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Chemistry Tips for College


1. Make Time

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

2. Read the Textbook

Actively read the text before each lecture. Make sure you are reading the correct section that the lecture will be about.

3. Take Good Notes

Take good notes during the lecture. After the lecture, use some of your study time to skim through the text and fill in your notes with more information as needed.

4. Never Miss Chemistry Lecture or Lab

The class moves fast and has new material EVERY SINGLE LECTURE. If you miss class, there will be missing information from your notes and there will be information that you don't have.

5. Learn the Material

When I say learn, I don't mean memorize. Understanding concepts is different than memorization. If you rely on memorization, you will struggle.

6. Ask Questions

If you don't understand something, or want further information, ask questions. If you feel you are asking too many or holding up the class, use the office hours to ask your chemistry questions. You can ask other students after class as well.

7. Work the Problems

Solving Chemistry problems is a big part of the class. Practice doing all types of problems until you are quick and comfortable with them.

8. Study Every Day

Even if it's just for 15 minutes, get into the habit of studying every day. As previously mentioned, General Chemistry classes take a large time commitment.

9. Study Small Chunks of Information

Don't get overwhelmed by all of the information. Study one small section at a time. Move on to the next section when you feel comfortable understanding the concept or successfully work a problem or two.

10. Define the Terms

Once you understand a term or topic, define it in your own words. If you are uncertain about your definition being correct, ask the professor to look at it to see if you are on the right track.

11. Have a Plan

Research indicates that the level of success a person has greatly depends on their ability to plan. Have a good study plan. Schedule times in advance. Study for exams early. Planning your study time and how you approach chemistry will greatly increase your opportunity for success in General Chemistry.

12. Practice Exams

If you don't have practice exams for your General Chemistry Exams, make your own. If you are taking the General Chemistry ACS Exam as your final, you can find an ACS Practice Exam online. Practice Exams help you study in many ways. They also reduce text anxiety and make you feel more confortable in the text environment. It's always good to know the format of the exam too.