What’re the top ideas on how to learn chemistry?
Top ideas on how to learn chemistry include:
- Do not memorize without understanding the core ideas behind what you are learning. When you memorize without understanding, the ideas in your mind won’t make sense to you. As a result, these ideas will not stay in your mind for long. It will also be difficult for you to apply these ideas to solve old or new problems.
- Ask yourself and instructor questions behind the facts you learn. For example, what’re the reasons behind the atomic theory? How’s the theory applied to explain the law of conservation of mass? Why’re the elements organized that way on the periodic table? Why should a chemical equation be balanced? What’s the use of the mole concept?
- Apply the core ideas you learn in chemistry to explain your everyday observations of matter and its properties. If you identify inconsistencies, ask your peers or instructor.
- Constantly review the ideas discussed in class so that you can develop a deeper understanding of them.
- Tie the concepts you learn in class to the experiments you do in your general chemistry laboratory.
- Review your algebra so that you can improve your math skills needed to successfully pass general chemistry.
- Think about the concepts you learn in class at the macroscopic, microscopic, and symbolic levels. Once you understand how the ideas are linked according to these three levels, the concept will make much more sense to you.
- If you find it hard to visualize, for example, how molecules dissolve, you should look for animations or simulations that show these molecular behavior.
To read about why students think chemistry is difficult, click here.