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August 24, 2019, 09:49:29 pm

Author Topic: How to Ace Chemistry  (Read 11925 times)  Share 

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jakesilove

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How to Ace Chemistry
« on: February 19, 2016, 11:30:21 am »
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Very few people have a ďnaturalĒ Chemistry ability. Most people, in fact, start on an absolutely level playing field when it comes to Year 12 Chemistry. Therefore, Chemistry is anyoneís subject. What will decide how well you do, and whether or not you top the subject, is how successfully you employ various study techniques throughout your year. These are my top tips: Give them a go, and I promise you that youíll see better results in your Half-Yearlies and beyond.

1.   Summarise your learning at the end of every week

Itís super easy to fall behind in the Chemistry curriculum. There are just so many (often random and totally unrelated) dotpoints that you will cover in class; even missing one or two can be fatal. There is no way to tell when one of the tiny dotpoints, or a single prac, is worth 8 marks in your HSC exam.

Itís hard to stay motivated throughout the year. But if you regularly set aside a time to summarise Chemistry, once a week, I promise that you wonít regret it. Making sure that you keep up to date with your learning, keeping a collated document with everything you need to know for your HSC, will make your journey through this subject so, so much easier. Even just writing down difficult Chemical terms (Aluminium silicate catalyst, Zeolite etc.) makes it so much easier to memorise them.

2.   When summarising, use colours.

Make sure to allocate certain colours to have certain meanings (important chemical equations, extra information that you donít necessarily need to memorise etc.). Just taking that little bit of extra time assessing how you are going to structure your notes will make them much, much more effective. Set your notes out in the smartest possible way. If you can use a table, use a table. If you can use dotpoints, use dotpoints. If you can include a diagram, include a diagram.

This is particularly important, as the same goes for answering actual assessment questions. If you can answer in an advantages/disadvantages table, you should! By setting your notes out such that you can literally transplant them into answering difficult HSC-style questions, you are far more likely to retain the information. Think of it as a neurological trick: if youíve looked over an answer a few times, it would be far easier to remember the information if you write it down in the order, and the style, that you read it!

3.   Keep a separate list of VITAL chemical equations

This is something that I only did at the end of my HSC. I would write a list of the information I absolutely HAD to memorise, and just hadnít yet. Then, I would do my best to learn the information, see what I could cross off my list, and then do it again. By the time it got to my actual Chemistry HSC examination, this is the only document I was studying from.
 

Whilst that will certainly make less sense to you than it did for me, the idea is compiling all of the information you ABSOLUTELY need to remember, so that you can study more effectively. You should aim to be doing this in every single subject.

4.   Use worksheets

Now that you have the list of difficult information, how do you actually memorise it? In my opinion, there are two ways. Firstly, just answering a shit-tonne of actual questions. Answer questions applying the information you are trying to learn, first with the aid of the one-page cheat sheet, and later without it.

Secondly, write yourself worksheets applying the information. Create worksheets with blank spaces where you need to fill in the important information (whether that be statistics, chemical equations, or anything else!). Photocopy the worksheets a hundred times, fill it in five times a day. If you start doing that soon, youíll know absolutely EVERYTHING by your half-yearlies, and be able to recite it in your sleep by the HSC exams. If you want a more detailed explanation of worksheets, I have explained how I used them in relation to Modern History here (the explanation is just as applicable to Chemistry). For an example of the worksheets, I have attached what I used for Modern History (obviously you would want to make them Chemistry-related) in the linked thread.
 
5.   Do past papers

Past papers. Do them. Do them again. Do them again and again and again.

Your teacher might not give you practice papers for your Half-Yearlies. If they donít, seriously just do past HSC papers. If they do give you past papers for your Half-Yearlies, and you run out, do past HSC papers. If you run out of past HSC papers, do them again. And again. Both the questions and the answers are available FOR FREE on the Board of Studies website (http://www.boardofstudies.nsw.edu.au/hsc_exams/). Scroll through and answer ANY question related to the topics that you will be assessed on in your half yearlies. I promise you that MOST of the questions you will be asked in your half-yearlies, trials and HSC have been asked before in past years. By doing questions, you get a jump on the actual task that you will sit, and itís also the best way of figuring out which areas you need to build your knowledge of.

I really hope this helps you in your Chemistry journey! If you have any questions, about Chemistry or any other Subject, be sure to head over to the relevant forums and ask some questions! These can be on the content itself, general study tips, literally anything at all! This community is growing, fast, and there are so many individuals out there waiting to help, and be helped, by you.

Be sure to register for an account and ask any questions you have below. I'd love to share any extra tips or strategies that I can, or answer anything you have to ask. I would also highly recommend checking out the notes and guides available on this site. I used to love the guides posted on the web, as well as notes, and the notes on this site are the best and most comprehensive I have ever seen. HSC is a collaborative thing!

Jake
« Last Edit: February 19, 2016, 02:58:52 pm by jakesilove »
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christinebelista

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Re: How to Ace Chemistry
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2016, 05:42:42 pm »
+4
GOD BLESS YOU

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willy-boy

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Re: How to Ace Chemistry
« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2016, 02:20:49 pm »
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You wouldn't happen to have copies of any worksheets you created for Chem yourself would you?

jakesilove

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Re: How to Ace Chemistry
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2016, 11:07:03 pm »
+1
You wouldn't happen to have copies of any worksheets you created for Chem yourself would you?

Hey!

Unfortunately, I don't. Still, they wouldn't take long to learn at all, and I did make a worksheet with ALL the chemical formulas that you need to know for you HSC (you can find that HERE!). If you make some worksheets, feel free to send them through! Would love to check them out :)

Jake
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bsdfjnlkasn

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Re: How to Ace Chemistry
« Reply #4 on: December 25, 2016, 11:09:10 pm »
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Hey there,

First of all, thank you so much for sharing this because I often find myself lost when it comes to properly studying chemistry :)

Secondly, I was just wondering what your opinions on typing/writing notes are as having a set of notes online means you can always edit them but writing them allows kind of the muscle memory to develop, ya know?

Also, do you have any recommendations for websites/textbooks that provide worksheets which are relevant to the HSC syllabus? Because my school doesn't distribute any as we kind of work off a set assignment through the term...

That should be it for now... Thank you again!!

RuiAce

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Re: How to Ace Chemistry
« Reply #5 on: December 25, 2016, 11:27:10 pm »
+1
Hey there,

First of all, thank you so much for sharing this because I often find myself lost when it comes to properly studying chemistry :)

Secondly, I was just wondering what your opinions on typing/writing notes are as having a set of notes online means you can always edit them but writing them allows kind of the muscle memory to develop, ya know?

Also, do you have any recommendations for websites/textbooks that provide worksheets which are relevant to the HSC syllabus? Because my school doesn't distribute any as we kind of work off a set assignment through the term...

That should be it for now... Thank you again!!
It is entirely up to you whether you choose to type or hand write your notes. You have just stated the main reason for both choice, so it is your call as to how you'd weigh them out. Or, if you have the time to, you can type them up, and then write it again so that you have both at your disposal. Or vice-versa.

Between hand writing and typing notes, there is no superior option. Each to their own. The HSC is all about your own studying technique, after you weigh out the benefits and cons.


Definitely not a good call by your school to not distribute any worksheets, however most worksheets come from textbooks. Textbooks are subject to copyright laws, and thus these are not found freely on the internet.

Yagami Light

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Re: How to Ace Chemistry
« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2017, 11:10:18 pm »
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Thank you :) :)
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jakesilove

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Re: How to Ace Chemistry
« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2017, 10:34:03 am »
+1
Thank you :) :)

Welcome to the forum! Glad you found this article useful :)
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Daniyahasan

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Re: How to Ace Chemistry
« Reply #8 on: July 22, 2017, 05:55:11 pm »
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Does anyone know where i can access past chem cssa trial papers?
past hsc papers tend to be easier so i want to the cssa ones
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mjorfian

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Re: How to Ace Chemistry
« Reply #9 on: August 15, 2017, 08:13:49 pm »
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hey guys! this is a bit of a personal question, but I've just gotten my chem trials back and I feel awful about it. I frankly didn't allocate enough time and it was definitely a tough paper as it was bought from another school. :( I calculated my chem internals and they're 73/100 (my cumulative rank was 9 the last time i checked, it probably hasn't changed much) and I was aiming for a high b5 or low b6 (like 90) for HSC chem.


I've read that being 9th means I'll get the 9th highest hsc mark, and my cohort isn't that strong (save for the top 5). Is it impossible to hit that now? And how much will it affect my ATAR? I haven't gotten marks back for my other subjects yet, but I feel quite good about them. But I'm still worried with the knowledge that I only have 10 units and it'll definitely count.

thanks!

Natasha.97

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Re: How to Ace Chemistry
« Reply #10 on: August 15, 2017, 08:28:12 pm »
+3
hey guys! this is a bit of a personal question, but I've just gotten my chem trials back and I feel awful about it. I frankly didn't allocate enough time and it was definitely a tough paper as it was bought from another school. :( I calculated my chem internals and they're 73/100 (my cumulative rank was 9 the last time i checked, it probably hasn't changed much) and I was aiming for a high b5 or low b6 (like 90) for HSC chem.


I've read that being 9th means I'll get the 9th highest hsc mark, and my cohort isn't that strong (save for the top 5). Is it impossible to hit that now? And how much will it affect my ATAR? I haven't gotten marks back for my other subjects yet, but I feel quite good about them. But I'm still worried with the knowledge that I only have 10 units and it'll definitely count.

thanks!


Hi!
Yes, you do get the 9th highest mark (as your "moderated" internal mark), but then that gets averaged with your own mark :) The marks also undergo aligning, which is when the markers decide the band cut-offs (e.g. getting 85 in a hard exam may mean that mark gets aligned to 90: Band 6). Study as hard and as effectively as you can these two months and you'll be able to achieve your goal! :D
Life is weird and crazy as heck but what can you do?

mjorfian

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Re: How to Ace Chemistry
« Reply #11 on: August 15, 2017, 09:36:07 pm »
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Hi!
Yes, you do get the 9th highest mark (as your "moderated" internal mark), but then that gets averaged with your own mark :) The marks also undergo aligning, which is when the markers decide the band cut-offs (e.g. getting 85 in a hard exam may mean that mark gets aligned to 90: Band 6). Study as hard and as effectively as you can these two months and you'll be able to achieve your goal! :D

ahhhhh okay that makes me feel a lot better. I'm gonna give it a good go because I'm really regretting trials rn fml. But anyways, in the trials, the things that I struggled with (that weren't just straight up content) were mostly the more difficult calculations. I think I'm missing some basic principles that have just carried on through year 11, so would it be a good idea to start with the most important yr 11 concepts? and I've found there are lots of tricks to chem that my friends who do tutoring know simply because of their tutors teaching them. Does the Conquering Chem book cover those areas / everything required to know? What are some good sources to look at / things to do to try and gain as much as possible?

(SORRY FOR BOTHERING WITH SO MANY QUESTIONS OMG I JUST WANT WHATEVER I DO TO BE EFFECTIVE)

Natasha.97

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Re: How to Ace Chemistry
« Reply #12 on: August 15, 2017, 10:00:48 pm »
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ahhhhh okay that makes me feel a lot better. I'm gonna give it a good go because I'm really regretting trials rn fml. But anyways, in the trials, the things that I struggled with (that weren't just straight up content) were mostly the more difficult calculations. I think I'm missing some basic principles that have just carried on through year 11, so would it be a good idea to start with the most important yr 11 concepts? and I've found there are lots of tricks to chem that my friends who do tutoring know simply because of their tutors teaching them. Does the Conquering Chem book cover those areas / everything required to know? What are some good sources to look at / things to do to try and gain as much as possible?

(SORRY FOR BOTHERING WITH SO MANY QUESTIONS OMG I JUST WANT WHATEVER I DO TO BE EFFECTIVE)

Hi!
That's a point I can agree with :) There were quite a few difficult calculations in the paper that I did as well! And definitely, I think that moles is pretty much the key overarching concept with Prelim (along w/ a few others that I can't precisely name at the moment). Personally, I have no experience with the CC book so can't advise you on that. I currently use the Jacaranda book for Year 12, and I find that the worked solutions throughout the book are quite detailed in terms of calculations (and their answers are pretty detailed as well) but the actual content of the book may take a few readings to understand :) Haven't used the Year 11 book, but I'd probably say that it is to the same standard :)

(THAT'S ALRIGHT NO NEED TO BE SORRY FOR ASKING QUESTIONS!)
Life is weird and crazy as heck but what can you do?

mjorfian

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Re: How to Ace Chemistry
« Reply #13 on: August 15, 2017, 11:34:14 pm »
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Hi!
That's a point I can agree with :) There were quite a few difficult calculations in the paper that I did as well! And definitely, I think that moles is pretty much the key overarching concept with Prelim (along w/ a few others that I can't precisely name at the moment). Personally, I have no experience with the CC book so can't advise you on that. I currently use the Jacaranda book for Year 12, and I find that the worked solutions throughout the book are quite detailed in terms of calculations (and their answers are pretty detailed as well) but the actual content of the book may take a few readings to understand :) Haven't used the Year 11 book, but I'd probably say that it is to the same standard :)

(THAT'S ALRIGHT NO NEED TO BE SORRY FOR ASKING QUESTIONS!)
Hi!
That's a point I can agree with :) There were quite a few difficult calculations in the paper that I did as well! And definitely, I think that moles is pretty much the key overarching concept with Prelim (along w/ a few others that I can't precisely name at the moment). Personally, I have no experience with the CC book so can't advise you on that. I currently use the Jacaranda book for Year 12, and I find that the worked solutions throughout the book are quite detailed in terms of calculations (and their answers are pretty detailed as well) but the actual content of the book may take a few readings to understand :) Haven't used the Year 11 book, but I'd probably say that it is to the same standard :)

(THAT'S ALRIGHT NO NEED TO BE SORRY FOR ASKING QUESTIONS!)

Well since you haven't given CC a go, I think it's quite good in terms of being easy to understand on the first go, but giving enough detail for HSC purposes as well. Which I think not a lot of books do :) I'll try and find Jacaranda at the library haha. If not, I'll stick to chem context + CC and we'll see how it goes.

How are you personally going with chem? You seem so on top of everything it's motivating! :)

Mod edit: Formatting :)
« Last Edit: October 03, 2017, 10:21:24 am by Jess1113 »

Natasha.97

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Re: How to Ace Chemistry
« Reply #14 on: August 16, 2017, 08:41:12 am »
+1
Quote
Well since you haven't given CC a go, I think it's quite good in terms of being easy to understand on the first go, but giving enough detail for HSC purposes as well. Which I think not a lot of books do :) I'll try and find Jacaranda at the library haha. If not, I'll stick to chem context + CC and we'll see how it goes.

How are you personally going with chem? You seem so on top of everything it's motivating! :)

Hi :)

Sent you a PM to avoid derailing the thread :P
« Last Edit: October 03, 2017, 10:21:37 am by Jess1113 »
Life is weird and crazy as heck but what can you do?