Chemistry Study Skills
If you want to improve your chemistry skills, use these tips!
- Accept the challenge. Remember that it takes not only time to learn chemistry – it also takes concentration, patience, discipline, and perseverance.
- Know the structure. See what branches of chemistry are included and how your professor structured the course. What chemistry do you study – organic, inorganic, physical, analytical, or biochemistry? What does your professor consider the most important in the course?
- Look through your course in the beginning. Skim through the topics covered in your textbook, table of contents, preface, learning objectives, graphs, tables, notes, terms, summaries, etc.
- Study your math. It’s important for your chemistry skills.
- Know the basics. These basics include: metric system, exponential numbers, atomic structure, chemical symbols, names and formulas. Practice and repeat them frequently.
- Be continuous. In chemistry, you progress from the simple to the complex and build your new knowledge upon the facts you already know. Therefore, make sure you understand all the topics and are ready to move further.
- Learn the terms. Write them all out and define in your own words. You can use flash cards to enhance the process. Reread the term definitions and texts as often as possible to let them settle down in your head.
- Correlate the terms. Find associations between different terms, concepts and facts to perceive them as a whole.
- Memorize everything. Especially, chemical names, symbols and elements from the Periodic Table. You need to know how to use the Table and how to understand the properties of the elements.
- Practice problem solving. Solve at least 10 problems every week.
- Read your textbook in advance. First skim it, then read in detail, and take notes. It’ll considerably increase your understanding.
- Use additional resources. See how different books explain similar terms to understand them from many perspectives.
- Explain to others. It’ll help you memorize everything much better. It’s a good idea to create a study group and discuss the terms and concepts with each other on a regular basis.
- Take notes. Statistics say that students who study successfully take down nearly 66% of the lecture materials. Review your notes right after the class (within at least 8 hours).
- Attend classes regularly. Listening actively and being attentive are ones of the main prerequisites of your success.
- Study for your exams in advance. Test yourself and practice as much as possible.
- Study chemistry before other subjects. Do it in case it’s the most difficult subject for you. While studying, take short breaks (5-10 minutes) every 20-40 minutes to refresh your mind.
- Find chemistry in your everyday life. Relate the laws you learn to daily situations and occurrences.
- Take good care of yourself. Sleep and eat well, especially before your exams.
- Be positive. Maintain your stamina, alertness, and calmness.
May all these tips help you succeed!