Help with General Chemistry


Hey everyone,

I'm a student at UC Davis, and I'm currently taking general chemistry. This is the first class I have struggled with since I've been in college. Right now I am sitting at a C+/B- mark, but the final is coming up soon and it is 40% of my grade.

For the first two midterms I studied for a week straight and still barely managed a C+ and B-.

Does anyone have any chemistry study tricks or tips? Any general chem advice?

I'm just worried that I'm already struggling with chem, and I still have to take another quarter of general chem, and 2 quarters of O Chem. I hope it doesn't hurt my chances of getting in to schools.

Thanks so much :)


205 Posts

I haven't taken Chem yet (only have to take one course, so sorry you have to take so many!) but I was at Barnes and Noble the other night and saw they have some handy study aides in the test taking section....maybe those might help? Maybe a tutor?

Good luck!


153 Posts

Specializes in Cardiac. Has 2 years experience.

It might help if you post some examples of what you're having trouble with. Chemistry is more understanding the concepts than anything else. A lot of people find it difficult because it forces you to think abstractly.

Once you "get" the concepts the rest is pretty easy.

Specializes in LTC, Med-surg.

I am taking chemistry too. It is hell! I am making a 79% in that class. The only class I am struggling with.


152 Posts

I am taking chemistry this term, and I have a good grade so far. In addition to studying the material, do you also spend time solving practice problems? I complete practice problems for each chapter, and I will sometimes redo our homework problems right before a test. What are some specific areas that are causing you trouble?


45 Posts

I'd recommend you check out Khan academy. It's a very approachable resource that offers free lessons on a wide variety of topics including about a hundred chemistry topics. Check it out:

Khan Academy


3 Posts

I recommend the Complete Idiot's Guide to Chemistry.... VERY easy to understand :) It made things crystal-clear for me.


62 Posts

Like someone else said, if you have specific things you are struggling with I would be glad to help. I just got out of Chemistry (I passed the class with a B....1 stinkin point from an A). I struggled a bit here and there, but basically got it! I studied a TON! I probably spent 10-12 hours a week at times studying not including class time. We didn't have a great teacher and that didn't help. Good luck.


286 Posts

Just the thought of having to sit through Chemistry freaked me out. Half of the battle was to relax. Then, I studied constantly, particularly the reactions. I did problems over and over and over until I knew I got them and they were correct. You might want to find a tutor to help. I had a very patient teacher, and he repeated the material when I didn't get it (really nice person). He knew I was working hard, and he was available before or after class to help also. It was painful, but I got the A. Good luck

shaas, ASN, RN

87 Posts

Specializes in Aspiring for a CCRN.

If you are struggling with general chemistry, you will struggle with o-chem. Although two are vastly different animals, the process of understanding the material is similar. However, some people do better with o-chem.

As of now, are you on redox, Handerson-Hasselbach Eqn, pKa, pOH, and pH, etc.? Or, are you on nomenclature, stoichiometry, calculating % yield and composition, bonding properties, and VSEPR?

Be specific on topics and we may be able to help. In the mean time, here is a general (inorg) chem tutorial:

You need to find your weak areas and address them as soon as possible. Rote memorization of fundamentals (e.g. rules, names, etc.) is implicit in any study; chemistry requires comprehension if you want to ace it. I'm sorry that I do not have a magic bullet. But, what I'm suggesting is the same as what many people have found to be 'tested and true.'

Try to post a question/unclear concept and those of us who know the subject will gladly help.

Good luck.