How To Study Chemistry the Right Way

close up image of microscope with metal lens

A bad grade in one class is enough to drop your entire GPA. 

That's why knowing how to optimize your study time is essential, especially for those hard to grasp classes like Chemistry. 

Read on to learn how to study chemistry the right way. 

Flip The Classroom

One of the best ways to optimize your learning experience and pass chem is to partake in what's called a "flipped classroom". A flipped classroom is when the students learn the material on their own before the lecture. 

By reading the materials being covered in class in advance, you can better understand what's going on in the class itself, ask questions and make better use of the time. 

Studies show that partaking in a flipped classroom substantially improves exam scores and learning retention. 

Study Only What You Need To

Before studying, make sure to ask the teacher what chapters, modules or topics will be covered on the exam. This can prevent you from wasting time studying material that you won't be tested on. 

It's also a good idea to find out in advance what materials you will have to help out during the exam. Knowing what charts, tables or formulas you won't have can help focus the studying material. 

Prioritize The Right Material

When it comes to understanding chemistry, there's a lot of material to cover. Prioritizing this material in a chemistry study guide can help with feeling overwhelmed. 

The best way to do this is to start with the basics. Only once you have those fundamentals down should you work towards understanding the details. 

After the details, you can start to learn the exceptions - because there always are!

Discover The "Why"

Due to the nature of chemistry, a lot of testing difficulty comes from being unable to apply concepts you memorized one way in new ways. As such, pure memorization isn't enough to ace the test.

This is why it's essential to think about the "why" behind the information. By the "why" we mean understanding why it is the way it is.

Ask yourself: Why does the element react that why? Why do I count these numbers and not others? Why is it positively charged?

A great way to practice this method of thinking is to practicing teaching others the material.  

This way, when that question pops up that you don't know the answer to, you can use your deeper understanding of chemistry to figure it out.

Save your flashcards for items like term definitions. 

Study Chemistry Example Problems 

In a similar way to discovering the "why", using example problems helps you apply concepts to a wide range of possible scenarios instead of memorizing just a few.

Practicing example problems is particularly important in chemistry because the subject is math-heavy.

When practicing, be sure not to look at the answer until you've tried your absolute hardest. 

Online calculators are a great tool for practice problems. 

For example, when studying significant figures, you can practice figuring out the number of sig figs on your own. Once you're ready to check your answer, just use an online sig fig calculator to see if you got the right result!

Take Care Of Your Body

Even when you've studied properly, the night before and the morning of your test are key opportunities to aim for a higher score.

Not by cramming, but by actually taking care of your body. 

Getting a good night of rest and eating a filling and healthy breakfast before the test improves exam scores significantly.

Ace That Test

Now get to studying!

Be sure to read class materials before the lecture, create a chemistry study guide, prioritize your study materials, use example problems and practice asking yourself "why". Before your test, make sure to get a healthy amount of sleep and eat a good breakfast. They're more important than you think. 

If you study chemistry using these strategies, you're bound to understand chemistry like never before and ace that test. 

Be sure to check out our blog for more tips and tricks!


Share this article!

Follow us!

Find more helpful articles: