The Do's and Don'ts of Learning Chemistry

If you've just started a new chemistry class you may be a little nervous. You may be worried that you're not smart enough. You may not know what to expect. You may even be asking yourself questions like "Why me?" or "Do I really need to take this class?" Learning chemistry may seem daunting, but if you approach it correctly you will find that not only can you survive it, you may actually enjoy yourself.

Do: Be Positive 

The right attitude will lead to a better chance of success. If you tell yourself you won't do well in chemistry you're probably right. Begin each class ready (and even excited) to learn. This is a simple tip, but students with a negative attitude are the first to get frustrated. Don't let your attitude ruin your chances to do well.

The Do

Do: Spend Plenty of Time Doing Practice Problems 

Chemistry is best learned by lots and lots of practice. Your textbook is sure to have lots of example questions and you should make sure to do as many of them as time will allow. Don't limit yourself to those problems, though. There are plenty of online practice examples that will help you solidify your understanding.

Do: Expect "Trick" Questions 

When you're getting ready for an exam don't just memorize facts. Most chemistry questions are designed to test how you apply your knowledge. When doing practice problems try to make up new questions using the same concepts. Be creative; chances are the exams will have "trick" questions that look at the same concepts you've seen but from a different perspective. Prepare yourself for those questions by creating questions of your own.

Do: Struggle to Understand 

This may seem like some very odd advice, but you need to struggle through chemistry. If you're just starting a course you'll likely spend many hours studying over the next few months. Long problem sets can become very tedious. Some students, without even realizing it, will skip the hardest problems (after all if you have to be doing chemistry isn't it better to be doing chemistry you understand?). Avoid this pitfall. If a problem seems hard that means you need to keep doing problems like that until you understand. Keep a notebook with you and write down any problems that you struggle with. You can buy chemistry college term paper in getting help with your tasks. Then when it comes time to study stick only to the concepts in your notebook. You don't want to take the easy way out. Struggling to understand leads to better comprehension.

The Do

Don't: Skip the Basics 

Chemistry concepts tend to build on top of each other; you need to understand one before being able to move on to the next. Some of the early things you learn may seem easy (or you may think you know an "easier" way), but you need to spend the time mastering them. Students that master the simple concepts are prepared to excel when things get more difficult.

Don't: Cram Before an Exam 

It's easy to get stressed before a big exam, but the worst thing you can do is cram. Staying up late the night before a big exam may seem like the best solution but those late nights or long hours can lead to brain fatigue. You're less likely to retain information that you may need to know later (remember, don't skip the basics). Spread out your study time so that you're not left with too much to do and not enough time. Follow this simple idiom: "By the inch, it's a cinch. By the yard it's hard".

Don't: Forget Your Units 

Nothing is more frustrating to the person grading your homework then missing units. Consider the following sentence: "I'm so tired today. I walked 14!"It seems incomplete, right? The sentence doesn't make sense as it is written. Did you walk 14 feet? 14 miles? 14 city blocks? Without a unit, the number doesn't mean anything. Don't work hard on a question only to get it wrong because you didn't write down the units.

Remember, learning chemistry doesn't have to be painful. These simple tips will help you succeed. Who knows, when you're done you may even find out that you enjoyed yourself.

  Modified On May-12-2020 08:14:34 AM

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