10 Eye-Opening Chemistry Study Strategies

10 Eye-Opening Chemistry Study Strategies

A Chemistry exam is frequently a high-level test, and related courses in school appear to be difficult to pass. Many science students have no trouble slamming their Physics or Mathematics classes because they appear to be so straightforward. To use it, you simply need to know the formula.

Chemistry appears to be a completely different ball game. Here are ten crucial pointers for acing a Chemistry exam or test:

Don’t cram

It will not work. Cramming stores information in your short term memory, which is very short if you’re exhausted. You should study for a week before the exam so that when the exam day arrives, you will be confident in your preparation.


You can’t expect to be able to speak Spanish by memorizing a page of a dictionary every day. You must use the vocabulary youve learned in context or it will fade almost as quickly as you learned it. Chemistry is the same way. You must complete as many problems as possible from the text, study guides, and notes. The more you practice, the better your understanding of the underlying chemical concepts will become.

Read with your eyes closed

Examine your notes and textbook thoroughly. Then put your books down and sit on them. Take a piece of paper and start outlining the material you’ve been studying. You’ll quickly see where more research is needed. You must follow the same procedure when solving problems from the chapter readings. Worked examples should not be regarded as templates. Simply substituting numbers from your problem into the corresponding places in the example will occasionally yield the correct answer, but you won’t know why. And if a minor variation in the problem on a test is presented to you, you will be unable to handle it.

Get the big picture

Memorizing facts without comprehending their significance is a complete waste of time. Get the big picture by carefully reading the lecture notes, handouts, problem sets, laboratory questions and reports, and incorporating all of this information into your notes. Organizing the material will assist you in seeing connections and retaining the information in your long term memory. But don’t spend too much time just making your integrated notes look nice – being the neatest C student in the class provides little satisfaction.

Get help

You’re going to get bogged down. There will be subjects you don’t understand and problems you can’t solve. This is the purpose of office hours and help sessions. Attend them and don’t be afraid to express your concerns. Your instructor is being compensated to assist you. Make him earn his money. He’s not bothered. Don’t wait until the last minute to seek assistance!

Get past questions

That is a copy of an old exam from your course, given by a former colleague or lecturer. Previous exam questions are invaluable study tools. They reveal the test format and allow you to assess the scope of the material and depth of coverage.

By taking the old exam, you can even identify your own strengths and weaknesses. However, don’t assume that the previous question accurately reflects the actual content of your upcoming exam—it doesn’t. It does provide you with a valuable glimpse into what your instructor believes you should have studied prior to the test.

Consider the triage principle

If you are pressed for time, you may have to make a difficult choice. Should you prioritize topics that you don’t understand well or those that you do understand well? Ideally, you should be able to study both, but if time is limited, you should prioritize the areas where you have some understanding. You must adopt this harsh philosophy because you can expect to receive little partial credit when standardized tests are used (as they are in chemistry).

Focus on objectives

“Learning Objectives” on course handouts, textbooks, and web pages specify precisely what concepts and skills you must master. Lists of operational skills and keywords to know can also be found at the end of each chapter. Use those lists as a check-list for the exam.

Manage time

Get on top of things and keep on top of them. Every day, you should spend at least an hour or two studying chemistry. That does not include the time you spend in lecture and laboratory, or even writing laboratory reports or completing problem sets. A four-credit college course consumes a significant amount of your time. (If not, you aren’t getting your money’s worth.) Careful planning and time management skills are required. Create and stick to a regular study schedule.

Time management is a game that you have to take seriously. Make daily “to do” lists. Check off items as you accomplish them, and give yourself a reward for finishing the whole list on time. Be realistic; if you make the list too long, you’ll just give up!


You’ve got this. Give yourself permission to believe that. When selecting study partners, avoid negative and panicked classmates. Pack a couple of sharpened pencils and a working calculator for the exam the night before, and go to bed early. Sleep deprivation can amplify test anxiety. Allow plenty of time to get to the exam location. Arrive early.

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