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In addition to taking practice exams, there are other tips that can help you have a successful experience in your college chemistry class:
Be Sure to Make Sufficient Time for Chemistry
Chemistry classes require students to put in time! Additionally, students commit to using the time they make for chemistry to study and work relevant chemistry problems. Learning to work problems quickly and accurately is essential for success in chemistry.
Make Use of the Textbook
Students should consider making a serious effort to go through the textbook and read the topics related to their next lecture. Reading the topics prior to getting the lecture will give you a general understanding of the concepts and give you some good ideas of questions you may need to ask during lecture for clarification. Just be sure to read the correct pages in the book that the class lecture will most likely cover.
Always Take Good Notes
Take good notes throughout the lecture. Shortly after class, utilize a portion of your study time to skim through the text and complete your notes with more information as necessary. Additionally, feel free to make notes outside of class, and revise notes as you go through them as you study.
Never Skip Class or Lab
In all topics of chemistry, the classes move quickly. Chemistry class always comes with new material EVERY SINGLE CLASS PERIOD. When you miss a chemistry class, you will be missing details from your notes and there will be related information that you do not have.
Be Sure to Learn the Course Material
This may seem like an obvious or ridiculous point to cover. However, surprisingly, many students think they learn the material and don’t. Whenever I say “Learn”, I don’t mean memorize. Most students try to memorize information in classes. This is where Chemistry can be different. Understanding concepts is different than memorization. You will definitely struggle if you are dependent solely on memorization for your learning. Try to use logic and applied understanding as well.
Ask Questions for Anything You Don’t Understand
If you really don’t understand a particular concept or topic, or just need further information, ask questions. Be sure to use the “office hours” provided by your instructor, teaching assistant, or tutor. Also, it is always good to communicate with other students outside of class. You can discuss topics and clarification with them as well.
Practice Solving Extra Chemistry Problems on Your Own
Even if they aren’t part of an assignment, you should practice solving problems. Solving Chemistry problems is an extremely important part of being successful in chemistry. Practice working and solving as problems related to your topics and concepts until you are quick and comfortable with them.
Try to Make a Habit of Studying Every Day
Even if it’s only for 15 minutes, try to make a habit of studying every single day. As mentioned earlier, College Chemistry classes require a students to invest a pretty significant amount of time to do well in class.
Study Small Amounts of Information
When you study, take things one step at a time. Try to study small amounts of information or individual topics. Don’t try to focus on too many things at the same time, or you might just get your concepts confused. Just study one little section at a time. When you begin to feel comfortable, move on to the next topic or section.
Study the Terms and Definitions Early On
As soon as you begin to understand a concept or terminology, try to describe it using your own words. Write this in your notes. If you are ever unsure about your own words or description, be sure to show the professor and see if here likes your interpretation or not. It’s always good to get your professor’s input.
Create a Schedule and Plan for Your Chemistry Success
Did you know that the amount of success a student has, significantly depends on that student’s ingenuity for planning? Be sure to have a good schedule and study plan. Students should schedule study sessions well in advance. Always study for tests ahead of time. Never wait until the last minute. How you plan and schedule your chemistry time will greatly improve your opportunities for success in College Chemistry classes. Understanding chemistry is your greatest tool for performing well in the class.
Make and Take Chemistry Practice Exams
If you do not have practice exams for your class, try to make your own. You can even get a study group together to all contribute questions to create a practice test together. Students can easily find ACS Practice Exams on the internet. If you are having to take the ACS Chemistry Exam as your course semester chemistry final, Practice Exams can help you and your peers study and prepare in many different ways. Practice tests can even lower exam stress and help you feel much more comfortable in the exam setting. It’s always good to understand the structure and format of the exam you are going to be taking. Always try to find out as much information as you can about the exam you are going to take.