Chemistry is one of the most challenging subjects for STEM learners. Even if you love elements, compounds, and chemical formulas, you may feel overwhelmed at some point. Most students admit to having low phases when they feel burnt out and even contemplate giving up. The increasing prevalence of burnout in STEM students has brought more attention to their mental health.
Fortunately, a strategic approach can help you avoid stress and stay on top of your studies as a chemistry student. A recent study found a close link between the attitude of students and their performance in chemistry. It validates the fact that a positive attitude sets you up for success in the field.
While there are no shortcuts to achieving academic goals, you can follow these tried and tested tips to ace your Chemistry scores.
Table of Contents
Build a Solid Foundation
Since chemistry is a cumulative subject, a solid understanding of fundamental concepts is crucial. The basics include atomic structure, chemical bonding, and periodic trends. Additionally, chemical states, chemical equilibria, chemical kinetics, inorganic nomenclature, and oxidation and reduction reactions are other essential aspects of the foundation.
Begin by mastering these concepts and strengthen your core with a thorough study of introductory chapters. Once you are confident about these topics, the advanced ones become a breeze. Besides aiding comprehension, these topics enhance problem-solving skills as you move toward the complex areas.
Adopt Active Learning Techniques
New research highlights the efficacy of active learning in enhancing student engagement and outcomes. Interest in this form of learning increased during the pandemic, and it has become an active part of the education system today. Imagine how easily you can retain concepts like the XeF2 Lewis structure if you study it through a bite-sized video tutorial. The same applies to all other complicated topics.
According to Proprep, video tutorials add an interactive element to Chemistry concepts, making them engaging, simple to understand, and easy to retain. Students looking to ace the subject must think beyond classrooms and textbooks. Adopting hands-on active learning methods like lab experiments, flashcards, summary sheets, and group discussions can help you learn better.
Practice Regularly with Problem Solving
Chemistry demands the hands-on application of knowledge through active problem-solving. You cannot get anywhere without digging deep and getting your hands dirty. The best way to do it is by regularly practicing solving chemical problems from your textbooks and class assignments. Picking them from supplementary materials is even better.
Solving complex problems challenges your mind and enhances critical thinking and analytical skills. It also reinforces theoretical concepts you learn from textbooks. As you navigate the world of Chemistry problems, work on different types and difficulty levels to gain a well-rounded understanding of the subject.
Focus on Time Management
Harvard Summer School recommends effective time management techniques for students to make learning stress-free. These include creating realistic deadlines, building personalized schedules, and using tools and apps to set calendars and reminders. You should also prioritize tasks and be flexible with your schedules.
While these tips apply to all students, Chemistry scholars need to go the extra mile with time management. Coursework can be demanding, and falling short of time management can stress you out. Being a STEM student gives you an advantage as you can easily adopt technology to simplify time management. Make the most of digital tools to stay organized and track your daily progress.
Invest in Self-Care
According to a recent survey, 36.5% of American college students cited stress as the biggest reason for low academic performance in the past 12 months. Stress can run high for chemistry students because of the complexity of topics and the long hours of study required. Investing in self-care can take you a long way in improving your performance for achieving academic goals.
Follow the basics like a nutritious diet, good hydration, regular exercise, and adequate sleep. Prioritize breaks and outings because they reduce stress levels and help you focus more once you return to your studies. Join peer groups, seek support from parents and professors, and consider professional help if you feel anxious. Optimal physical and mental health is vital to stay on top of academics.
In conclusion, excelling in chemistry is not a mean feat, but it isn’t impossible as well. A strategic approach can help you match your targets and go beyond them. Start by mastering the foundational knowledge of the subject and adopt an active learning approach to simplify complex topics. Besides covering the academic front, pay attention to time management and self-care because they are as crucial as knowledge and effort.