Are you a chemistry student struggling to improve your grades? Don’t sweat it – it’s a challenging course, but there are many little things you could do that will help you succeed.
Common mistakes students make
First, many chemistry students make the same mistakes that prevent them from passing tests and assignments. Let’s look at those:
- Trying to learn the math prerequisites at the same time as chemistry. As we mentioned in an earlier blog post, chemistry requires students to know many math concepts that can also be tricky. If you’re in highschool and planning to take chemistry, it’s a good idea – if you can – to take the necessary maths in the first semester, and your chemistry course in the second semester.
- Leaving studying until the night before a test, or assignments to the last minute. How can you put in your best effort when you’ve given yourself no time to do so?
- Using your first few returned grades in the class as a marker for how difficult the entire class will be. Just because you did well on your first assignment doesn’t mean it’s time to slack off for the rest of the class.
As mentioned above, there are several math concepts that will come into play as you study chemistry. The more you know to begin with, the easier it will be for you to pick up some concepts. Make sure you’re familiar with the following:
- scientific notation
- negative numbers
Having a baseline of knowledge for studying chemistry will make it that much easier for you in the long run.
Do your own work
This might feel like it goes without saying, but one important detail of understanding chemistry and doing well in the subject is actually doing the work – yourself. Try, when possible, to work out some of the problems in class alone without the help of a friend. And absolutely no copying! Another thing to avoid is looking ahead for the answers and trying to work backwards from there. Working the problems out yourself through trial and error is a great way to improve.
Keep calm and carry on
Don’t psych yourself out for the test in advance of even sitting down for it – stressing only decreases your ability to apply critical thinking skills to each of the questions.
If you convince yourself before you even get started that chemistry is hard and that you won’t do well, it’s hard to get out of that mindset. Instead, begin to change the conversation that you have with yourself – you can totally ace chemistry! Maybe you need to study a bit more than the average student, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible.
Take responsibility for your learning
Only you can be responsible for your learning. So if you don’t understand something, speak up. Let your teacher or instructor know in class and ask for them to explain a concept again.
You can also seek extra help outside of your chemistry class and labs from a tutor. Browse all the online chemistry tutors on Skooli now to get some more instant help!