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Ways to Get Good Grades in Chemistry


First Tip to Doing Well in Chemistry.  Attend every class and pay attention in order to get good grades in chemistry.  Similarly, if you are not getting enough sleep from the night before, you are probably not getting the most out of every class.  So go to bed earlier and get enough sleep so that you will already have absorbed most of the information while in class.  If anything is unclear, don't be afraid to ask for clarification because chances are, many other people will probably have the same question.  You can either ask for help while the teacher is lecturing or after the lecture if you are more shy.  Remember, the teacher is here to help you.  That's their job.  If you still do not understand, try to read it from the textbook, find another book on the library, or find the information on the internet.  Sometimes other people can explain the concept more clearly to you.

Second Tip.  Do all homework assigned.  That is one of the simplest, yet most effective, method of getting good grades in chemistry.  Even if the homework is not for grades, you will benefit by practicing and doing the homework.  Only by practicing will your skills improve to the level that you will do well on exams and tests.  Remember to check your answer to see if you did anything wrong.  You may want to make a special note for questions where you answered incorrectly so that you can come back and review the error later and so that you don't make the same mistake on the exam.  Before the actual test or exam, try to find some type of pretest either on the internet, in your textbook, or from your teacher.    You can also come up with your own pretest by thinking of potential questions that you think that the teacher will ask.  This is so that you practice all the concepts learned in a particular unit all at once and try to synthesize all the information learned.  You may find that you are rusty on certain points and may want to brush up on them after the pretest.

Third Tip.  Make a review sheet of key concepts.  By having a review sheet handy, your last-minute studying will be much easier.  Also, organizing the information for yourself is another level that helps you digest the information.  It's up to you how much information you put on it, but try to put it in a succinct manner and have as many key ideas on it as you can.  Be innovative in how you draft your review sheet.  For example, it can be in the format of a table or perhaps some diagrams that summarize the key concepts.

Fourth Tip.  Review regularly and often to get good grades in chemistry.  The most critical time to review concepts that you had just learned is right after learning it in order to consolidate the material.  Also review regularly afterwards.  This makes memorizing or internalizing concepts much easier before the exam because you will have tried to incorporate the learned material into your brain with as little effort as possible.  Cramming certainly works for some people but in the long run, you do not really remember much after the exam, and that information may actually be critical in your next course.  Therefore, it sets you off at a disadvantage immediately at the start of the next course.  Another critical time to review, though, is before the exam because you will get your brain juices ready to attack the questions.  Therefore, even though exclusive cramming is not the best, some cramming before your exam is actually beneficial.

Fifth Tip.  Taking time out for relaxation and exercise will enable you to get better grades in chemistry.  Your grades may actually improve because you allowed your brain to get its required rest.   High school shouldn't only be about studying and getting high grades.  In fact, when applying for scholarships or other types of school, schools often look for leadership experience, community service, or excellence in some other field.  Therefore, have some fun, do some volunteering that you would enjoy, and enjoy the school experience as much as possible.  At the same time, though, do not go overboard and take on too many activities that you feel drained out.  Try to find a balance because then you will excel and succeed in your life as well as in school.

Sixth Tip.  Seek understanding over memorization in your quest to get high grades in chemistry.  Whenever it is possible, try to understand how the teacher arrived at a particular conclusion or how they got a particular answer instead of just memorizing the answer.  See how they derived their conclusions.  It makes the studying much easier, and will be more fun, in general.  You will also seek to exercise your brain and allow it to think, which it is designed to do, rather than just plain rote memorization.  Try to see points from different angles and perspectives.  Try to look for unity and patterns - where has such a concept appeared before?  It will make for a much more enjoyable learning experience.

Seventh Tip.  Use each test as a learning experience. You will likely learn different ways of thinking and different mistakes that you made from each test.  Don't be too disappointed if you did not do well on a particular test.  Use each as a stepping stone to greater success next time.  Learn from your mistakes and figure out how you can do better next time.  If you like, you can even go see your teacher to ask that person how you can improve and do better next time.

Eighth Tip.  Remember that school is only a pavement for other tasks.  It is a stepping stone.  Therefore, do take some time out of your busy schedule from school to determine what you would like to do in life.  The tasks that you take to prepare for the next step of your career life may well make a difference to your ultimate career success.

Getting stellar grades is in chemistry, of course, not an end-all-and-be-all, but being able to obtain good grades bolsters your self-confidence and prepares you for other more challenging endeavors in life.

Last reviewed May 21, 2011



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