Dos and Don’ts of College Chemistry

There are several things you should consider when trying to succeed in a General Chemistry class. Especially in college. Chemistry can be difficult. It is a progressive topic with fundamentals that should be understood before moving on. Learn chemistry as a language instead of just a science.

With that said, let us look at some of the Dos and Don’ts you should practice when taking a college level chemistry class.

Do These Things for Chemistry Class

Make Time

Both General Chemistry 1 and 2 take time! You have to be able to make time for it and dedicate that time to studying and practice problems.

Read the Textbook

Proactively go through the textbook just before every lecture. Make sure you are reading the correct section in which the lecture will likely refer to.

Take Notes… Really Good Ones

Take good notes during the lecture. Shortly after the lecture, utilize some of your study time to read through the text and fill in your notes with more material as needed.

Do not Skip Chemistry Lecture or Lab

The class moves quickly and has all new material EACH AND EVERY LECTURE. If you skip lecture, there will be missing relevant information from your notes and there will definitely be information that you don’t have.

Learn the Subject Matter

I really don’t suggest to memorize when I say learn (there’s a difference). Understanding concepts is different compared to memorization. If you count on memorization, you definitely will have a hard time.

Get Answers

If you do not understand something, or want further info, ask for help. If you feel you are asking too much or slowing down the professor, make use of the office hours to discuss your chemistry questions. You may ask other classmates after lecture as well.

Work Extra Problems that Aren’t Homework

Solving Chemistry problems is a big area of the class. Practice doing all kinds of problems until you are comfortable and fast with them.

Study On the Daily (Like Every Single Day)

Even if it’s only for a few minutes, get into the habit of studying every single day. As previously mentioned, General Chemistry takes a large time commitment.

Study Smaller Sections of Material

Don’t ever get overwhelmed by all of the material. Only study one little section at a time. When you feel comfortable comprehending the concept or successfully do a problem or two, proceed to the next section.

Look at the Terms

Describe it in your own words when you begin to learn about a term or concept. If you are not sure about your definition being correct, ask the professor to look at it to see if you are on the right track.

Be Sure to Have a Plan

Research tells us that the amount of success an individual has greatly relies on their ability to plan. Come up with an effective plan for approaching chemistry. Set up study times in advance. Study for exams early. Planning study sessions and how you handle chemistry will dramatically improve your opportunity for great results in Chemistry.

Take Practice Tests

If you don’t have practice tests for your General Chemistry Tests, make your own. If you are having to take the Chemistry ACS Exam as your final, you will be able to get an ACS Practice Exam on the web. Practice Exams help you study in various ways. They also lower exam anxiety and make you really feel much more comfortable in the assessment environment. It is generally effective to have an idea of the format of the exam as well.

DON’T Do These Things in Chemistry

Psyching Yourself Out Will Only Set You Up to Fail

You must have a positive attitude towards chemistry. Don’t psych yourself out. If you have prepared yourself for the course, you should believe that you can be a success. Do not despise chemistry.

No Math Preparation (You Suck at Math)

Don’t ever get involved with chemistry until you comprehend the fundamentals of algebra. Expect to perform chemistry problems on an every day basis. Chemistry and physics use mathematics as an essential method.

Copy Other’s Work or Just Look Up Answers

Study guides and textbooks with solved problems in the back are wonderful? Yes, but only if you utilize them for assistance and not as an easy method to get your assignments finished.

Procrastinating on Homework or Studying

If you plan your study time, you can pass chemistry.

The first several times in a chemistry course may be incredibly easy and may lull you into a false sense of security. Mastering chemistry requires you to build concept upon concept. Set aside a small segment of time each day for chemistry.

Not Reading The Text (Or Even Buying It!)

Yes, there are courses where the text is almost entirely worthless or sometimes even voluntary. This just isn’t one of those types of courses. The study guide might help you a little bit, but the fundamental text is absolutely necessary for success.

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