lot of uneasiness while dealing with those complex chemical symbols (such as Na for Sodium, K for Potassium). Hence, they try to keep such things at bay until they are compelled to face them for the purpose of exams.
The advice is to face these things from the start. Do it gleefully and you will surely get over your fear in no time. No that’s not even a possibility; in fact, it’s actually a guarantee.
3. Basic mathematics is essential
Physical chemistry is heavily dependent on mathematics. Hence, it’s advisable for you to have a clear grasp of basic math operations as well as introductory algebra from the very start.
These math topics should be practiced regularly for an effective performance in physical chemistry.
- Arithmetic operations
- Simple algebra
4. The periodic table can be your friend
The periodic table might look too intimidating at first glance but trust me, that’s not what it is. In fact, it can be your friend if you pay special attention to it. Learn how to use the periodic table to your advantage. Plenty of tutorials are available on the internet. Use them to perfection.
It’s also advisable to memorize the first 20 elements of the periodic table for exam purposes. Do it the right way and you’ll definitely reap the benefits in the long run.
5. Symbols and abbreviations AREN’T similar to one another
Understand the difference between these two. An abbreviation is nothing but the shortened version of a word. A symbol, on the other hand, can have different meanings.
Cl is actually the symbol of Chlorine (NOT an abbreviation). Symbolic “Cl” may stand for 1 chorine atom or 35.5g of chlorine or 6.02 x 1023 atoms of chlorine.
If you look at it from the abbreviation point of view, the only answer that you’ll get here is that “Cl is the abbreviated form of chlorine.” You’ll get nothing else. If you pursue that route, you’ll definitely miss out on important chemical information. Hence, it’s advisable to know this difference from the very beginning.
6. DO NOT forget to balance your equations
Balancing chemical equations is an absolute must. Make a good habit of balancing chemical equations (whenever you do one) to improve your performance in the subject matter. Small things like these can really make a difference.
7. Use flashcards for learning terminology and chemical reactions
Chemical terminology and reactions are troublesome indeed. Flashcards can come to your rescue. Scribble the ones that trouble you the most on these cards of yours and keep them nearby so that you can catch easy glimpses at them whenever you want.
Implement this technique from your learning arsenal and you’ll surely improve your performance in no time.
So that’s it then. It’s time to bring this article to an end for now. Hope these tips come in handy for you. Cheerio!