Chemistry Tips

  1. Please help. Chemistry, for some reason, sticks in my craw. I took it in the fall of '03 and ended up dropping it. Next semester I am ACING that class!!

    What advice or tips would you give to a complete Chem dummy? any books, study guides, etc? thanks!
    •  
  2. 24 Comments

  3. by   Thunderwolf
    Getting a tutor could help or seeing the Prof once a week as a weekly appt to discuss your weak points. I was like this in my undergrad stats...believe me, my Prof saw me weekly. He didn't mind. Great guy.
  4. by   maliat
    What helped me, especially before our culmative final was to make my own cheat sheet to study. I wrote all the important terms, concepts and formulas one one sheet of paper to study in all my spare moments. Sometimes it's just commiting them to memory.
    Another thing to say that if you think you're having trouble to go in to see the instructor, just to say hey, I'm not understanding this. Do you have any tips or other study materials to help. I did this and it helped me later on when I lost my chemistry book. Becuase the instructor knew I was a serious student, doing well in the tests, and coming for help, he helped me find an extra copy of the textbook to borrow for the rest of the semester. This was an out of print of textbook, so I don't know what I would have done otherwise.
  5. by   aegirl
    All I can say is practice, practice, practice! Just keep going over the problems. For me everything else was a piece of cake.
  6. by   blue eyes
    Make sure you do a lot of practice questions for chemistry. Also, mind maps, highlighting key terms and repetitive reading + rewriting important information you need to know on palm cards - which can then be useful during the exam period.
  7. by   LeesieBug
    I also found Chemistry very challenging. We had an instructor who, although very nice and extremely intelligent, explained things more on a masters program level than an "I have no clue what I am doing yet" level.

    What worked for me:

    Every day in class, I would take thorough notes, listen intently...all the while thinking, "HUH?". Then I would go home, sit down with my notes at the computer and look up HIGH SCHOOL chemistry sites that explained concepts in plain English. With that, and a mere 20 hours :chuckle of study a week, I did great!


    P.S. In my opinion, the most frustrating thing about Chemistry is that, when explained properly, it is not THAT hard. I remember sitting for hours reading my book, trying to answer the homework questions. I would be haggling with something, trying to figure out what the heck they were talking about...then when I finally would figure it out, I would be ticked off that they made a simple concept so dang hard to understand.
    Last edit by LeesieBug on Jan 4, '05
  8. by   Thunderwolf
    Sounds like you got some good advice here. What do you think?
  9. by   arciedee
    First off... a positive attitude! Seems like you have it, just try to keep that "I'm a chemistry dummy" sentence out of your head. It can be a self-fulfilling prophecy! Just take it one step at a time.

    As for how I did it... I looked over the syllabus to see what chapter(s) was going to be covered in each class. I would read the chapter before class and do the sample exercises in the text. I didn't always completely grasp what they were trying to get across, but the exercises helped and once I was in lecture I was usually able to "get it"... it wasn't the first time I was hearing the information and I could keep up much better having already been exposed to the material. After class I would do all the exercises, both those to be turned in and practice exercises from a book that our instructor made up. Practice really does make perfect. After a while you learn how to look at a problem and know fairly quickly what you need to do to solve it. Then before a test I would redo all these problem sets. We also had weekly discussion sessions with a TA to go over some of the problems. If you don't have that in your class maybe you can find a classmate, tutor, or someone who has taken the class already to help (just make sure that you are actually understanding not simply copying their procedure... that won't do you any good when it comes time to take a test!).
  10. by   z's playa
    You know all the questions in the end of every chapter that we tend to ignore? (at least we do here) Our teacher would give us seperate questions on a sheet so we'd just not bother with the others. Well.....do them. Each one! All of them. I swear it works and the teachers , knowing we don't do these questions unless asked to, will take these questions and put them on tests. Good luck!
  11. by   bioniclewoman
    I needed these tips too. I'm starting chem next week and I'm getting really nervous. I bombed micro last semester and feel like there is no way I could pull off an "A" in any science course.

    I need to believe in myself but it is hard. I made the mistake of not studying hard enough for my first test which is the one we had the most time to study for. After I got a really bad grade on that test any chance at an "A" was pretty much gone, especially since we started covering material like the world was coming to an end.
  12. by   Doug85
    Thanks everyone for the advice.
  13. by   jhawk07
    I would suggest the AP chemistry book printed by the Princeton Review, it is made for the test, but has tons of info, and breaks it down to manegeable steps without overdoing the explanation, it is very straightforward. It also has practice questions and shows you how to do each and every question. Also you can go to your local bookstore (like Borders and Barnes and Nobles) and buy a sheet, more like a folder type of thing called SparkCharts, (they might be another brand). They are all on this rack that turns, they have them in Chemistry, Physiology, Nursing, Stats, English, etc. It has tons of facts on it, that you can go to quickly for help or too get a fact that you need to complete a problem. I also think you can go to SparkCharts.com to get them. They are about 5 dollars each.



    Quote from Doug85
    Please help. Chemistry, for some reason, sticks in my craw. I took it in the fall of '03 and ended up dropping it. Next semester I am ACING that class!!

    What advice or tips would you give to a complete Chem dummy? any books, study guides, etc? thanks!
  14. by   PhoenixGirl
    I just finished up chem this past semester... plan ahead for tutoring! Either use your schools tutors or use smarthinking.com

    My book came with a free smarthinking.com membership. I used it a lot. There was a point in the semester where I thought I would fail because of balancing chemical equations. Now I can balance intro chem equations with the best of em. :chuckle The tutoring really helps!

    Just stay ahead! Read ahead! Don't ever fall behind, and you will be okay!

    Rebecca

close