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How do I do well in Chemistry?I don't think it is just practice practice and practice.

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angel-girl | Student, Undergraduate | Salutatorian

Posted July 4, 2012 at 1:11 PM via web

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How do I do well in Chemistry?

I don't think it is just practice practice and practice.

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stolperia | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted July 4, 2012 at 5:29 PM (Answer #1)

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How do you learn best, in any subject? Think about the ways that work best for you when you are trying to understand or remember information in other subjects, then find ways to adapt that learning style to the material you need to know for chemistry.

If you are a visual learner, draw yourself diagrams of chemical bonds you need to know and post them somewhere very visible. Use color to identify important compounds and the elements that are in them. Make yourself a set of flashcards and drill yourself or ask someone else to work with you as you practice recognizing the material on the cards.

If you learn more efficiently by hearing information, find out if your chemistry textbook has an audio version available online - many textbooks do have this option available. If you can't listen to the information you need to know through that source, you may have to read it aloud and record yourself so you can listen again later, or find another auditory learner and read to each other. Use review questions or exercises as starting points for telling someone else what you're learning and why it is important to understand this information - the key would be doing it orally.

If you learn best with hands-on activities, use toothpicks and marshmallows to build models of chemical compounds and figure out a way to label the different parts. Construct your own version of the periodic table.

The key is to identify the style of learning that works best for you, then use that method to help you review.

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chrisyhsun | TA , College Freshman | Honors

Posted July 11, 2014 at 1:31 PM (Answer #2)

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For me I think an important aspect to studying chemistry is understanding the deeper concepts behind solving the problems. As a way to enforce this, I would suggest first reading through the material - whether that be a textbook your teacher has assigned (yes, maybe actually do the reading!) or some online website that covers the topic in question. After you finished reading through the material, try looking at a problem and solving it on your own. This means that you shouldn't just be going through the actions of solving the problem that your teacher has already walked you through. That is more like mirroring the actions of he teachers. Instead, think through and understand why each action is being made and the concept behind every calculation.  Once you understand, then it does become a matter of practice because then you are enforcing the actions and the ideas each time. 

I think this will help your performance in chemistry because you are not only well-versed in solving the questions after the practice, but you also understand the concepts that link the actions to one another so that you will not confuse the different solving methods together.

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